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Subaru has dominated the rugged crossover market for decades. With its signature symmetrical all-wheel drive system in almost every model, Subaru has become a cult classic for outdoor enthusiasts who don’t want bulky trucks. But the 90s are long past, and Subaru no longer runs a monopoly on lifted wagons and granola crossovers. If you’re looking for a Subaru alternative, consider the Ford Bronco Sport.

Ford Bronco Sport uses the same structural engineering as Subaru SUVs

While the Bronco Sport may share branding with its larger companion, it actually has more in common with today’s Subaru lineup than the full-size Bronco. It’s a unibody crossover built to balance on-road usability with all-terrain capability — just like Subaru’s SUVs. Unibody crossovers typically offer lower weight, better ride quality, and superior on-road handling than body-on-frame trucks like the full-size Bronco. 

While they may not get the brutish capability of truck-based SUVs, drivers often prefer the smoother ride of Subarus and other crossovers. The 2023 Bronco Sport is no different. Reviewers from Motor Trend called the Bronco Sport “quiet and comfortable” on the road. But that doesn’t mean the Bronco Sport lacks teeth when it leaves the pavement.

All-wheel drive comes standard for snow, mud, and more

Standard symmetrical all-wheel drive has long been Subaru’s calling card. Over the decades, Subaru’s all-wheel drive system has developed a strong reputation — especially for traction in snow and ice. But the 2023 Bronco Sport offers a compelling alternative with its own standard all-wheel drive. 

All-wheel drive is standard for all 2023 Bronco Sport models, from base to fully-loaded. Per Car and Driver, Ford offers a variety of upgrade options for its all-wheel drive system, including an available twin-clutch locking rear differential. Add available all-terrain tires, and the Bronco Sport makes a compelling case for itself as a winter-weather survivor.

How much cargo space does the Bronco Sport have?

Front-on view of grey Ford Bronco Sport in front of a large Ford logo set on blue carpet.
Ford Bronco Sport | Bloomberg, Getty Images

The new Bronco Sport offers substantial cargo capacity. According to Car and Driver, the subcompact SUV has enough internal space to carry two mountain bikes. That space is a boon to drivers with active lifestyles, allowing them to pack all kinds of gear and luggage. Ford offers other Bronco Sport utility features like available rubberized flooring, interior LED lighting, and a 400-watt power inverter. 

There’s utility under the hood as well. According to Car and Driver’s reporting, its two turbocharged engine options make enough power to tow between 2,000 and 2,200 pounds.

Why drive a 2023 Bronco Sport as a Subaru alternative?

The rugged crossover segment continues to grow as automakers aim to beat Subaru at its own formula. With its Bronco Sport, Ford offers a compelling option. 

The 2023 Bronco Sport will hit a sweet spot for many drivers, splitting the difference between the tamer Ford Escape and the more hardcore Ford Bronco. Its versatility serves drivers who want a comfortable, practical commuter that can still hold its own through snow and trails. And to top it off, Ford adds a dash of retro charm.