Home New Bronco 2022 Bronco Everglades First Drive Review: Wet and Wild
2022 Bronco Everglades First Drive Review: Wet and Wild

2022 Bronco Everglades First Drive Review: Wet and Wild

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I know my day is going to be fun when I snag the only Bronco Everglades that is rolling topless. I’m on a media drive with 20 other journalists, and they have all decided to go the air conditioned route here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “Pfft,”I think to myself. “I’ve loaded up on sunscreen and bug spray; let’s hit the trail.”

Watch: Bronco Everglades Walkaround

The Everglades is the latest trim to be offered of the iconic Bronco, and it fits a very specific niche. Available only in the four-door body style with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic, the Everglades is for those who know mud and water crossings will be a part of their off-road fun. 

In addition to the standard Sasquatch package that adds the 35-inch LT315/70R17 mud terrain tires, a 4.7 final drive ratio, and front and rear lockers, the Everglades has two key features that make it the water-fording king. I’m talking about a snorkel and a winch.

Images: Ford

Quick-Change Snorkel + Winch

The snorkel is placed on the passenger-side A-pillar. Its function is to raise the air intake for easier water crossings, but Ford went one step further. Many snorkels are one-way only. That is, they will suck in clean air from only the front or the rear of the snorkel. Ford designed its snorkel with quick-change air vents, so if it’s dusty or you’re not running into clean air, you can set it up for a rear intake. When the air is clear, let the snorkel take in air from the front. The plates are attached with three allen bolts, and while I didn’t get a chance to swap them out, it looked easy enough. 

Along with the snorkel, the Everglades has raised vents on the front and rear axles, transfer case, and transmission. Put all this together and the Everglades can ford water up to 36.4 inches. That’s about three inches deeper than a standard Bronco. 

After I get my Everglades stuck in the muck –– to be fair, I volunteered to do so and had I hit the section with a bit more speed I likely could have made it through –– it’s time to winch. The hand controller has a long cord that can reach out the window and around to the winch so I can control it from behind the wheel. My guide hooks my line with the abrasion guard around a tree and gives me the thumbs up. The next thing I know, the winch is pulling me up and out of the sucking mud and I’m ready for more fun times. Easy peasy.

Images: Emme Hall

It Fords, But Can It Crawl?

If you’re wondering if the Everglades can still crawl over some rocks, the answer is a resounding yes. You lose a bit of front approach angle thanks to the winch and bumper, down to 37.8 degrees from 43.2 degrees of your standard Bronco with the Sasquatch package, but that is still nothing to sneeze at. Breakover and departure angles remain the same at 26.3 degrees and 37.1 degrees respectively. My guide takes me up and over a waterfall that is at least two feet tall, putting the standard rock rails to good use as well as those lockers. A bit of steady throttle control –– One-Pedal Drive isn’t available on the Everglades –– and the Bronco is up and over like it ain’t no thang.

After a day of getting in and out of the Everglades with intensely muddy waders –– yep, Ford gave me a set of waders –– the floor mats of the rig are pretty much caked with slop. Fortunately the floor mats are rubber with drain holes so it’s pretty easy to wash out all the muck. Same goes for the Marine Grade Vinyl seats, although watch your rear when you first sit down if you have the top off. Those suckers get hot!

Images: Ford

Cool Colors and Small Quibbles

Inside you’ll also find new Urban Green accents on the grab handles, air register vents, and seat stitching. The 12-inch infotainment screen running the excellent Sync 4 is standard as is the mid package equipment group. With this you get heated front seats, connected navigation, dual-zone climate control, remote start, and Ford Co-Pilot 360. However, the winch precludes getting a forward-facing or 360-degree camera, any forward-sensing technology, and adaptive cruise control. 

The Everglades is available in five exterior colors, including Everglades-exclusive low-volume Desert Sand, plus Eruption Green, Area 51, Shadow Black, and Cactus Gray. I dig the Everglades graphics on the front quarter panel with a cool topographical design of its namesake. There is a roof rack with crossbars and skid plates on the engine, transfer case, and fuel tank as well as a heavy duty bash plate up front. Eagle-eyed fans might spot the slightly squared-off fenders and Carbonized Gray grille with gloss black Bronco lettering.

However, what I love the most about the Everglades’ unique appearance are the 17-inch alloy wheels. They are painted the same Carbonized Gray as the grille, but they almost look like classic steel wheels. Throw a bit of mud on them to take the shine away and the illusion is even better. More wheels like this, please.

I do want to point out two small quibbles I have with the Bronco, though they aren’t really specific to this model. With the top down the rear seatbelts get knocked around a bit in the wind, producing a thwock thwock thwock against the seat that gets annoying pretty quickly. Up front the seat belt height isn’t adjustable and it rubbed the side of my neck all day long. Sure, I could move my seat up but I liked where I was sitting. My first purchase for my Bronco would likely be one of those fuzzy seat belt covers.

So, you want to get your mitts on a 2022 Ford Bronco Everglades? Well here’s the deal: This truck is only available to current reservation holders. If you’ve been waiting for your Bronco Badlands or Wildtrak you can swap your reservation for an Everglades, as long as you can pony up the $53,000 starting price when the truck reaches dealerships. Expect it later this summer. 

Head to the forums to talk about the Bronco Everglades and Emme’s drive impressions. What do you love about this series or would you change?

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Comment(2)

  1. I know the fix for the back seat buckles! If no one is back there, just tuck the buckles back in behind the seats. Eliminates the knock entirely!

  2. Since the Everglades only comes with a 2.3l and MY22 you can get a Mansquatch it would be nice if they offered the manual transmission. That is the thing I will miss the most switching from a Badlands with MT. But the Dessert Sand is worth it. Plus winch and snorkel forgetaboutit

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