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Will the New Ford Bronco Make a Good Overlander?

Ford

There is no doubt that most off-roaders on the market right now are a bit soft. Manufacturers build these vehicles with the focus of on-road comfort which in turn compromises off-road capabilities. 

Thankfully, some brands still make vehicles suitable for those who love to explore places less traveled and the latest addition to the market is the new Ford Bronco. Will it actually make a good overlanding vehicle though? Or does it overpromise and underdeliver? 

What Makes a Great Overlander?

4x4 in the sand

photo by georgeclerk via iStock

To be able to judge whether the new Ford Bronco is a good overlander or not we first need to go over the common attributes all great overlanding vehicles share.  

Reliability and Durability

Person standing on an SUV

photo by Brunomsbarreto via iStock

An overlanding vehicle must be dependable – a traveler needs to have faith in the vehicle during the journey. The last thing we want in the middle of a desert or storm is to be stranded due to a mechanical failure

Easy to Work On

Mechanic working on a 4x4

photo by golubovy via iStock

No matter how reliable a vehicle is, there will be some occasions in which it will need some tinkering to get going again. It is an inevitable outcome of proper usage, even for a new Ford Bronco. In such situations, easily repairable mechanical areas that do not require the use of dedicated scanners and devices to work is a crucial attribute any serious overlanding vehicle must-have.

Capability 

4x4 in the mountians

photo by Soft_Light via iStock

If you want to see places only experienced by a few, chances are you will need to drive on roads that have only been driven by a few. This means that the journey will be difficult and may present obstacles – in such situations a capable vehicle with locking differentials, proper wheel travel, and low range gears is a must. 

Storage Space and Payload

packed SUV

photo by fstop123 via iStock

Storage space and payload are also crucial, and one depends on the other. Without enough payload capacity, storage space is useless. An overland traveler needs to be able to carry food, clothes, water, and fuel while also having a space to cook and sleep. You can imagine that storing everything in a small vehicle will be a nightmare.  

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Which of These Attributes Does the New Ford Bronco Meet? 

Capability 

New Ford Bronco in the desert

Ford

The Bronco is built on a body-on frame construction with a solid rear axle and independent front suspension. Independent front suspension is a compromise as far as durability and capability go but does provide great on-road manners and ride quality. 

The vehicle can be specked with front and rear lockers and as you would expect it has a low range transmission; therefore, as far as capabilities go, the new Ford Bronco will meet the needs of most overlanders. 

Reliability and Durability

Ford Bronco in the Desert

Ford

The fact that the vehicle features a body-on-frame construction and a solid rear axle makes it able to withstand big hits; therefore, it is a durable machine. As far as reliability goes though, we cannot be sure yet as it is a brand-new model and hasn’t been tested. If I had to guess I would say that it won’t be the most reliable off-roader due to a small engine with a high horsepower output and all the electronics that can possibly go wrong. 

Is the New Ford Bronco Easy to Work On?

New Ford Bronco in the forest

Ford

Because of its old-school construction, repairing suspension and axle issues will not be hard. The engine’s electronics might present some issues though. It’s not the most complicated truck in the world but not the simplest either.  

Storage Space and Payload

New Ford Bronco packed with camping gear

Ford

The four-door bronco has more than enough space for all your overlanding gear. With a payload of 1,370 pounds you also have plenty of room to play with when it comes to loading the truck with heavy essentials such as fuel and water. 

In my opinion, the new Ford Bronco will make a good overlanding vehicle. It may not be the most reliable truck or easy to work on, but it will provide great comfort and capability. 

I would opt for the base model with the Sasquatch package – this will provide maximum capability and less complicated electronics and unneeded gadgets to fail.

It will also save you some cash to spend on traveling which is always a bonus.

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