The arrival of the 2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport marked one of the most highly anticipated unveils of 2020. While the full-size Bronco gets most of the praise for being an off-roading icon, the smaller variant may be the one to get. Following the first official test with the Bronco Sport, Car and Driver found very few flaws. These are the three main reasons why you shouldn’t overlook the Bronco Sport.
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is truly off-road ready
One of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport’s main goals is to be both off-road and daily driver ready. According to Car and Driver, the smaller bronco is based on the Ford Escape and is set to rival the Jeep Compass. Under the hood lives either a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine developing 181 hp or a 2.0-liter turbo-four developing 250 hp. The only automatic transmission available is an eight-speed automatic. As you’d expect from an off-roading product, all-wheel drive comes standard. This includes the base model and its $26,660 starting price.
To make sure the Bronco Sport is off-road ready, Ford fitted it with great hardware. For example, in the Badlands trim, you get 7.4 inches of wheel travel and up to 8.8 inches of ground clearance, says Car and Driver. While it is no Jeep Wrangler, that is quite impressive for a small crossover. Additionally, Car and Driver report that you get a 30.4-degree approach angle, making it easier to handle off-road obstacles. Aside from the reinforced skid plates, Car and Driver report that the Bronco Sport also benefits from a torque-vectoring differential straight out of the Focus RS.
The boxy exterior design stands out
Let’s face it. Despite its off-roading hardware, what will sell the majority of Ford Bronco Sports are its looks. In this regard, the small crossover is off to a great start. Car and Driver reported that several people confused the small crossover for the large full-size Bronco. This is because although the small Bronco sits on top of a crossover platform. It looks quite similar to the full-size model.
Aside from the visually boxy aesthetic, the Ford Bronco Sport gets a large front grille. Additionally, Car and Driver noted that the word “Sport” is less commonly displayed than “Bronco.” The addition of a black contrasting roof in some models only helps to accentuate the overall boxiness. However, the best part of the Bronco Sport is that you get to have an off-road-ready look without some of the compromises you typically get from a full-fledged off-roader. Although the full-size Bronco reviews have yet to be published, we’d be willing to be that the small crossover will be the more comfortable and daily-drivable of the two.
The Bronco Sport’s interior feels premium and roomy
Despite being heavily based on the Ford Escape, the Bronco Sport does a great job of differentiating itself with a redesigned interior, says Motor1. Despite a heavy dose of cheap plastic in lower trim levels, the top Outer Banks and Badlands trims offer great interior materials. Buyers can opt for a combination of monochrome or contrasting leather colors. According to Motor1, the color combinations reminded the reviewer of the Ford F-150 King Ranch rather than a budget crossover. Add on to that the eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and you’ve got yourself a formidable daily driver.
In the end, it seems the Ford Bronco Sport does a great job of translating excellent specs into a positive experience. For now, we’ll have to wait and see how its SUV sibling stacks up.