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2022 Ford Bronco Everglades Review: Form Begets Function


With just a few key changes, the 2022 Ford Bronco Everglades adds even more overlanding-ready capability than a standard Bronco. But these aren’t tweaks destined for mall crawling; this thing begs to be run muddy and put away wet, and you’ll be doing a disservice if you buy this trim and don’t do precisely that.

The stock Bronco is no slouch off-road, but the Everglades model really leans into this prowess with a few key upgrades. The vent tubes for the transmission, transfer case and axles have all been raised between 2 and 3 inches, which improves the SUV’s wading depth to an impressive 36.4 inches of water, nearly 3 inches more than a Bronco Sasquatch. A new snorkel ensures that air is the only thing reaching the engine, and it has the pleasant side effect of adding some throaty intake noises. Throw in some beefy 315/70R17 Goodyear Territory mud-terrain tires wrapped around dark 17-inch wheels, an exclusive sandy shade of paint and some unique squared fender flares, and the Bronco Everglades looks ready for business.

But the real piece de resistance hangs out up front, protruding some 8 inches off the modular front bumper. This Warn winch carries a 100-foot synthetic line, is capable of pulling 10,000 pounds, and looks absolutely freakin’ awesome. It comes standard from the factory on the Everglades, which means it had to be crash tested, and I truly pity whatever dares smash into it. While I never got into enough trouble to need the winch, it pervades my every thought, turning every tall or heavy object into a game of, “Oh, I bet I could pull that down.” Ford doesn’t yet have a front camera solution for the Everglades, but it desperately needs one — not only for overlanding, but for parking, too. It’s easy to forget that winch is there.

The addition of the Warn winch compromises the Bronco’s approach angle, which is just 37.8 degrees here — not bad, but not as good as modular-bumper models without it. The breakover angle is 26.3 degrees, the same as any other thick-tired Bronco, while departure is a respectable 37.1 degrees. There’s 11.7 inches of ground clearance, and without any side steps, shorter folks will definitely need that dashboard-mounted grab handle to hop aboard.

If you do head off the beaten path — and honestly, how could you not? — the Bronco Everglades is ready for it. The vinyl flooring has drain plugs to keep any splashing waterways from giving passengers trench foot, and the marine-grade seat material is both comfortable and easy to clean, as is just about every bit of the plastic-heavy interior. If you prefer an open-air experience, the hardtop detaches in three pieces, and it stores easily enough in the cargo area, but the Everglades’ standard roof rack makes those panels surprisingly difficult to remove without some manhandling.

Even though the Bronco Everglades tips the scales at a chonky 5,212 pounds, the four-cylinder turbocharged engine under the hood has no problems providing plenty of motive force. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 makes 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, and it’s sent to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Whether on the road or off, this is more than enough power to get the job done, enabling 3,500 pounds of towing, like most other non-Raptor Bronco variants. The 10-speed can occasionally take a spell to get to the right gear, but most of the time it stays out of its own way.

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The cabin is full of tech and easy to clean.

Andrew Krok/CNET

The Bronco is not a fuel-efficient vehicle by any stretch, but the Everglades upgrades thankfully don’t make it worse. As with other Sasquatch-based models, the EPA rates this SUV at 18 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. A light foot shows me closer to 20 mpg on the highway, but don’t expect much more than that.

Despite the Everglades’ position as a proper overlanding model, most of its components are the same as what you’d find on other Broncos, which means it carries some surprisingly sedate on-road manners. An independent front suspension gives the Bronco solid handling characteristics, and while most bumps and humps do elicit traditional body-on-frame jitters, it never feels discombobulated. The standard mud tires don’t cause any tracking issues on the highway, and the slab-sided silhouette offers excellent visibility in all directions, although the two aforementioned qualities do generate a fair bit of wind and road noise at higher speeds.

Some off-road vehicles sacrifice creature comforts for… I don’t know — the appearance of ruggedness, I guess? But not the Bronco Everglades. As befitting a five-seat SUV that starts at nearly $55,000, the Everglades carries a good number of standard features, like heated seats, keyless entry and dual-zone climate control. It also picks up the largest possible infotainment screen, filling the dashboard with 12 inches of Sync 4 goodness. It’s a great system, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to split-screen capability with embedded navigation. Charging is never an issue, thanks to a USB-A and USB-C port in each row, and the back row also gets a 110-volt plug.

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If you buy this and don’t take it off-road, you’re doing it wrong.

Andrew Krok/CNET

Safety tech doesn’t take a backseat in the Bronco Everglades, either. Standard kit includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and a backup camera with decent resolution. The Everglades can’t be equipped with Ford’s surround-view camera system or adaptive cruise control, however, which is a bit of a bummer.

The 2022 Ford Bronco Everglades is the second-most expensive variant behind the Raptor at $54,595, including $1,495 in destination charges. My tester rings in at $56,535, thanks to a few basic add-ons: Desert Sand paint is $295, connected navigation is $695, door bags add $350 and a slide-out tailgate tacks on another $600. It’s a pricey proposition, but considering the Warn winch sells on Ford’s website for $3,500 before installation, it’s not like you’re throwing all of that extra scratch straight into a volcano. While you can get a Jeep Wrangler for less, the Bronco provides a better overall experience, and Jeep doesn’t offer a factory-fitted winch anywhere in its lineup.

It’s that sort of baked-in capability that puts the Ford Bronco Everglades in a unique position. It is truly built for the rough stuff, yet it doesn’t make a driver suffer for choosing a little extra beefcake. The Everglades is yet another brilliant variant in an already impressive Bronco lineup.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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