There are so many cool features in the new top trim of this SUV, you’ll be off-roading like a boss in no time.
So you want to hit some off-road trails but are just a little overwhelmed by all the new big trucks and SUVs available for dirt shenanigans? Girl, the 2022 Bronco Raptor has you covered. With all kinds of standard features that help newbies drive like an ace, the new four-wheel drive SUV from Ford can take you from zero to hero lickity split. Here are a few of my favorites.
Terrain Management System
The Bronco Raptor comes standard with seven different drive modes, but you’ll want to spend your time in Off-Road, Baja or Rock Crawl mode. Each adjusts the transmission, transfer case, stability control and even exhaust sound to certain parameters. Just taking a little stroll on a gravel road? Off-Road is the ticket. If you want to go fast, select Baja mode. Rock Crawl is for those times when you’ve got a few crazy obstacles in your way. Just turn that dial and go!
Tires Matter. A Lot
It doesn’t matter how great your drive modes are if you don’t have good tires. After all, tires are the only part of your vehicle that actually touch the ground and when off-road they can be the major difference between getting home and getting stuck. Fortunately, the Bronco Raptor wears 37-inch BF Goodrich KO2 tires that excel in the rocks, dirt and soft sand. Just be sure to air down to get a bigger footprint and more comfortable ride. 25 psi is good for rocks, lower if you’re going to be driving in soft sand.
With 13 inches of ground clearance, the Bronco can straddle almost anything, but it is tough to see over its hood. The forward-facing camera allows drivers to see what is out of their eye line, and even comes with predicted tire path technology. You’ll know if you’re about to hit a rock or drive into a giant hole.
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Trail One-Pedal Drive
This is key when rock crawling, when drivers often have to brake with their left foot while keeping their right foot for throttle only. It’s tough to do, but Ford takes that skill out of the game with one-pedal driving. Lift the throttle and the Bronco Raptor will apply the brakes, no left foot needed.
This works a bit like One-Pedal Drive, except that drivers don’t need to have their foot on the throttle at all. Simply set the speed, activate Trail Control and voilà– off-road cruise control. This leaves the driver free to just focus on their steering inputs.
Trail Turn Assist
If I had a nickel for every three-million point turn I’ve had to make on tight trails and I’d be a rich woman. This feature effectively reduces the Bronco Raptor’s turning radius by applying the brakes to the inside rear wheel. This is especially helpful when driving on narrow trails cut into the side of a mountain with multiple switchbacks. You won’t have to come close to the edge to make the turn.
Once you get used to driving the Bronco Raptor and using these features, you can start to do some of the work yourself. Try left-foot braking, practice keeping a steady speed, heck maybe you’ll even want to use the paddle shifters and wring out all available power from the twin-turbo V6. You’ll be racing the Baja 1000 in no time!
Disclosure: I was Ford’s guest for this test drive but all opinions are my own.