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Ford Authority

Ford Bronco Lineup Needs A Fixed Roof Option: Opinion

One of the many appealing things about the sixth-generation Ford Bronco is the fact that owners can not only remove the SUV’s roof in multiple sections, but also the doors, creating a truly open-air experience that’s perfect for fair weather days. In fact, many will undoubtedly purchase the new Bronco for this very reason. However, as we’ve seen in the Jeep Wrangler community, there are also a number of folks that aren’t interested in removing their top at all, and would probably prefer a fixed roof option if it was available. And truthfully, we think that the Bronco should offer this as well.

For starters, it’s worth pointing out that Ford Bronco owners have experienced a mixed bag in terms of hardtop quality thus far. After the first batch of Webasto-built tops wound up experiencing quality issues, Ford made things right and replaced all of those tops. However, some owners continue to complain about things like wind noise, leaks, and noice-vibration-harshness (NVH) stemming from their molded-in color hardtops as well, while others (myself included, as I own a 2021 Bronco Badlands) have had zero issues and/or complaints with the MIC top.

“Though it’s cool to have, I have zero interest in taking the roof off my Bronco. Wish Ford offered a hardtop that wasn’t removable that would instead make this truck quieter,” Ford Authority reader Don V. told us. “I get air coming in from the hardtop roof primarily on the highway. Also get strange creaking sounds coming from the roof on the trail. Wish I could just glue this thing so it lets in no air and makes no noises,” added fellow reader Brian P.

While the entire premise of the Bronco has been open-air off-roading since the very first model launched back in 1966, Ford hasn’t ruled out building a fixed-roof version of the rugged SUV, as Ford Authority reported last August. Such a variant could also double as a more luxurious, upscale rival to the Land Rover Defender, which is sold in both two- and four-door configurations, as well as with V8 power, which the Bronco does not offer.

In his interview with Ford Authority Executive Editor, Alex Luft, Ford Bronco Chief Engineer, Eric Loeffler noted that “if we get customer demand for it over the next couple of years, then we’ll consider it,” when speaking about the possibility of a fixed-roof version of the Bronco.

Even though we personally haven’t experienced any issues with our own Bronco hardtop (save for extra wind noise when compared to fixed-roof vehicles), such an offering would make a lot of sense, even if Ford is already selling every single open-air version of the iconic model it can produce, and that will likely be the case for at least another year or two. Regardless, we’re curious to hear what our readers think about a fixed-roof Bronco, so be sure and vote in the poll below!

We’ll have more on the Bronco very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Bronco news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Southerner

    Fixen roof ??? are you kidding me? that’s one of the reasons the Bronco II was a flop.

    Reply
    1. Joe

      The Bronco II was not an flop it sold allmost 765K units from 1984 to 1990. The roof has nothing to do sales. It had it short comings because a high center of gravity and a short wheel base.

      Reply
      1. Dee Hart

        The high center of gravity is why the Jeep got a total redesign as people were rolling the damn things over. The fixed roof on the Bronco II was NOT a strong selling point. Remember, the original Bronco came with an optional post-hole digger. It was meant for off-road use.

        Reply
  2. Thomas

    Is FoMoCo actually, really, honestly building Broncos? If so, do they have a projected date for filling the MY 2021 orders?

    Reply
    1. Dee Hart

      good luck… I just bought a new GMC Acadia Denali. I shopped “dealer inventory” online and from the start of the search to purchase sitting in my driveway took under a week & a half. I got the vehicle I wanted in the color I wanted with the options I wanted. My daughter ordered one through the dealer and it took almost 6 months for her to get hers.
      Try shopping through dealer inventory online.

      Reply
  3. Dee Hart

    Nope! on the fixed roof… I am sure the designers can figure out a way to interlock the roof panels to eliminate the noise. Also, insulating the panels would calm down the “less rugged” amongst us.

    Reply
  4. blksn8k

    My question would be why are you buying a Bronco if you never intend to take at least a portion of the roof off at least once while you own it? That tells me you don’t really need a vehicle like this and would probably be happier with something like an Explorer. As the article stated, Ford sells every Bronco they can build. Why would they need to re-engineer the entire body for a fixed roof? Makes no sense from a manufacturing or marketing perspective. Now, if you’re talking about a one-piece bolt-on roof similar to the original 66-77 Bronco….that might make a little more sense since most owners would never attempt to remove something like that and it would not require a total redesign of the body structure.

    Reply
    1. Lurch

      These are related to the people who want automatic transmissions in sports cars.

      Reply
    2. Saddle Tramp

      I didn’t buy mine for removable roof, or Softop, i. Can take or leave removable tops. I bought it for it’s amazing off road ability & it’s on road manners, among other things. The statement that I don’t need one if I don’t care about removing the roof, is kind of ridiculous

      Reply
  5. Charles Saporito

    After 22 months waiting for my Wildtrak and now Raptor, still not sure when I’ll experience wind noise in a ’22 Bronco.

