5280Bronco

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I know there are other threads out there, but I wanted to get our thoughts out there to everyone. My wife and I drove both on Tuesday (2.3L Ranger and 2.7L F-150) and I have included our thoughts below. We currently own 3 manual transmission cars and two automatics, so we drive them both! These thoughts are with us buying the 4 door, just an fyi.

2.3L:
Transmission that I would personally recommend with the 2.3L would be the manual, hands down. Ability to manually select the gears to ensure the motor is where it wants to be is imperative (3k and above). We both felt the auto felt slightly disconnected from the motor and it was like an awkward dance some of the time while driving. Its not a deal breaker for the 2.3L/auto combo, its just something that I would need to drive more to get used to. Even discounting the piped in sound, the 2.3L sounds great, love its growl. Its power delivery reminds me of our V70R 5 cylinder. From a start, its a bit slow, but once the turbo hits, its a really fun motor. Great rush to the top of the rev range.

One of the times we felt it was underpowered was on a decent hill, in traffic with someone who slowed and turned right in front of us. My wife then kicked it pretty good and I had this instant feeling I had to help it accelerate back up to speed on the hill. Not severe, just some, but I'm worried about 500lbs more mass being slowed and then needing to get back up to speed like that scenario. Its in no way BAD, just not as fast as I was anticipating. This wouldn’t be a problem for someone who doesn’t drive their car hard or aggressively, but we get on it a decent amount when we drive.

2.7L:
I'll refrain from any transmission recommendation for obvious reasons. V6 has power/torque all through the rev range, and didn’t have any kind of “peaky” power delivery feeling. More refined for sure, but it also had less character than the 2.3L for me, and I like to have that in a motor. I’m hoping that the Bronco’s lower amount of sound deadening will let this motor talk to the driver a bit. I can at least hope. Its quick, and it will have no issues moving the Bronco around. It did feel much different though, as it felt like the power was in the low/mid range for sure, and didn’t charge to the top with its power like the 2.3L. Just a different perceived power curve, so they have different personalities.

Seemed it was a bit less willing to kick down for passing, etc than the 2.3L but that could all be based on where the transmissions were at with their “learning” people talk about. Once it does, it hits you in the mouth. People won’t be disappointed with this motor and it will move the Bronco no problem, its just a different animal than the 2.3L, and delivers power in a different way, so its also about matching driving styles/wants with the motors.

Transmission:
Both had the issue we see in our Fusion with a delay between pushing the pedal down and when it reacts to throttle input, especially at low speeds when coasting at 10 mph or so and turning left across traffic, etc. Hope the “learning” can fix that a bit.

We also drove both of the trucks in “normal” and “sport” mode to see the differences. Normal is a bit more “muted” and doesn’t let you wind the motor out much, but its smooth and would be great for most non-aggressive drivers. Sport is different in good and bad ways as far as we could tell. You can wind the motor out more, get more speed, etc which is great. One thing I HATED that I hope is related to the learning part of the equation is that when I was going up the on ramp in both trucks and was giving it probably 70% or so throttle, I would let off to probably 30% when I hit the speed I wanted, and the transmission would hold the gear I was in...and hold…and hold. I had to almost let my foot off the gas entirely for it to up shift and cruise along. I was audibly telling the transmission to up shift as it’s a really unnerving behavior out of a transmission. Maybe someone with experience can chime in on that.

Final thoughts:
I think both motors will be up to the task for the Bronco, and it really depends on everyone’s personal expectation of “performance” from their Bronco. Here at altitude in Denver, and the way I like to drive, my wife and I will need to either get the 2.3L/stick combo which would require the ford performance tune for me, or the 2.7L auto. Its gonna come down to pricing and what we would need to cut out to get the bigger motor and still fit the budget.

No matter what motor you get, its going to be a great rig, a lot of fun and something we can all use to explore the world in ways we already do now (if you already wheel, etc.), or something that will allow us to explore our world more (my case). Can’t wait to see everyone on the road in their Broncos with huge smiles on their faces. Just thought I would share our thoughts. Good luck with all of your choices and make it your own!





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texasgreazer

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I've experienced the same holding in sport mode in the wife's 20 Explorer. It's a bit unsettling to say the least!
 
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5280Bronco

5280Bronco

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I've experienced the same holding in sport mode in the wife's 20 Explorer. It's a bit unsettling to say the least!
It is... just a weird feeling.
 

StedeBonnett

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5280 - I really appreciate your write up. I need to do the same and get my butt in the seat - to get a feel for those two engine and drivetrain options.

No matter which engine — I have to go with an auto (my wife wants to also drive the Bronco). I'll admit I'm spoiled by the Coyote in my Mustang. My wife recently got a Subaru Forester, I like it but woah is it underpowered.

Lots to think about before its time to place my order…
 

spyderman01

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I know there are other threads out there, but I wanted to get our thoughts out there to everyone. My wife and I drove both on Tuesday (Ranger and 2.7L F150)and I have included our thoughts below. We currently own 3 manual transmission cars and two automatics, so we drive them both! These thoughts are with us buying the 4 door, just an fyi.

2.3L:
Transmission that I would personally recommend with the 2.3L would be the manual, hands down. Ability to manually select the gears to ensure the motor is where it wants to be is imperative (3k and above). We both felt the auto felt slightly disconnected from the motor and it was like an awkward dance some of the time while driving. Its not a deal breaker for the 2.3L/auto combo, its just something that I would need to drive more to get used to. Even discounting the piped in sound, the 2.3L sounds great, love its growl. Its power delivery reminds me of our V70R 5 cylinder. From a start, its a bit slow, but once the turbo hits, its a really fun motor. Great rush to the top of the rev range.

