Crossover & Midsize

Don’t Test the Cornering in Your 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks Too Much

For many vehicles, it seems like a great deal to spend extra money on a higher trim level. The quality is superior, there are more tech features, and it often offers a superior ride. But that’s not always the case. And the Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks is a prime example.

It looks amazing and has garnered great reviews from critics. However, MotorTrend isn’t so sure. There are a few issues you should be aware of before purchasing the Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks.

There’s a lot to love about the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks

The Outer Banks, a more upscale version of the Ford Bronco Sport, competes directly with the Jeep Renegade. This trim is designed for those who like to go off-roading but don’t want to forgo comfort when everyday life calls.

This trim comes equipped with a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. For an off-roader, it offers decent speed. According to MotorTrend, “Despite its cylinder count trailing that of nearly every competitor, the mainstream, three-cylinder Bronco Sport delivers solid mid-pack performance, dashing to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds and on through the quarter-mile in 16.4 seconds at 84.5 mph.”

The brakes also work astonishingly well. From a speed of 60 mph, the Bronco Sport can stop in a mere 115 feet. The only compact crossovers that can stop in a shorter distance are the Kia Sportage EX and Nissan Rogue, according to MotorTrend. Both can come to a complete stop from 60 mph in 114 feet, so it’s not enough a huge difference.

The Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks also boasts tons of tech. It offers remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, and a 110-volt power outlet. There are also heated front seats, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, an enhanced Sync infotainment system, and Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver assistance systems. 

For anyone who can’t live without a large screen, there’s a 12-inch touchscreen display. It also comes with a 360-degree camera, more sound deadening, forward parking sensors, and side-view mirror approach lighting.

If you’re willing to pay a little more for the Lux package, you’ll get a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, heated steering wheel, two additional USB ports, universal garage door opener, wireless charging pad, and adaptive cruise control with Evasive Steering Assist and navigation. 

The drawbacks aren’t too bad

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The Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks’ price is probably its biggest drawback. It starts at $33,655. That price is out of most consumers’ budgets. But the Outer Banks offers a lot of techs, so that sort of makes up for the price.

The gas mileage isn’t exactly the best either. It gets 25 in the city, 28 on the highway, and 26 combined. That’s actually great for an SUV, but competitors such as the Honda CR-V AWD (EX-L) and Subaru Forester Limited get better mileage. 

Watch out for that corner

Though there’s plenty to love about the Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks, MotorTrend pointed out one issue. It doesn’t handle cornering as well as some other models.

MotorTrend reports, “Our wintry week with the test vehicle in Michigan kept our skidpads damp or covered in snow the entire time. We sought out the flattest freeway cloverleafs we could find and measured grip in the 0.83-0.85g range, but they all still included at least a couple degrees of banking. This has to have increased our measured lateral-g result, probably by more than the ample coating of salt dust reduced it.”

Regardless, MotorTrend still thinks the Bronco Sport Outer Banks is a great SUV that’s worth the money. Other compact crossovers cost less, but for what it offers, the Outer Banks is in a class by itself.