2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Review: A Better Bronco In Almost Every Way | Expert assessment
You will probably not be surprised to hear that the Bronco Raptor feels incredibly capable terrain, equally capable of high-speed desert running and low-speed rock crawling. I have a chance to strike hell out of the Bronco Raptor and never felt like I was close to reaching the limits. What impressed me with this experience, however, was that we rode on regular cross-country trails as opposed to a cross-country loop specially made for the event. It is never shocking when a vehicle completes a course made just for that, but that was not the case here.
At low speeds, the Bronco Raptor is nimble and mostly easy to handle. It is quite easy to modulate the accelerator pedal, but in Rock Crawl and 4-Low it sometimes swirls forward when the gear is shifted up to 2nd gear. For more technical sections, you may want to put the gearbox in Manual and keep it in 1st gear.
The Bronco Raptor also comes standard with all the terrain goods of the regular Bronco, including Trail One-Pedal driving and Trail Control offroad “cruise control”, as well as the smart Trail Turn Assist. The one-pedal function was useful on difficult downhills, but the two-footer was easy as well.
The Bronco Raptors ground clearance is 13.1 inches – 4.8 inches more than a base Bronco and 1.6 inches more than a Bronco with the Sasquatch package. It is also 2 inches larger than a Wrangler Rubicon 392 with the Xtreme Recon package, or 0.2 inches larger than a regular Wrangler Rubicon with the package. The Bronco Raptor’s approach, departure, and breakover angles are 47.2, 40.5, and 30.8 degrees, respectively. A base four-door Bronco is 35.5, 29.7 and 20 degrees, and Sasquatch increases them to 43.2, 37 and 26.3 degrees. Wrangler Rubicons with the Xtreme Recon package are either 47.4, 40.4 and 26.7 degrees without 392 V-8 or 46.7, 39.8 and 24.5 degrees with.
The biggest obstacle to slow-moving off-road driving in the Bronco Raptor is a known issue for vehicles bearing the Raptor name: It is wide. It is almost as wide as the F-150 Raptor, in fact, measures 86.9 inches wide with the exterior mirrors out and 85.7 inches with them folded. The F-150 Raptor is 86.6 inches wide with mirrors folded and 96 inches wide with them extended. The Xtreme Recon Wranglers, meanwhile, are 79.3 inches wide.
Like the F-150 Raptor, the Bronco Raptor is required by law to have marker lights due to its extreme width. In practical terms, this means that you can end up in some tight situations in the terrain or get free pinstriping from the local flora. However, the Bronco Raptors’ wheelbase is 116.5 inches, or almost 30 inches shorter than the F-150 Raptors, resulting in much better maneuverability at low speeds.
As good as it is on the low-speed things, the Bronco Raptor feels even better when it gets to stretch its legs a bit – and with 13 inches in front and 14 inches in rear suspension, it can really stretch them. The upgraded HOSS – High-performance, Off-road, Stability, Suspension – 4.0 suspension includes Fox-brand live valve shock absorbers that are 3.1 inches in diameter and suspension height sensors that take measurements 500 times per second and can then adjust the damping as needed for.
As you drive fast through the desert, the ride is remarkably controlled for the terrain, and the suspension road makes it easy to bottom out and hit the jump stops to an actual challenge. For optimal powertrain performance, the Bronco Raptor also has a uniquely tuned Baja mode for even more desert running. In addition to the highest active exhaust setting, it activates a specific turbo anti-lag calibration that Ford says increases performance during desert races. You could even call it a … Baja explosion (sorry).
Off-road driving at all speeds is punitive for a vehicle, and Ford has strengthened the Bronco Raptor’s foundation. The regular Bronco has a Dana 44 rear axle, but the Raptor gets a Dana 50 powerful rear axle. The front half-axles have been upgraded, and there is more chassis plating than on a regular Bronco. After noticing during testing that the coupling receiver covers were constantly missing, Ford even gave the coupling receiver and plugs its own little “beaver tail” to try to prevent this from happening to owners.
Looks like a bird of prey
Appearance, although subjective, is part of the Raptor equation. On the outside, it means insane fender luck, wheels with a beadlock look (beadlock-compatible wheels are optional), fender valves, optional graphics and a functional heat sink on the hood. It also means a “FORD” grill design, just like the F-150 Raptor, instead of the traditional Bronco grill. The breadth and attitude are impressive, and the Bronco Raptor dwarfs the non-Raptor Broncos – almost comically.
Inside, the interior remains largely ordinary Bronco, but with Raptor-specific features such as carbon fiber and Code Orange accents, as well as unique graphics in the standard digital instrument panel. Despite all the cool graphics and the useful Sync 4 infotainment system with physical controls and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the most important thing while driving was the Code Orange 12 o’clock strip on the steering wheel, which helped me keep the front wheels pointed in the right direction when they followed the spotter’s instructions.
The interior, which is mostly Bronco, is both good and bad: It feels more spacious than a Wrangler, and the control setup is fantastically intuitive and easy to use, but it does not make the Bronco Raptor feel unique, and the quality is a bit below Jeeps. There are also practical grip handles – especially useful during high-speed off-road driving.
One of my favorite trends among automakers is the inclusion of “Easter eggs” – fun, little details and surprises – in and / or on vehicles, and the Bronco Raptor has some nice ones, including the years a Bronco won the Baja 1000 on heat sink valves and the coordinates of Johnson Valley, California , where the Bronco Raptor was developed and where I drove it. There are many others too, so good luck finding them.
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Should You Buy a Bronco Raptor?
A better question might be “Can Are you buying a Bronco Raptor? “And the answer is: Probably not – or at least not easily, and probably not for the already hefty starting price of $ 70,095 (including destination). Orders for the 2022 model are already closed, according to Ford’s website.
Should you line up for a 2023 model, then? I enjoyed my time in the Bronco Raptor so much that it has moved up the “pay off my 401 (k)” list, but I also want to move to a place where I can use its full capabilities regularly. That’s the spark of the Bronco Raptor: It lives up to the Raptor name and is so good that it feels like a shame not to use it properly. Or maybe you just think it looks cool and that’s enough for you. That may be enough for me too.
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