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When Ford decided to bring back the Bronco to its model line in 2021, fans were ecstatic. The original five generations of Broncos were sold from 1966 to 1996. The nostalgia that the new Broncos bring to the table is simply unmatched for the SUV’s fanbase. On top of all this hype, Ford also released a small Bronco Sport. While a nostalgic classic, the new Bronco has its own set of pros and cons. Here’s a look at two areas that new Ford Bronco Sport owners hate. 

A look at how consumers feel about the Ford Bronco Sport 

The Ford Bronco Sport competes in the small SUV market segment. As a top competitor within this market, J.D. Power collected data from all verified new Bronco Sport buyers for the J.D. Power 2022 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout or APEAL study. The APEAL study breakdowns the average buyer profile of a new Bronco Sport owner and details what owners love and hate about their new vehicle purchase. 

According to J.D. Power, looking at the buyer profiles of the entire small SUV segment, women make up about 58% of the buyers, while men make up only 42%. In contrast, with Bronco Sports sales, it’s a 50/50 split, with 50% of buyers being men and the other 50% being women.

In addition, another buyer profile stat indicates that the median age of a new Bronco Sport buyer is 55-years-old with the median age of new buyers in the entire small SUV segment being about 54-years-old. 

Consumers hate these two areas of the Ford Bronco Sport 

Another key element of the APEAL study is ranking 10 primary categories of the Bronco Sport from most favorable to least favorable. The APEAL study found that the top five categories that new Bronco Sport owners found most favorable regarding their new SUV included exterior styling, driving feel, interior design, and setting up/starting. 

In contrast, the APEAL study also found that the five categories Bronco Sport owners found the least appealing were getting in and out of their SUV, the infotainment center, driving comfort, powertrain, and fuel economy. It seems that the two areas that new buyers found the most unfavorable about their Bronco Sport regarded the SUV’s powertrain and fuel economy. 

What’s wrong with the Bronco Sport’s powertrain and fuel economy? 

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The APEAL study does not go into any detail as to why owners rank the powertrain and fuel economy of the Ford Bronco Sport so poorly. According to Edmunds, the average fuel economy of a Ford Bronco Sports is 25/28/26 mpg. Of course, this isn’t a great fuel economy, especially when stacked up against EVs or hybrid SUVs. However, the Bronco Sports’ fuel economy is quite comparable to other leading small SUVs in the same segment. 

For example, the Kia Sportage averages 22/26/23 mpg, the Hyundai Tucson averages 26/33/29 mpg, and the Mitsubishi Outlander averages 24/30/26 mpg. The Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, and Mitsubishi Outlander all ranked among the top of J.D. Power’s list of small SUVs based on overall quality according to consumers, and each ranked considerably higher than the Ford Bronco Sport. 

In terms of powertrain, the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport has two options available. The base powertrain features an 181 hp, turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder engine. The second upgraded option features a 245 hp, 2L four-cylinder engine. Both engine options are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Despite some of the apparent issues that come with the Ford Bronco Sport, it seems consumers are still drawn to the small SUV and the nostalgia that it provides.