With the launch of the reinvented Bronco for 2021, Ford revived more than just retro styling cues from the original 1966 model. Like the first Bronco, the new incarnation offers serious off-road buyers an alternative to the iconic Jeep Wrangler, and perhaps one that a tad more civilized and high-tech. Now, for 2022, Ford has raised the bar with the Bronco Raptor.
Related: 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Review: A Better Bronco In Almost Every Way
Like its sibling F-150 Raptor, the Bronco Raptor is intended to be an off-road performance machine, with perks like more horsepower, upgraded suspension and wider track. The result is a much more capable Bronco, and one better equipped to take on Jeep’s Wrangler Rubicon 392.
Changes from the stock Bronco are so extensive that the two look very different, and the Raptor performs significantly better in both on- and off-road riding. The combination of extra power, a reworked suspension and electronic wizardry for improved performance make the Raptor a much more capable, yet enjoyable machine for everyday use.
We recently spent some time with the Fortified Bronco and were impressed. However, there is always room for improvement. For a closer look at the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, click the link above to read Brian Normile’s full review. Read on for a quick look — here are five things we like about the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, and four we don’t:
Things we like
1. More oats
The Bronco Raptor packs a lot more punch than lesser trims thanks to a 418 horsepower, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the Raptor is fast, if not staggeringly fast, with plenty of torque for crawling, towing and more. The towing capacity jumps to 4,500 pounds compared to a regular Bronco – a bump of about 1,000 pounds.
2. Added feature below
Some of the Raptor’s biggest upgrades require some crawling underneath. There is a significantly upgraded suspension with sturdier components from the F-150 Raptor, along with more robust steering components, huge 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires, and over 8 inches of increased track width front and rear.
3. Polite manners
While the suspension upgrades make the Raptor a more capable off-roader, they also result in better handling. Handling and steering feel are improved over the stock Bronco, and bigger brakes do a commendable job of bringing this 5,700-pound beast to a stop.
4. It looks good
Styling is subjective, but there’s no question that the Bronco Raptor looks good. Huge fender flares help accommodate the wider track and oversized tires, while fender vents, a functional hood-mounted heat extractor and a more aggressive grille add to the look. If all that isn’t enough, the bold images available should suffice.
5. Stars off the highway
With its improved drivetrain and suspension, increased ground clearance and aggressive approach and departure angles, the Bronco Raptor excels in the terrain. It feels surprisingly nimble during low-speed maneuvers, and the added suspension travel, combined with adaptive suspension, means it feels remarkably controlled as it blasts through the desert at high speed.
More from Cars.com:
Things we don’t like
1. Correct Judgment
As powerful as the new powertrain is, the auditory experience is somewhat of a disappointment. The twin-turbo V-6 is powerful enough and the Sport mode adds aggressive throttles during downshifts, but the soundtrack just isn’t as satisfying as a throaty V-8. There’s also quite a bit of wind and road noise, some of which we let slide because it can be attributed to a feature we like – the removable doors and roof.
2. View from the helmet
Thick windshield pillars restrict the view to the sides when cornering, especially during tight maneuvers on or off the road. The huge tailgate-mounted full-size spare tire and third brake light create an obstacle large enough to block much of the view behind the Raptor, hiding entire vehicles on the highway.
3. Thirst for adventure
Few off-roaders are likely to base their vehicle choices on EPA fuel economy estimates, but in an era of record gas prices, it’s worth noting that the Bronco Raptor will cost you a lot at the pump. An EPA-estimated 15/16/15 mpg city/highway/combined is made more painful by Ford’s recommendation for premium fuel. However, buyers can take heart in the knowledge that these numbers beat the Wrangler Rubicon 392, which also prefers premium.
4. Wide Load
The Bronco Raptor is about 7 inches wider than a Wrangler, which can make a big difference not only when crawling rocks, but also when maneuvering in and out of the local grocery store parking lot. It’s worth noting that those added marker lights aren’t just there to look cool: As is the case with the F-150 Raptor, they’re a federal requirement because of the Bronco Raptor’s extra width.
The Cars.com editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In accordance with Cars.com’s long-standing ethical policy, editors and reviewers do not accept gifts or free travel from automakers. The editorial department is independent of the advertising, sales and sponsored content departments of Cars.com.