No automaker is immune to criticism, including Ford. But the Blue Oval has shone recently. From using its factories to manufacture much-needed medical supplies during the pandemic to bringing back the iconic Bronco, the American automaker has garnered plenty of positive attention. The Ford Bronco Sport is another example of how the brand has gotten it right, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety agrees.
The plus sign in the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award is important
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety specializes in car safety. It puts vehicles through their paces and releases the results so that consumers know what they’re getting before purchasing.
Automobiles that impress the IIHS receive one of two awards. IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ go to vehicles that get good ratings in crash tests, but the Top Safety Pick+ requires a little more than the Top Safety Pick.
A vehicle must have good or acceptable headlights as standard features to earn the plus mark. If they can’t meet that, the award will be a Top Safety Pick, which is still impressive.
For 2022, the IIHS explains that for a vehicle to receive a Top Safety Pick award, it must earn good ratings on the driver-side, passenger side, and the original side tests, as well as roof strength and head restraint tests. It must have advanced or superior ratings for front crash prevention and acceptable to good headlights available.
To get the plus grade, a vehicle must have acceptable or good headlights as standard and not merely available to consumers willing to pay more for the upgrade. The IIHS says its tests will be more rigorous in 2023, so fewer vehicles might earn the awards.
The 2022 Ford Bronco earned IIHS Top Safety Pick+
The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport has officially won the IIHS Top Safety Pick+. It didn’t get any awards in 2021, so Ford ironed out the rough spots that held the Bronco Sport back, and now it’s reaping the rewards.
For 2022, the Ford Bronco Sport received good scores across the board from the IIHS, except in one area. When it came to LATCH ease of use in the child restraint category, the compact crossover SUV received an acceptable rating. The IIHS lowered that score because the hardware could be confused for another anchor, and it’s buried too deep in the seat to reach easily.
The 2022 Ford Bronco is worth checking out
The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport is one of the cheaper small crossover SUVs. Its price ranges from $27,415 to $34,090.
Consumer Reports was impressed with how outdoorsy it feels while still providing easy-to-use controls and a roomy, comfortable cabin. The 2022 Bronco Sport comes equipped with a three-cylinder turbocharged engine that generates 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Even though Ford gears the Bronco Sport toward the off-road community, the ride can feel a bit choppy on less refined roads. However, with cool color choices, tough looks, and a firm ride, the Bronco Sport will attract a wide range of buyers.
The interior has a unique feel, with zippered pockets, but the seats aren’t great. Riders who’ve grown accustomed to lumbar support will be disappointed to find it missing from the Ford Bronco Sport. Even so, the Bronco Sport still impresses with rugged good looks that set it apart from the crowd of small SUVs.