Crank up the AC on the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks with your phone

It’s over 90-degrees in my area today, which is a bit unusual. 

I live in the Midwest and the temp is typically in the 80s this time of year. (We don’t usually break 90 consistently until August.) I love it because it means the sun is out, the road is calling my name, and I get to put a new test car through the paces on a long drive.

One thing I learned about the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks is that you can start the car and cool it down with the FordPass app. 

Here’s how I used it.

I stayed at a couple of different hotels on a long trip to South Dakota. In the morning, I waited a bit to check my email before heading out, and then used the app to start the car and set the climate control (Of course, the car is locked when you do this.) Then, after a few minutes, I would head down to the lobby, grab a cup of coffee, and go to the nicely cool Bronco.

I can imagine people who live in brutally hot areas like Texas doing this daily and I also thought about those cold winter days when heating the cab would also make sense. The remote start capability is fairly common and so is the climate control, although I’ve seen it in luxury cars more often than utility vehicles like this.

What has changed is my dependence on apps. I control the temp in my house with an app, I communicate with everyone under the sun all day long, and now I can prepare this Bronco for my morning drive. I’ve seen a few innovations that go further with apps in cars although with Apple CarPlay it seems like it has stalled out a bit in recent years.

What would be even cooler is to enable additional features, tune the radio to my favorite station (or cue up a podcast that is all ready to go), and adjust the suspension for what I plan to do that day. (As I wrote about fairly recently, suspension options are quite robust on the Bronco.)

Later in my trip, I started pre-cooling the Bronco even more often. At a Caribou Coffee, I decided to use the remote start and really cool the vehicle down, watching it through a window. The heat in South Dakota was even worse than in my area that day.

Apps like FordPass have been around for a while now, but it would be cool to see some analytics for this. How often did I use the setting, what was my typical temp setting compared to the weather that day, how did it impact my fuel economy. Those features are likely coming, so for now I am content with the idea of just keeping the Bronco cool.