Did you know that the Ford Bronco tailgate is unlike most other SUVs? The Bronco is half glass, half tailgate instead of a hatch or liftgate as your traditional SUV has. Many new pickup trucks have fancy tailgate technology (see Ford, GM, Rivian), but few SUVs have the same features. The Ford Bronco tailgate opens to the side on hinges like many trucks, giving owners ample space to place things in or take them out. That sounds great, however, here are a few bad things about the Ford Bronco tailgate.
The Ford Bronco tailgate makes it difficult to unload curbside
Do you live in a city or often park on the street? This is something that many people do daily and would never think of having this issue. According to Consumer Reports, thanks to the right-hand side opening tailgate (instead of an upward-lifting one), the Ford Bronco is difficult to unload when parked on a curb. Parking curbside usually means the right side of your vehicle is against the curb.
Since the Bronco tailgate opens to the right side, it gets in the way. Owners will be forced to carry cargo from the truck of the SUV and walk around the open tailgate door. Since it opens to the right side, there’s no way to get past it in a tight spot. An upward-swinging liftgate like a traditional SUV has never caused such an issue, but it could be devastating to those who often use curbside parking. Not to mention if owners parallel park, there’s even less room behind the Bronco to walk around.
Bronco tailgate door must open 90 degrees to open glass window
Above the right-hand side-opening tailgate, there’s an entire glass window that opens upwards. For this window to open without hitting the spare tire, the tailgate needs to be opened at least 90 degrees. Owners cannot open the window and grab something from the top of a pile in the trunk. They also can’t hang something out of the glass window that’s too long for the inside of the Bronco while driving.
This is all caused by the SUV’s tailgate. Since the tailgate has the spare tire on the back and opens to the side, it must reach the 90-degree mark. Barely opening it a bit won’t get the job done, as the glass window will be stuck closed. While this isn’t as detrimental as the previous problem, it may not be very pleasant.
It’s harder and slower to open than most tailgates
The ideal tailgate opens easily and provides plenty of room to add or remove items. Ford used a gas strut to make it with customers in mind, so the tailgate opens softly. This prevents damage that many truck owners face from people swinging the tailgate open. Often, tailgates will fall with such force that struts, the tailgate itself, or something else is easily damaged.
Unfortunately, while it does prevent slamming the tailgate, it became more challenging to open. “…the tailgate’s gas strut feels like it’s working against you, making it harder and slower to open than most tailgates. The Wrangler has a similar setup but it’s easier to use,” said Consumer Reports. Not only does its design make it difficult to open the tailgate, but the Ford Bronco’s biggest rival uses the same technology much better.
Despite bad things about the Ford Bronco tailgate, it’s an overall good SUV
In conclusion, the Ford Bronco is an excellent on and off-road SUV in most ways. Overall, reviewers like Consumer Reports like it better than its closest competitor, the Jeep Wrangler. However, the tailgate on the Bronco tries to do a little too much. Since it opens to the right, it becomes challenging to remove cargo to the right side and open the glass window. Additionally, the gas strut for slow-opening makes it difficult to open at times. Those are the 3 bad things about the Ford Bronco tailgate.