Being an automotive legend is not for the timid. Thankfully, the new Ford Bronco is up to the task.
This reinvention is a thoroughly up-to-date midsize SUV. It’s offered in two or four doors in trim levels from merely rugged looking to the Badlands version, with
skid plates, locking differentials and more.
Under the hood, there’s a choice of a standard 300-horsepower, turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder or our tester’s gutsy 330-horsepower, twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6. Both engines come with a 10-speed automatic transmission, (a 7-speed manual is offered with the smaller engine) and full-time four-wheel drive.
Acceleration is plentiful with the V6, but fuel economy suffers greatly. Towing capacity is a healthy 3,500 pounds. Noise from the aggressive tire tread and wind make the cabin space less than serene. But it should be tolerable for folks drawn to the Bronco mainly for its go-anywhere capability.
Figure in modern amenities, like an available 12-inch center touch screen with navigation, and you have a legend you can live with every day.
Starting Price: $39,130
MPGe (city/highway): 17 city / 17 highway ($WD/automatic)
Anyone who enjoys exploring the outdoors knows the urge to see what’s at the end of a random dirt road. If that sounds familiar, you’re bound to like the Subaru
This rugged version of the brand’s compact crossover will go where most competitors fear to tread. Credit goes to a raised suspension with a generous 9.2 inches
of ground clearance, tires with a more aggressive all-terrain tread and a modified all-wheel-drive system.
The upgraded powertrain, built around a 182-horsepower, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed 4-cylinder, also boosts towing capacity to a useful 3,000 pounds. The downside is it takes a hit in fuel economy compared to its less rugged siblings.
Inside, this variant offers plenty of room for four adults, and a cargo bay with 69.1 cubic feet of space. A reinforced roof rack can accommodate the overflow, or a three-person roof-top tent for backcountry camping.
In short, the Subaru Forster Wilderness is the model adventure-seekers have long hoped the automaker would build.
Starting Price: $37,695
MPGe (city/highway): 25 city / 28 highway
Safety: 5 Stars
Looking for a new ride? Check out more car reviews at AAA.com/TestDrive.
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