    Reply
  6. YeahRight

    No!

    Everything is removable on a Bronco and that’s one of the best parts of this vehicle.

    It’s delightfully rough around the edges. It doesn’t seek to coddle its occupants. It doesn’t exist to be like every other boring box on the road. The word bronco is literally an indicator that it is “untamed”.

    Why fight that? If you want a fixed roof, there is certainly not a shortage of options. Buy something else and stop trying to change what makes the Bronco a bronco.

    Reply
  7. John Coviello

    Most responders are saying start an option for a hardtop steel roof !!!! It’s what the customers want and not some JACKASS in Washington !!!!!!! start offering it now and not years from now !!!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Steve Firestone

      Just about every other rugged vehicle than the Bronco or the Wrangler had a fixed roof❗ The Bronco was the answer to people who wanted competition to the Wrangler. Get a Discovery or something ❗

      Reply
  8. Bullet Bill

    My 1988 BII “flop” currently has 1/4 million miles on it. I have handled every part on it over the years except the differential. Is is a rough ride but a great small suv. The one issue that troubles me is that the fixed roof is poorly reinforced and deflects st highway speeds the “pops” back into shape at town speeds. Ford should keep
    That in mind if the new Bronco gets a fixed roof

    Reply
  9. Kevin McCabe

    Between the quality problems of the Webasto MIC roofs and Ford’s taking the easy/greedy way out to build as many vehicles as possible (Remember QUANTITY is Job#1), it’s easy to see how the current situation developed. Did Ford underestimate demand? Did they not spec out the assembly plant to be flexible enough to build to the demand that everyone but Ford seemed to know was out there? Someone inside Ford knows the answers to these questions, but we’ll probably never find out. Will Ford add a fixed roof? Most likely yes, when they can’t sell every Bronco they build, and they’ll be sure to charge through the roof (yes that was a pun) for it. In the meantime, fixed roof = Jeep.

    Reply
  10. Buddy

    As an owner of 2 Broncos previously I would buy a fixed top version tomorrow! I purchased a 1979 Bronco used in 1980. The previous owner had removed the top and could not get it back on. I bought it with a bucket of bolts and nuts and in a couple of hours had it back as intended. I never considered removing it again. I gave that Bronco to my son when he graduated college which he still has. I purchased a new Bronco in 1990. It was not the vehicle the 79 is but I enjoyed the experience. I never considered removing the top. I currently drive a Supperduty but will probably order a 2023 when Ford starts taking orders.

    Reply
    1. Mhandler

      Those were F150’s you owned not a bronco

      Reply
  11. BC in Chicago

    THIS IS WHY THE EVEREST SHOULD COME TO THE USA!
    The sole reason I’m not buying a Bronco despite my absolute LOVE for the design is that I live in Chicago. City driving isn’t conducive to much open air anything and because a good portion of what you pay for is the ability to easily remove doors and roof. My first car was an ’89 BRONCO II which is what the EVEREST IS. Why Ford doesn’t think there’s a market for the EVEREST in the US is beyond me – The EVEREST is EXACTLY what my market – 50-60 – Income to afford a vehicle in the 50-55K range and someone who has to DRIVE to remote areas to enjoy my outdoor sports. THE EVEREST has a HUGE market potential. I’ve loved Jeeps since I was a kid – I think the BRONCO takes that market from Stellantis but I have no use for an open air off roader. Middle Aged Urban 6 Figure Income Outdoor Enthusiast. If that isn’t a massive market for FORD EVEREST I don’t know what is. The Explorer is not an option for me. Dismal launch and poor performance in sales for other than Brand Loyal. Now Build an full out consumer Interceptor version with a lux interior? Different comment thread.

    Reply
    1. Lurch

      Yes, that makes sense. Leave the Bronco as it is, too.

      Reply
    2. Ed

      There have been Ford Everest seen in Detroit in the last year or so. I would expect these to start coming to the us as a Lincoln model, sort of like the same way Toyota brings the Land Cruiser Prado into the US as the Lexus GX.

      Reply
      1. Alex Luft

        The fact that any Ford vehicle is seen in metro Detroit is zero indication that the vehicle is coming to the US. Sometimes, the global vehicle development process calls for this, so please don’t read too much into it.

        Reply
  12. Mark Shelts

    I have a 2021 Bronco 2-door Outerbanks. I love the vehicle with the exception of the removal top. Wind noise is bad, especially driving into wind. Cannot even carry on a conversation. Put the hardtop (metal) on. Make it more desirable and much quieter inside.

