The new Ford Bronco has had more problems with its tops than anything that comes to mind. But for this one, the manufacturer had nothing to do with, other than not testing its soft tops in a mock blizzard. Had Ford done that, it would have found that in a blizzard, the Bronco fills up with snow.
The Bronco soft top was latched, but didn’t keep out the elements
Don’t believe it? There is a Facebook video of the incident that shows a top that is less like a top, and more like chicken wire. A Canadian Bronco owner left his new SUV out in the elements. Its top was latched down. But when he got back, it was hammered with ice and snow.
The owner, Tyrone Raddi, left his Bronco for five days. During that time a blizzard blew through Tuktoyaktuk, where his Bronco was sitting. Looking at the photos, you can see a pile of snow throughout the interior.
It is so thoroughly covered it looks like the top wasn’t even on, of which he has been accused. But it was. Much of the circumstances were due to the 50-mph winds blowing through the area. Yet, Raddi told the Drive, “All the snow got in while everything was secured the way I got it from the dealership.”
The Bronco interior wasn’t the only part that got hammered with snow
This whole episode looks a bit sketch, so Raddi shot his Bronco’s engine compartment to show the extent of the blizzard. After all, nobody would leave their hood up for five days with a pending blizzard imminent.
What you see is more snow, even on the underside of the hood. But there’s more. During gale-force winds, the roof can separate from the roll bar. Looking at how well the headliner and top itself are caked in snow, it looks like the Bronco with a soft top is a snow magnet.
Raddi still loves his Bronco
“I only posted to warn other people that they may have an issue as mine certainly did,” Raddi told Drive. “It was never about attacking Ford or the Bronco. I still love the vehicle and had no doubt when I got home I would just sweep it out and be able to drive it again.”
So what have we learned? Convertible tops, or soft tops, over the decades support the assumption that they provide little protection from the elements. A hardtop is always a better barrier to the elements. But Ford recalled every Bronco hardtop due to issues.
The hardtops won’t be available until 2023, we hear. What is taking so long Ford is not saying. So be forewarned. The soft tops work great as a buffer to the elements. But for serious protection, you’ll need to either wait for the hardtop or park your Bronco in an enclosed structure until you can get a hardtop.