If adventurous souls want to tackle an off-road excursion that includes high waters, Ford has an answer.
Say hello to the 2023 Ford Bronco Everglades, a uniquely large jeep-like vehicle with some serious go-anywhere capability. It’s not only unique looking, the Everglades has some unusual offerings. Two of the biggest ones are the winch and snorkel features.
Not familiar with a winch? Join the club – many people have never heard of one. The Bronco Everglades is equipped with a factory-installed winch that is mounted to the front of the four-door SUV. The winch comes with a 100-foot synthetic line that just might serve as one’s best buddy when stuck in water or mud on a solo journey.
The winch is contained in a sizeable aluminum drum that reduces strain on a rope that’s capable of pulling 10,000 pounds. The internal mechanism is waterproof and has a three-stage geartrain that is capable of reeling in the line at 33 feet per minute.
The snorkel is a rather hefty contraption that’s located on the passenger side of the vehicle next to the outside mirror. Its purpose is to help the Everglades “breathe” when wading through water.
The snorkel is useful in heavy dust, snow or water. Along with help from the protracted vents on the front and rear axles, the snorkel gives the Everglades the capability of traveling through water as high as 36.4 inches.
The Everglades model debuted in March 2022 and was targeted for off-road enthusiasts who enjoy driving through water (beaches, swamps, floods, deep rivers). It has 11.5 inches of ground clearance and is capable of conquering most water-challenging terrain. It’s also aided by an extensive off-road package.
Bronco Everglades Features
- 17-inch painted alloy wheels and massive 35-inch tires
- Carbonized gray grille with gloss-black Bronco lettering
- Unusual front and rear fenders featuring squared-off wheel openings and flares
- Four available colors – Ford calls them Eruption Green, Area 51, Shadow Black and Cactus Gray
- Everglades map graphics on front fenders that includes image of Sasquatch wading through thigh-deep water
- Rock rails, tow hooks (two in front, one in rear); removable roof and doors
The Bronco Everglades engine is a turbo direct-injected 2.3-liter, four-cylinder (I-4) that generates 300 horsepower and 325-pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission with trail control. All-wheel drive is standard for the 5,296-pound Everglades, which can travel 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. Predictably, fuel economy is weak (16-18 mpg).
What comes as a modest surprise is the Everglades delivers an OK ride around town; it isn’t clumsy or cumbersome as some might expect. However, it is challenging to maneuver in tight spaces like a parking lot where one must be conscious of the extra space up front due to the winch. It also is subject to high wind noise at highway speeds.
AT A GLANCE – 2023 FORD BRONCO EVERGLADES
- Performance: turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder (I-4), 300 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 17-18 mpg
- Price estimate: $54,600
- Warranty: 3 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited; battery
The Everglades interior is conducive for making a day of off-roading easy to clean afterward, thanks to the rubberized washout floor covers and vinyl seats. There are no major issues getting accustomed to the 12-inch touchscreen. It has the latest Ford infotainment and connectivity software, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Wi-Fi hotspot.
If one’s off-road adventures often include water, the 2023 Ford Bronco Everglades is definitely a suitable ride to consider.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.