    Reply
  13. Joseph L. Moskaly

    Thanks for your article.
    Still waiting on my BL Bronco tho..!
    Some news would be better than what I’ve gotten since 1/2022.

    Just saying!

    Reply
  14. Scotty

    I could care less if you don’t like why I bought the vehicle I did,
    or enjoy the features it has. And buying a Bronco with a hard top
    and using it to pick up my dry cleaning is none of your business.
    And as well, I could care less if you have a manbun and drive a Saturn.

    Reply
  15. jj

    If you don’t like the open air thing, just don’t take off the panels. But Hummer-esque glass panels would be cool.

    Reply
  16. Bronco Billy

    I doubt the small % of people who would opt for a fixed roof would be worth the large investment it would take to redesign the vehicle and retool factories to support both. I also doubt fixed roof vehicles could be assembled on the same assembly line as the removable top versions as they have fundamentally different body assemblies. There would have to be separate stamping assembly lines at stamping plants as well.

    Reply
    1. Ed

      A modern manufacturing line can produce different models on the same line. Toyota does this at a Hino truck plant where the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Lexus GX, and Toyota FJ Cruiser we’re all building the same manufacturing line intermixed with each other. And yes they still build the FJ Cruiser but in right hand drive only for export to the Middle East.

      GM built GMC Canyon, Chevy Colorado, Isuzu i-series, and Hummer H3T pickup trucks and the Hummer H3 at the same plant in Shreveport, Louisiana without any issues.

      Reply
  17. Carlos

    @Fordauthority
    I’m quoting you here “Even though we personally haven’t experienced any issues with our own Bronco hardtop” why is your bronco so special? Over 90% of Ford bronco owners have multiple issues, except you, how is that so, did Ford made yours extra special….. just wondering….

    Reply
    1. Alex Luft

      Nope, ours isn’t special, Carlos.

      That said, we actually have experienced issued. One of our team members’ Bronco hasn’t had any top issues, while another Bronco belonging to another team member has had big roof-related issues including wind noise / intrusion.

      Reply
  18. Stan

    There are after market 1 piece roof options to reduce noise if that’s truly a concern.

    Reply
  19. Super Dave

    I have a MIC Bronco on order but I really want a quiet fixed roof. I’d change my order in a heartbeat if a fixed roof were available. When my Bronco ever comes, I’ll test drive it on the highway and if doesn’t meet my NVH expectations then I’ll go across the street and spend my money on a Grand Cherokee instead.

    Really what I want is for Ford to bring the Everest and be done with all this drama.

    Reply
    1. Jake

      As a former owner of a 2021 wildtrak, save yourself some time and anguish and just buy the grand Cherokee. The bronco is noisy and not a vehicle id ever want to drive on a freeway for more than 20mins. When your bronco comes in, flip it and make $10-15k.

      Reply
  20. Mhandler

    No!!!
    No fixed roof! Ford please don’t listen to these people, remember 66-77 Bronco are the original design that truly made it a highly sought after vehicle. Keep the Bronco authentic to it’s roots

    Reply
    1. Alex Luft

      How would an OPTION for a fixed roof not achieve the mission of keeping Bronco authentic?

      Reply
  21. Mike

    Ford always does something stupid to their vehicles, to make me think twice about buying them, like only offering AWD on the Ranger and Edge in Canada, and the removable roof on the Bronco, amoung just a couple of them.

    Reply
  22. Ed

    I won’t consider buying a Bronco unless it comes with full metal roof. Hopefully if they offer it with a fully enclosed body it will not be a luxury only version. I carry things on the roofs of my Toyota Land Cruiser and FJ Cruiser such as a Thule box, bike carriers, kayaks, a canoe, Rotopax fuel cans, hi-lift jack, etc. Plus I have yet to find a vehicle with a removable roof that at some point doesn’t leak.

    If Ford wants to bring a luxury vehicle into the US just bring the Ford Everest in as a Lincoln model. So like Toyota does with the Land Cruiser Prado that it brings in as the Lexus GX.

    Reply
    1. Alex Luft

      While I’m a fan of the idea of bringing the Everest to the states, the idea of bringing it over as a Lincoln would completely derail the purpose and direction of Lincoln as a brand. No, the Everest would do better as a Ford, much like the 4Runner does just fine as a Toyota.

      The only reason Lexus has its own version of the 4Runner is the initial strategy at the inception of Lexus… a strategy that has proven to be flawed. Just take a look at those measly Lexus GX sales figures. The model will likely go away in the next few years as it’s replaced by a larger crossover to slot above the RX.

      Either way, Everest should remain a Ford, no matter the market. There is plenty of demand for such a model… however, much of that demand is going to the Bronco here, so the business case might be difficult to make.

      Reply
  23. Tid123jeep

    I really want a Bronco with a removable top and third row seating. That would just be perfect.

    Reply

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