Mike777

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First, I want to say how great the Bronco was to have during this long journey through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and our final destination Colorado. It was my Wife, small 10 pound Dachshund, and I on this trip. I’ll lay out some pro’s and cons that I have experienced which I hope @Ford Motor Company will fix at a later time. I did post a video of Schnebly Hill - Completed Schnebly Hill Trail - Ford Bronco Black Diamond - 4x4 Offroad - YouTube . My first go at making a video so please excuse the footage quality.
  • This truck handles like a champ. Yes, it’s big, boxy, and when going through North Texas where winds are kicking 30 mph consistently you will get blown around in this vehicle. Regardless, it handles 100 times better than my 2 door Wrangler ever did.
  • The soft top is ridiculously loud, and I know people have said otherwise, but I really must disagree. My wife and I had beats headphones on with noise cancellation to drown it out at even 70 mph speeds. I don’t think the hard top will really help either in this regard. I wish there was some way alleviate the noise.
    • EDIT - Since this has received a lot of discussion let me clarify a few things. One, I have not driven a hard top so I don't know if it's for sure quieter, but it could be. I was making an assumption based on previous things I have read.
    • In regard to the soft top, I would not recommend it to anyone at this time. Its not worth the small added convenience of being able to take it down. I know its not entirely accurate but I tried 2 different IPhone DB readings apps and it was around 80-90 DB and that's without the massive crosswind I experienced during my trip!!!! It could very well be higher! I also had no music on to make sure it was accurate. I've owned 5 motorcycles in the last 10 years and its almost just as loud as being on my bike.
  • The 2 of us including our dog slept in the back of the Bronco both at Houston Mesa Campground and Grand Canyon National Park. Honestly it was perfectly fine with no issues. We fit a full-size blow-up mattress in the back. Anyone over 5”9 will probably have issues. We did have to put something under the mattress to flatten it because the bottom is uneven. If there is an aftermarket fix for this, I would totally buy it.
  • Before leaving, I was able to get the Bronco Tailgate Table. Great purchase, sturdy and made zero noise. Was happy with the Ford install. I know others have said it rattles but I had no issues on almost 2900 miles across the country. I also received the portable fridge from Ford and it was perfect for this trip.
  • I was glad I purchased the IAG soft top assist. It was great to have when I had to constantly open the back of the truck when camping.
  • Yes I know I’m going to get flak for this…..the MPG is HORRIFIC. More so on the highway than on roads. I know I know I bought a Bronco but yes this is the 21st century. I averaged about 13-15 on highway in ECO mode half the time and Normal to test it out. The only time I saw a difference was when I was in the mountains and got 19-22. Having to stop every 250 miles for gas is a problem. The Bronco really needs a bigger tank if its only going to get 14 MPG on the highway.
  • The MGV is great! I washed the truck today to get all the mud, dirt, and sand off. Being able to quickly vacuum the interior was great. My only suggestion is I wish Ford had an option for cooled seats. Long car rides = lots of sweat.
  • Rock Chips!!!!! Every time I left the pavement and went to dirt trails like in Colorado to the cabin, I always flung rocks. When I washed the truck today I had so many dings from rocks flying up from the SAS tires. Mud flaps are a must even though I'm not a fan of the look I will be purchasing them. I will also be looking into the deflector for the hood because this thing is a bug magnet.
  • The plastic is very cheaply made. After one long trip I have scratches everywhere that's impossible to buff out. Better quality here would go a long way especially on a 50k vehicle.
  • If I had to purchase my ride all over again, I can’t overstate how much I wish I had the 12 inch screen. Trying to switch to Apple Carplay for navigation to XM radio is an annoyance I wouldn’t have had with the larger screen.
  • I did Schnebly Hill Trail we didn’t have time for Soldiers Pass but it handled like a champ. Honestly, I received much love from Jeep owners on the Trail. I uploaded a quick video to YouTube that shows the trail. First time making a video and I know the quality aint the best.
Looking back I would rather have the Badlands with 33's, better MPG, sway bar, hardtop, and high package than a fully loaded BD. But overall the Bronco held up like a champ and its been a great purchase.

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gigidaho

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[*]Yes I know I’m going to get flak for this…..the MPG is HORRIFIC. More so on the highway than on roads. I know I know I bought a Bronco but yes this is the 21st century. I averaged about 13-15 on highway in ECO mode half the time and Normal to test it out. The only time I saw a difference was when I was in the mountains and got 19-22. Having to stop every 250 miles for gas is a problem. The Bronco really needs a bigger tank if its only going to get 14 MPG on the highway.
[*]The MGV is great! I washed the truck today to get all the mud, dirt, and sand off. Being able to quickly vacuum the interior was great. My only suggestion is I wish Ford had an option for cooled seats. Long car rides = lots of sweat.
[*]Rock Chips!!!!! Every time I left the pavement and went to dirt trails like in Colorado to the cabin, I always flung rocks. When I washed the truck today I had so many dings from rocks flying up from the SAS tires. Mud flaps are a must even though I'm not a fan of the look I will be purchasing them. I will also be looking into the deflector for the hood because this thing is a bug magnet.
[*]The plastic is very cheaply made. After one long trip I have scratches everywhere that's impossible to buff out. Better quality here would go a long way especially on a 50k vehicle.
[*]If I had to purchase my ride all over again, I can’t overstate how much I wish I had the 12 inch screen. Trying to switch to Apple Carplay for navigation to XM radio is an annoyance I wouldn’t have had with the larger screen.
[*]I did Schnebly Hill Trail we didn’t have time for Soldiers Pass but it handled like a champ. Honestly, I received much love from Jeep owners on the Trail. I uploaded a quick video to YouTube that shows the trail. First time making a video and I know the quality aint the best.
[/LIST]
Looking back I would rather have the Badlands with 33's, better MPG, sway bar, and high package than a fully loaded BD. But overall the Bronco held up like a champ and its been a great purchase.

