Exploring Nova Scotia’s riverbanks with the Ford Bronco Outer Banks

In science, there are many categories of diamonds — not all of them are the perfect FL-grade gems you’ll find on a ring at DeBeer’s.

Some of the rough-looking yellow or brown diamonds were meant to be used as saw blade tips at The Home Depot. Others appear on drill bits at construction sites.

In fact, scientist Dan Frost of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany has succeeded in turning peanut butter into diamonds; unfortunately, volatile hydrogen entered the mixture and ruined the experiment.

What does all this have to do with the new Ford Bronco? Just as there is an amazing variety of diamond types and looks on the planet, so there is a huge selection of Bronco models. Do you want a stripped-down two-door model with a four-banger engine and manual transmission to make a custom off-roader gonzo? No problem. How about a hose floor and soft top instead of the stiff unit you always remember? Just check this box here. And if you want a tall, four-door V6 with plenty of infotainment screens, an easy-to-use 4×4 system, and enough leather upholstery to smother a deer, take a look at the top end of the order sheet.

Our test unit leans toward the latter, layering a $9,635 option onto the base price of the $52,289 four-door Outer Banks trim. It had a sturdy foot-sized infotainment screen on the diagonal, mixed in with off-road kits like a modular front bumper and armor plates. Dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charging — it’s all there and it counts.

When removing doors, Ford Bronco Outer Banks allow easy access to hidden hinges and a simple way to remove factory wiring harnesses.  Matthew Guy/Postmedia News - Matthew Guy/Postmedia News
When removing doors, Ford Bronco Outer Banks allow easy access to hidden hinges and a simple way to remove factory wiring harnesses. Matthew Guy/Postmedia News – Matthew Guy/Postmedia News

In other words, this particular Bronco is equipped with a handful of tough men’s gear, but it’s also loaded with the kind of comfort one would expect to find in a typical family-oriented SUV. If someone is looking to jump into the Bronco Lifestyle from a car-based crossover, looking for a solid image without any noticeable inconvenience, this trim is definitely the one they’ll go for.

We took our Bronco to the shores of Nova Scotia’s famous Salmon River, a body of water affected by the Bay of Fundy’s massive tides and the tendency to shed its banks at this time of year. Picking our way through the trails to the water’s edge was an easy task, thanks to the Bronco’s friendly 4×4 system, which required a simple push of the ‘4H’ button to permanently send power to all four corners.

Recent conversions from the more pedestrian all-wheel drive systems found in car-based crossovers will appreciate the trim’s 4A four-wheel drive mode, a set-it-and-forget-it feature that automatically applies torque to the front and rear wheels as needed.

The four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which makes 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque when fed premium grain, delivers more than enough grunt for the Bronco even if accompanied by a wholly soulless exhaust tone. An optional 2.7L V6 cranks power to 330 hp/415 lb-ft on the same class gasoline and costs $2,250.

Owners stepping out of a crossover with a car-based cabin might find it a bit of a culture shock given the Bronco's upright seating position and near the vertical windshield.  Matthew Guy/Postmedia News - Matthew Guy/Postmedia News
Owners stepping out of a crossover with a car-based cabin might find it a bit of a culture shock given the Bronco’s upright seating position and near the vertical windshield. Matthew Guy/Postmedia News – Matthew Guy/Postmedia News

Both engines should be mated to a 10-speed automatic in the Outer Banks trim, further solidifying our assumption that this model will satisfy buyers who trade outside of family crossovers, and go about their business without looking like an attentive butler. We burned 51.4L of regular fuel for 350 kilometers, an average of 14.6 L/100 km, well short of the official NRCan rating of 11.7 L/100 km under combined conditions.

We’ll tackle more than a few fuel-eating off-road sessions, plus the tendency to select Sport mode from the GOAT dial.

Interestingly, while the Bronco won’t reactivate that mode by default after one turn of the ignition, it will offer a dashboard prompt asking ‘Returning to Sport mode?’ when starting; this is a smart solution and avoids having to turn the mode dial every time you start a fire.

One of the surefire tricks of all auto-equipped Bronco SUVs is a feature called Trail Turn Assist, a trick that uses existing traction control and automatic braking technology to lock the inside rear wheels of the truck when the driver tries to make a sharp turn at certain low speeds. surface conditions such as loose gravel. This allowed the Bronco to spin faster by using the wheel as a fulcrum; This is a useful feature in tight spaces but also a cool party trick.

There's plenty of cargo space aboard the Ford Bronco Outer Banks.  Matthew Guy/Postmedia News - Matthew Guy/Postmedia News
There’s plenty of cargo space aboard the Ford Bronco Outer Banks. Matthew Guy/Postmedia News – Matthew Guy/Postmedia News

As with too many new vehicles being born out of clean sheet designs, there are instances where bedwetting accountants have clearly succeeded when trying to save money on an entire project. The Bronco doors are designed to fit neatly in the truck’s own cargo area once removed, meaning owners can head out for fun and not have to worry about changing weather ruining their day. The door storage bag, a $450 option, is a handy way to avoid scratches but is marred by the stupid decision to shell out a low price and just place the zipper in the center of the bag’s perimeter.

This led to a situation where a lone individual was tasked with inserting a heavy door into a bag opening that was too small, causing the object to get stuck in its corner and its nickname to fly until the bag was simply tossed into the garage rafters for an extended period of time. good. If the accountant hadn’t zipped up the extra few inches, someone would be able to fully open the front of the bag and easily place the door flat inside the bag before zipping it neatly.

As for the actual process of removing these doors, Ford has built a better mousetrap than the Jeep, allowing easy access to hidden hinges and a simple way to disconnect factory wiring. You can bet that engineers in Ohio are setting the record for their next Wrangler design.

Owners stepping out of a crossover with a car-based cabin might find it a bit of a culture shock given the Bronco’s upright seating position and near the vertical windshield. Visibility is very wide even with the hardtop in place and the door panels of this truck have proper ledges where people can rest their elbows while driving. Bonus points if you wear a plaid shirt and listen to Prime Country on satellite radio while doing it, of course. By the way, Ford’s decision to mount a signal antenna on the rig’s roll cage—placing it under the hardtop—negatively affected its ability to smoothly pull SiriusXM stations, leading us to guess who scored the third goal in Leaf’s game.

The eave-style platform houses a series of switches for functions such as traction control and Trail Turn Assist (mentioned earlier) but manages to protrude above the infotainment screen and be blocked by the digital clock display in the upper right corner of the screen. Part of me wants to blame this on my 6’6” frame but my 5’10” colleague also noticed that he couldn’t see the clock either. This is a minor ergonomic quirk that can be fixed with a few lines of code.

Crawling back onto our cobbled country roads after our cups of bread and molasses tea by the Salmon River, heated seats blazing, and dual climate controls working overtime, it’s easy to understand why Ford sold all the Broncos they could make. The handsome SUV is solid where it counts and is approachable to the uninitiated in trims like this embellished Outer Banks. Like our German scientists, they have experimented and made something worthwhile — no need for peanut butter.

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