6th Gen Ford Bronco Badlands Off-Road Buttons On the Dash (Hero Switch Pack) Explained – Full Review & Feature Overview
Today we look at the off-road features of the 6th Gen Bronco, and the buttons on the dash, the Ford Bronco “Switch Pack”. We’re talking about the electronic sway bar disconnect, front and rear lockers, Trail Turn Assist, and Electronic Stability Control.
Before we jump into the switch pack and explain each option, let’s start with the basic off-road features first. What makes the 6th Gen Bronco so special when it comes to its off-road capabilities?
The 6th Gen Ford Bronco is a highly capable off-road platform that comes with a variety of features designed to help you tackle rough terrain. Some of the most notable features include its 4×4 drivetrain, high ground clearance, its ability to run large off-road tires, steel skid plates, a dialed off-road suspension, and many off-road features that other platforms just don’t offer.
4×4 Traction Systems
The Ford Bronco is equipped with a variety of 4×4 traction systems that help to improve the vehicle’s performance on rough terrain. These systems include:
- Part-time 4×4: The Bronco’s part-time 4×4 system allows you to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive as needed. When driving in two-wheel drive, the vehicle’s power is only sent to the rear wheels as the Bronco is a Rear Wheel Drive drivetrain. When driving in four-wheel drive, the power is split evenly between the front CV axles to the front wheels and the rear axle to the wheels, providing increased traction and stability on any terrain.
- Automatic 4×4: The Bronco’s automatic 4×4 system automatically senses when the vehicle needs additional traction and sends power to the front wheels as needed. This system is designed to provide enhanced traction and stability in a variety of driving conditions including wet/slushy roads, icy roads, and steep inclines where loose rock may be present.
- Low-range 4×4: The Bronco’s low-range 4×4 system allows you to switch to a lower gear ratio when driving on extremely rough terrain. This provides increased torque and crawling power, allowing the vehicle to navigate steep inclines, ledges, deeply rutted sections, loose rock/mud, and other challenging terrains.
Overall, the Ford Bronco’s 4×4 traction systems provide a range of options to help you tackle a variety of terrain and driving conditions.
Core Off-Road Features
- 4×4 Drivetrain: The Bronco comes with a 4×4 drivetrain that allows you to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive as needed. Not only do you get 4HI and 4LO, but you also get part-time 4WD or anytime 4WD. This allows you to optimize traction and stability depending on the terrain you are driving on.
- High Ground Clearance: The Bronco has a high ground clearance of up to 11.6 inches, which helps to prevent the vehicle from bottoming out on rough terrain. This is a huge value add compared to models like the Toyota 4Runner that features a 9.6″ ground clearance off the lot.
- Off-Road Tires: The Bronco comes with off-road tires that have a tread pattern designed to provide maximum traction on dirt, mud, and other rough surfaces. Not only do most models come with quality tires but the platform overall allows you to run up to 35″ tires and with a little bit of effort, 37″ tires!!
- Skid Plates: The Bronco comes with skid plates on the undercarriage that helps to protect the vehicle’s drivetrain and other vital components from damage when driving on rough terrain. We’re not talking thin sheet metal skids either. The Ford Bronco comes with a thick 1/4″ mild steel skid plate which should give you incredible confidence rolling through rocky terrain.
- Off-Road suspension: The Bronco comes with an off-road suspension (End Stop Control Valves (ESCV) from Bilstein) that provides a comfortable ride on rough terrain, while also helping to maintain stability and control. These piggyback reservoirs add more damping control on both compression and rebound. To read more on these shocks, check out the Bilstein press post-launch and this YouTube video.
- Off-Road G.O.A.T mode: The Bronco has an off-road mode that adjusts the vehicle’s traction control, stability control, and other systems to optimize performance on sand, mud, rocks, and other common terrain types.
Overall, the 6th generation Ford Bronco is a highly capable off-road vehicle that is well-equipped to handle a variety of challenging terrain.
Off-Road Hero Switch Pack Buttons on Dash
The Ford Bronco has a switch pack located on the dashboard that allows you to control various off-road functions. Depending on the Bronco model and trim you own will determine which switches you see. With all switches enabled as an option, Ford lets you engage up to six available features that include the following list.
From left to right in the image above and the list below:
- Front Stabilizer Bar Disconnect: Allows the front stabilizer bar to be disconnected for off-road use. This allows for increased front wheel articulation to improve capability and comfort on off-road terrain. By disconnecting, the front left and right tires are able to move up and down independently.
- Front Differential Lock: When activated, the available electronic-locking front differential locks the wheels on each CV axle.
- Rear Differential Lock: When activated, the available electronic-locking rear differential locks the wheels on the rear axle.
- Trail Turn Assist: Reduce the turning radius of your vehicle by applying the brakes to the inside rear wheel in low-speed, high steering-angle maneuvers. This tech gives the vehicle the ability to get through tight bends more easily.
- Electronic Stability Control: Activates when wheel slip is detected, and the slipping wheel will get the brakes applied so there is engine power delivered to both wheels.
- Hazard Lights: Easily and quickly activate your hazard lights from the Hero Switch Pack when warning other drivers of potential traffic hazards or when the need to exercise unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.
Again, the specific buttons on the switch pack may vary depending on your Bronco’s model and trim level. If you are unsure about the functions of a particular button, you can consult your owner’s manual for more information.