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Wait, is this a thing? Is mileage better in the mountains? I’ve been averaging 20mpg with about an equal amount of in town and highway driving. I do live in the mountains but I don’t really understand how that makes a difference, I’m curious!
In any case 20mpg for a capable off road vehicle feels pretty good. Especially compared to my old rubicon’s 8mpg
 
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Mike777

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I average close to 16 on the highway running 37s, what’re you doing🏎🐎
Nothing, I was barely speeding up and in no way could I ever beat 15 mpg on the highway. I barely put any throttle on it to try to get the best mpg as possible. Also, in Texas the speed limit is either 75 or 80 on the highways.
 
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Mike777

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Wait, is this a thing? Is mileage better in the mountains? I’ve been averaging 20mpg with about an equal amount of in town and highway driving. I do live in the mountains but I don’t really understand how that makes a difference, I’m curious!
In any case 20mpg for a capable off road vehicle feels pretty good. Especially compared to my old rubicon’s 8mpg
I have no idea but I def noticed a difference when I was at 8k to 12k elevation. It was by far the best mpg I ever got. That’s also a mix between up and down hill. I did read online after the fact higher elevation may increase mpg. Looks like it did for me…..
 

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BSheppard

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I can agree with what you are saying on most accounts. I am getting a solid 18-19mpg so far on mine (4 door, badlands, 2.7 Sasquatch). So a little better than you are seeing.

I will add that yours looks awesome in white.
 

Ksjrb03

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Nothing, I was barely speeding up and in no way could I ever beat 15 mpg on the highway. I barely put any throttle on it to try to get the best mpg as possible. Also, in Texas the speed limit is either 75 or 80 on the highways.
Ya your normal. Anyone getting better drives like my grandpa. My last road trip was 13.1 all highway. Average 14.9 for first 3k. Pretty silly they do better in town than highway lol.
 

DFR

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Thanks for the well considered post.

As for mileage, my SAS with the 2.7L tachs at about 2,200 rpm on the highway at 75...that's pretty fast and will have a huge affect on mileage...and then there's the crosswind from south to north on both I-10 and I-40 that KILLS mileage no matter what you're driving.

We're headed to Denver from our home in Florida this summer and I intend to track every mile because my slight OCD requires it...and I enjoy knowing these details.
 

BroncoT

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Few things:

1. Better mileage at higher elevation is a real thing. The less dense air takes less force to push through the engine. This is essentially what a supercharger does, reduce force required to move steel (valves, pistons). Yes, there is less oxygen but still plenty to burn as much fuel as the engine should. Engines do not reach stoichiometry when they burn, party because they can’t, but it’s also metered to protect components from excess heat. The exhaust valves for instance can’t get much over 1400F, though I know this has been improved since my engine days.

2. Likewise there is a trade off when tuning an engine. I suspect most of the drop at higher speeds is simply aero and tires (especially for SAS). It’s also possible the torque curve is optimized for 65MPH or some other less than highway RPM. The EPA does measure for this, but is likely underestimating the real world impact of the horrific for MPG windshield and those mud tires.
 

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Nice review! Thanks for posting!
 

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retiredarmymp

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Great post! I hope to make a similar journey in the future. The one thing I will comment on is the road noise. I have a hard top with sound deadening, so I cant comment on the soft top, but the road noise is not bad at all. Yes, it is louder than my wife's Edge and louder than the F150 I traded in for my Bronco, but I expected that with a removable top. Yes my wife and I have to raise our voices a little at highway speeds but we comfortably carry on conversations while we are driving. Maybe there is a big difference between the hard and soft tops.
 

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Drive at or below 70mph and the mpg will be better. Also the noise is much lower below 70mph.

what lights are you using in the cargo area?
 
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Mike777

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Great post! I hope to make a similar journey in the future. The one thing I will comment on is the road noise. I have a hard top with sound deadening, so I cant comment on the soft top, but the road noise is not bad at all. Yes, it is louder than my wife's Edge and louder than the F150 I traded in for my Bronco, but I expected that with a removable top. Yes my wife and I have to raise our voices a little at highway speeds but we comfortably carry on conversations while we are driving. Maybe there is a big difference between the hard and soft tops.
Thanks for sharing! I love the soft top and being able to easily take it down the warmer months. I’m honestly thinking the trade off is too much for ease of use. In long car
rides the road noise does become a bit unbearable. I definitely wouldn’t purchase the soft top again now knowing how loud it is especially during extended cross winds. Even noise canceling head phones couldn’t help very much. We could still hear it.

I even replaced all the speakers with Alpines that have better mid and highs. We still had
To crank the radio to 15 at least. I couldn’t even listen to talk radio or the NFL draft without blaring it at highway speeds lol.
 
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Mike777

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MayhemMike

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I get a warm fuzzy feeling when someone says if they could do it over they would go BL MGV with 33’s….( get the lux). Nice write up.
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