One of the times we felt it was underpowered was on a decent hill, in traffic with someone who slowed and turned right in front of us. My wife then kicked it pretty good and I had this instant feeling I had to help it accelerate back up to speed on the hill. Not severe, just some, but I'm worried about 500lbs more mass being slowed and then needing to get back up to speed like that scenario. Its in no way BAD, just not as fast as I was anticipating. This wouldn’t be a problem for someone who doesn’t drive their car hard or aggressively, but we get on it a decent amount when we drive.

2.7L:
I'll refrain from any transmission recommendation for obvious reasons. V6 has power/torque all through the rev range, and didn’t have any kind of “peaky” power delivery feeling. More refined for sure, but it also had less character than the 2.3L for me, and I like to have that in a motor. I’m hoping that the Bronco’s lower amount of sound deadening will let this motor talk to the driver a bit. I can at least hope. Its quick, and it will have no issues moving the Bronco around. It did feel much different though, as it felt like the power was in the low/mid range for sure, and didn’t charge to the top with its power like the 2.3L. Just a different perceived power curve, so they have different personalities.

Seemed it was a bit less willing to kick down for passing, etc than the 2.3L but that could all be based on where the transmissions were at with their “learning” people talk about. Once it does, it hits you in the mouth. People won’t be disappointed with this motor and it will move the Bronco no problem, its just a different animal than the 2.3L, and delivers power in a different way, so its also about matching driving styles/wants with the motors.

Transmission:
Both had the issue we see in our Fusion with a delay between pushing the pedal down and when it reacts to throttle input, especially at low speeds when coasting at 10 mph or so and turning left across traffic, etc. Hope the “learning” can fix that a bit.

We also drove both of the trucks in “normal” and “sport” mode to see the differences. Normal is a bit more “muted” and doesn’t let you wind the motor out much, but its smooth and would be great for most non-aggressive drivers. Sport is different in good and bad ways as far as we could tell. You can wind the motor out more, get more speed, etc which is great. One thing I HATED that I hope is related to the learning part of the equation is that when I was going up the on ramp in both trucks and was giving it probably 70% or so throttle, I would let off to probably 30% when I hit the speed I wanted, and the transmission would hold the gear I was in...and hold…and hold. I had to almost let my foot off the gas entirely for it to up shift and cruise along. I was audibly telling the transmission to up shift as it’s a really unnerving behavior out of a transmission. Maybe someone with experience can chime in on that.

Final thoughts:
I think both motors will be up to the task for the Bronco, and it really depends on everyone’s personal expectation of “performance” from their Bronco. Here at altitude in Denver, and the way I like to drive, my wife and I will need to either get the 2.3L/stick combo which would require the ford performance tune for me, or the 2.7L auto. Its gonna come down to pricing and what we would need to cut out to get the bigger motor and still fit the budget.

No matter what motor you get, its going to be a great rig, a lot of fun and something we can all use to explore the world in ways we already do now (if you already wheel, etc.), or something that will allow us to explore our world more (my case). Can’t wait to see everyone on the road in their Broncos with huge smiles on their faces. Just thought I would share our thoughts. Good luck with all of your choices and make it your own!
thanks for the write up. This is the comparison I’ve been wanting to do myself and it definitely provides a good comparison of the two motors in similar weight with the auto. Wish we could try this out also with the manual!
 

EvlNvrDys

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I've definitely decided on the 2.7 for myself. I'll take the option for more power all day long. That's after I drove a Ranger with the 2.3.

But I gotta say, the more I see people give their opinions on this 10 speed auto and its learning "curve". The more I wish Ford just gave us a 5.8 n/a hooked up to a 3 speed auto with overdrive. In other words, keep it simple, make it work.

All the talk of the trans not wanting to shift without fully letting foot off the gas, the wife's Jeep does that shit and it annoys the hell out of me. I expect that out of a car trying to tow, not out of a Bronco!
 

veblenesque

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This is a great writeup - thanks so much for the input. Anyone who uses the V70R for comparison is a source I can trust.

This helped make up my mind to follow through on ordering the Bronco manual. I came close to ordering a 24v Jeep manual and even a Renegade manual, but didn't love driving either. This seems like the perfect combination of enthusiastic engine and utility in a manual SUV.
 

VictoryLights

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Isn't driving Driving a 2.3l in the explorer a better comparison? The Bronco will be even heavier than the explorer so subtracting some performance from that should be the expectation.

I test drove a 2.3l explorer and couldn't get it back to the lot fast enough. It was LOUD on the hills and constantly felt like it was working. I wouldn't trust the reliability. I don't see the point of buying one when the cost to upgrade to a proper sized engine is so reasonable. Why sacrifice on the most important part of the vehicle?
 

BroncoT

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I’m less concerned about the transmission to engine integration than power. The Bronco will have tailored shift algorithm, they might not improve things but it will be different. Your comment on the power and revving until the torque kicks in is what concerns me.

I have a friend at a Ford who said point blank the 2.3L is all I need. And that Ford is very excited about the performance they’re getting with the 2.3L auto package.

I mostly decided to trade the bigger engine for either an upgrade to BL (currently a BD guy) or other upgrades. Mostly. Thanks for the write up, every observation helps.
 

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