Few vehicles are off-roading champions. Sure, there are a lot of vehicles that have good off-roading trims or packages, but there really are only a select handful of vehicles that are off-roading champions. Indubitably, one of these select few is the Ford Bronco, and the 2022 Ford Bronco is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Today we are going to take a deep dive into the 2022 Bronco and see the updates it has received that make it the off-roading champion that it is.
The Sasquatch Package
One of the key differences between a regular vehicle and an off-road vehicle is the hardware. Off-road vehicles need to be built differently in order to withstand the abuse that comes from trailblazing. The Bronco is a vehicle that understands this all too well, and so it has made some exciting hardware advancements, especially on the Sasquatch Package. Before we go further, let’s take a moment to clarify the Sasquatch Package. Imagine a vehicle that in itself is a champion of off-roading with a special package that leans even more heavily into its off-roading capability, and you’ve got the Sasquatch Package. Basically, the Sasquatch Package is about as much of an off-roader as a vehicle can get.
The exciting news is that the Sasquatch Package has been extended across the Bronco lineup and will now be available on manual transmission (seven-speed manual transmission, that is!) two-door models for Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Badlands trims. It will also be available on four-door models for Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Badlands. This is great news for anyone looking to buy a 2022 Bronco in one of these trims because the Sasquatch Package provides a max crawl ratio of 94.75:1. This is a highly-capable crawl ratio and will prove to make for some exciting off-road climbing.
Of course, a high crawl ratio is only as good as the foundation with which it is produced, and so the 2022 Bronco has gone all-out with the Sasquatch Package. At the foundation of the vehicle are 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels encased in 35-inch Goodyear mud-terrain tires; this will provide the foundation for some serious trudging, no matter what the conditions may be. The tires are the most direct point of contact between the vehicle and the terrain, so this is where it all begins.
It may begin with the wheels, but it certainly does not end with the wheels, and the Bronco certainly does not intend to let that be the case. With front and rear electronic locking axles (with 4:7:1 final drive ratio), the Bronco is working overtime to provide drivers with a stable, secure, and balanced off-roading experience. Off-roading demands stability, so the Bronco is not going to compromise in that area.
In addition to stability, clearance is one of the biggest factors in off-roading. This is why the Sasquatch Package has added two inches to its suspension clearance track, as well as increased the width of its fender flares. The Bronco, especially with the Sasquatch Package, provides the opportunity for serious off-roading, and this increased clearance will add greater freedom to the possibilities of the Bronco’s capability. To top all of this off, the new HOSS-tuned (High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension System), long-travel Bilstein position-sensitive dampers (with end-stop control valves) not only increase the health of the vehicle’s airflow but also increase ride height to further improve clearance. So, if clearance is an issue for you, then you definitely need to get your hands on a Bronco with the Sasquatch Package.
The Sasquatch Package aside, the Bronco itself adds a new powder-coated steel bumper with built-in recovery points, which is highly relevant to its off-roading capabilities as the bumper leads the way on the trail. So, even without the Sasquatch Package, there are some new options, but for anyone wanting to hit the trail, the Sasquatch Package is, without a doubt, the way to go.
Capability On and Off the Road
The Bronco is one of the most iconic 4×4 vehicles of all time. As such, four-wheel drive technology is at its very foundation. With the Terrain Management System, which includes G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) and up to seven drive modes (Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl), drivers will not be hurting for dynamic and flexible capabilities. Among the driving modes are some very unique options. Many vehicles offer Normal, Eco, and Sport modes, but having the options of Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl is hugely beneficial to off-road drivers and will allow them to engage with the terrain in exciting ways.
While the fun of off-roading is engaging with the terrain, the 2022 Bronco provides drivers the opportunity to disengage a little bit and let the vehicle do the engaging. How? With Trail Control, which is essentially cruise control for the trail (only at low speeds, of course). Now, even if drivers want to take care of the driving themselves, they will be assisted by Trail Turn Assist, which tightens turning radiuses on the trail by way of torque vectoring. Additionally, Trail One-Pedal Drive allows drivers to be more meticulous when embarking upon slow-moving rock crawling adventures. There is plenty to play with in the 2022 Bronco.
Even if the terrain is unstable, you want your vehicle to remain stable while off-roading, so the 2022 Bronco is equipped with a HOSS system to make sure that higher-speed off-roading adventures are both safe and enjoyable. The HOSS independent front suspension has twin alloy A-arms and long-travel coil-over springs, which work together to provide a stable and comfortable ride, as well as to provide driver confidence. In the back, the vehicle features a rugged solid axle with variable rate long-travel coil springs with five locating links, providing strength and control. The Bronco is one of the most capable off-road vehicles on the market, and this has never been more true than in the 2022 model year.
How Much Power Does the Bronco Have?
While most vehicle reviews begin with engineering to jump straight into the exciting performance specs, the engine almost seems secondary to the Bronco, as its chassis architecture, suspension, and 4×4 technology are so much more exciting than most other vehicles. That, however, does not diminish the quality of the engine by any means! The 2022 Bronco is equipped with EcoBoost engines, which have their origins in racing and provide both 7-speed manual and 10-speed automatic transmission options. While both are excellent, I offer this thought: driving a Bronco is exciting, and driving a manual Bronco is even more exciting.
Personal opinions aside, the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine performs at 275 horsepower and 315 pounds-feet of torque, which is the most four-cylinder gas torque in its class. Moving up the scale, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 brings it home with 315 horsepower and 410 pounds-feet of torque. Both of these engines’ performance specs can be increased by the use of premium gasoline for a maximum of 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque in the 2.3-liter and 330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque in the 2.7-liter. These are impressive performance specs.
For those who may be tempted to compare these numbers to some higher numbers you’ve seen on other vehicles, remember two things. First, off-roading vehicles have different focuses, and thus high-performance specs for an off-road vehicle are different from high-performance specs on a performance car or a pickup truck. Second, even among off-roading vehicles, these performance specs are incredibly high (especially with premium gasoline), so the Bronco is really pulling out all the stops this year.
The Bronco is not messing around (though you may be messing around in the Bronco), and 2022 is a year like none other for this off-roading champion. With its significant increase in vehicle hardware, especially in the Sasquatch Package, its intricate and advanced suspension and capability, and its powerful engineering, the Bronco provides drivers with one of the most advanced off-roading experiences you’ll be able to find anywhere. The Bronco is far more than just a fun open-air vehicle (though it certainly is that, too); it really is a champion of the trail, and any off-road enthusiast will be especially enthused by the 2022 Bronco.