Well, for a “clean sheet” design with “no budget” and “no interference from management” AND the JK / JL to copy, Ford got a lot wrong. Then again, the reality is that everything about the underpinnings of the Bronco was constrained by the fact Ford chose to share a platform with the global Ranger, so at its heart, it’ll always be a Ranger and those parts bins they’re forced to choose from are a limiting factor. That’s why there’s no solid axle heritage edition, which IMO would have been something real Wrangler owners would actually cross shop. And how amazing would it have been to have the H2 sized Bronco with much lower NVH, a more family friendly interior, and an unapologetic on road focus (think full size Bronco Sport) for family use and mall crawling. Then Ford could have made a hard core Heritage edition that was true to the early Bronco roots… slightly smaller than the JL, more Spartan, solid axles, and entirely designed to excel in the most severe off road conditions imaginable. That would have made a splash and been awesome.What a broad statement with zero support. What substandard and not well executed??? The peanut gallery is waiting with baited breath to hear you expert opinion.
But so much of what Ford failed on was entirely preventable and their own fault. I get the IFS. I don’t think it should be on the “real” Bronco, but whatever. If the IFS was well executed it could have been more comfortable on the highway and still fairly robust off road. But judging from the real world trails pics making the rounds, now that the Bronco is in consumer hands, it’s simply not up to the task of more difficult trails with 33”+ tires. So, the advent of aftermarket companies now rushing SFA conversion kits to market tells the tale of how well executed that IFS is. Also, with 35s at least, several professional independent reviews have noted any advantages of the IFS on road manners vs the SFA on the JL disappear. So, what’s the point? The Bronco wants to be king of the everything, but ends up just a compromise vehicle that doesn’t even outperform the vehicle it was supposed to “kill” and that’s with their team standing in Jeep’s shoulders and using the JK/JL as a starting point. It’s not an impressive result.
The entire interior is “cheap looking and feeling” save for the 12” sync screen. Motor Trends words, not mine. No usable grab handles. Weak front end components. No quieter on the highway than the JL. No better driving experience than the JL with 33s or 35s (with any of the “off toad” biased versions) but all the drawbacks of IFS off road. A top design that literally resulted in sales delayed months and months. And the top is still an issue. Frameless doors that multiple professional reviewers literally make “boing” cartoon jokes about given how much these doors flex and wiggle when opened or closed. Access to the rear is demonstrably worse than the JL. Inexplicably: no rear heat vents so rear passengers freeze. The dash materials are awful and the rest of the interior panels don’t match, and look “low rent” (again, professional reviewer’s words, not mine). You can’t remove the roof panels with the roof rack installed. Even after Ford “fixed” the Hard top, people are still having problems. Did I mention the highway noise? Because apparently you can’t even have a conversation on the phone at highway speeds. Ford could have done so much better, and I wish they had.