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2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage

This week we were in the 2023 Bronco, a familiar make and one of Ford’s hallmark brands.

It wasn’t until I was seated behind the wheel, did I realize just how many Bronco owners and drivers there were. They are easy to spot with their unique stocky boxy design. And even more so in the evening when the vehicle’s name lights up across the grill with newer models.

Although our Bronco was a little different from that of everyone one else’s. This is the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage edition. The “Heritage” tag speaks to its distinct and eye catching paint job. Two tone with a stark white roof against a glossy black finish. A colour contrast that continued on to the grill with the name “BRONCO” spelled out in a bold fire engine red, like something out of a comic book.

Sadly, the interior was less iconic. Cold and plastic forward, it didn’t feel warm or inviting. It gave us vintage with its cloth seats upholstered in an 80’s patterned plaid with no design parallel to the sporty exterior.

There were no memory settings for the seats and little lumbar support for the driver and no one else. At least there was a large enough gap between the front seats and the centre console that if you were to drop your cell phone in between, you had no trouble dipping your hand in and fishing it out.

Although, in general I was not a fan of the seats for extended drives. I could feel the constant rumble of the engine by my leg and even more so when I really had to hammer down on the gas pedal to get it going. You could clearly make out the delay from the engine to the acceleration. This was furthered echoed in the shaky handling where you could feel everything, including the body rolls and the hollow feel of the vehicle underfoot.

I would have imagined more power from a sports model. Although that may just be that I was not in the right “G.O.A.T” mode. In a quirky move the dial for the various driving modes were listed as “G.O.A.T” (greatest of all time) and included normal, sport, slippery, and sand. There were also options for eco and snow, but not made available in this version.

I liked that the “normal” mode icon was pictured as their logo: a bucking bronco horse. And that this iconic badge made appearances all around the vehicle. From the front of the steering wheel to the start of the infotainment screen, continuing on to the back seat centre floor mat, and again on the rubber topper to the truck mat. Very cohesive and a nod to the legacy of the brand.

I found there was a lot of buttons on the wheel and a lot of it not necessary. A little critic is the placement of the audio keys, splitting the volume on the left with the ability to move ahead and skip songs on the right. At least these were firm and had some good click to it.

Whereas the buttons on the dash felt cheap with lighter plastic. Here, the set up was not that intuitive, it took some time on the roadside figuring out how to sync smart phone to vehicle. Although I did like that the Ford Bronco asked if you are the passenger before allowing you to pair up or engage in settings if driving.

I built up and therefore expected more for the name and brand. And even more so from the “Heritage” model that never did land.


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