Some Love Lost? Ford Bronco's Most Desirable Package Leaves Something Out

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
some love lost ford broncos most desirable package leaves something out

The unbridled enthusiasm and lust over Ford’s reborn Bronco, which greeted hungry eyes on the evening of July 13th, lasted not quite two days before a fly hit the ointment.

Would-be owners were enthused to see that the Bronco’s gnarly, off-road-oriented Sasquatch package, is available even on the lowly(?) base model, but a reality Ford left unmentioned spoiled some of their fun yesterday.

Seems the package — which adds a 4.7:1 final drive ratio, high-clearance suspension (with Bilstein shocks), 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels with 35-inch mud-and-snow rubber, and electronic front and rear locking differentials — is not available with the model’s standard transmission: a seven-speed manual with ultra-low crawler gear.

This revelation, which arrived via questions posed on Twitter to Ford spokesman Mike Levine, left some scratching their heads. The Sasquatch package allows low-end buyers to outfit their Bronco with the capability of the high-end Wildtrak model. It would make sense to pair the package with a transmission literally geared for picking its way along a bounder-strewn trail.

While even bare-bones Broncos come outfitted with a two-speed shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system (which, when paired with the equally standard seven-speed stick, makes for a compelling package), many people thinking about making a reservation didn’t like the idea of shelling out for a 10-speed automatic — or even having one — just to get the potent off-road package. The base-trim Bronco two-door starts at $29,995 after destination. Indeed, some Twitter users noted that they had only made their online reservation after assuming the manual transmission could be Sasquatch’s dance partner.

Sasquatch, it should be noted, can be paired with either the 2.3- or 2.7-liter engine. And the evidence was there that the package was autobox-only, as the Wildtrak trim pairs only with the 2.7L EcoBoost and 10-speed.

Yet all hope is not entirely lost for these would-be buyers. Choosing his words carefully, Levine stated, “We’re open to feedback for those that feel otherwise” after explaining the 10-speed-only rule.

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[Images: Ford]

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  • RedRocket RedRocket on Jul 17, 2020

    Likely a non-issue since I expect that 90% of Bronco sales will be the rebodied Escape unibody "Sport" model.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 17, 2020

    This is one of those combinations a smallish but really vocal group of buyers (or fans, there is a difference) will yell on the internet, but that dealers will run from. When I got my Challenger, I inquired as to why 2 2019's were still on the lot deep into June of 2020. He shrugged his shoulders and replied "Nobody wants a manual". I do think the segment the Bronco and the Jeep occupy has enough people that will want it to make it worthwhile though. I know nothing about the Bronco's manual, but might it be that it is on the edge of what it can take internally and adding weight and 35 inch tires is just too much for it? They were right against what the MT82 could take in the Mustang GT and it bit them. Jeep too has had issues with their manuals of late. Hope that isn't the case because if so, later in life the aftermarket is not going to be kind to these things if so.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 17, 2020

      Actually found the specs online. Looks like it is a stout enough unit so likely just a marketing call. I think in the end they offer it though I'm not sure how easy it'll be to find one on the ground at a dealer though. Brand new manual transmission developed for this vehicle...you have to applaud that, and maybe wait to see how it shakes out too.

  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.
  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
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