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Did you know the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport are two different models? Not only are they different, but they also don’t even share the same class of vehicles. The smaller of the two is less capable but is more simple and comes without all the extras. If you’re interested in one, you might be wondering, is the Ford Bronco Sport an SUV or crossover?

The Ford Bronco Sport is a compact crossover

Iconic Silver 2022 Ford Bronco Sport parked near some rocks
Iconic Silver 2022 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

According to Car and Driver, the Ford Bronco Sport is one of the better compact crossovers for combining outdoor adventures and everyday driving. Additionally, the publication said it earned a spot on its Editors’ Choice list. Most people refer to the Bronco Sport as a ‘baby Bronco,’ a fitting description. If the regular model is too much car for you, this scaled-down option might be the perfect solution.

As a bonus, it’s a retro rendition of classic Broncos. If a primary objective when buying a car is to stand out from the crown, the Bronco Sport can do that. Although it might not sound like a V8 Bronco from the old days, it’ll certainly look the part. This compact crossover is more than a simple money-making spinoff from the standard model.

Engine and performance

Loaded down 2022 Ford Bronco Sport
2022 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

What engine does the Bronco Sport use? Firstly, it rides on the same platform as the Escape, not a truck or a larger SUV. Additionally, every model comes standard with all-wheel drive, a welcomed feature in the crossover category. Its base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder, making 181 horsepower. However, an optional engine is available, a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which boosts the Bronco Sport up to 245 horsepower.

The tiny crossover is surprisingly capable of towing up to 2,200 pounds with the proper equipment. According to Car and Driver, the Ford Bronco Sport Badlands exceeded expectations for off-road driving. However, it’s still a compact crossover and certainly isn’t built to compete with the Jeep Wrangler, like its Sport-less sibling.

The Ford Bronco Sport has crossover fuel economy

Dashboard Area Ford Bronco Sport
Dashboard Area Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

One of the worst things about the standard Bronco, and all sizeable SUVs, is their fuel economy. Especially in 2022, gas mileage is significant to most buyers. The three-cylinder Bronco Sport gets an EPA-estimated 25 city and 28 highway mpg. Opting for the more powerful engine will drop owners down to just 21 city and 26 highway mpg. The Sport is not winning any gas mileage awards, but it’s far better than the standard Bronco. Additionally, it holds its own against non-hybrid crossover rivals.

Smaller, not small

Inside the Ford Bronco Sport, some might worry the tiny stature compared to the standard model make it far too compact. It’s smaller, but this crossover contains ample room on the inside. Despite a shorter wheelbase than the Escape, the rear legroom is surprisingly good. In addition, CAD reported fitting two mountain bikes inside the cargo area. More storage is also available, like in the secret storage bin under the back seats.

We know the Bronco Sport is smaller than the SUV with which it shares a name. However, here’s how much smaller it is on the vehicle’s inside.

ModelSeating CapacityFront Legroom (in.)Rear Legroom (in.)Cargo space behind the second row (cu. ft.)
Ford Bronco Sport542.436.932.5
Ford Bronco443.135.722.4
Dimensions are from Car and Driver.

As you can see, despite the size difference, the Bronco Sport is very spacious inside. It’s much more of a passenger and cargo vehicle than the larger version. The Bronco Sport is simply an excellent all-around crossover, instead of being off-road focused with removable hardtop roofs.

The Ford Bronco Sport is a crossover, not an SUV

In conclusion, the Ford Bronco Sport is a compact crossover. While it shares a name with a larger, off-road SUV, it isn’t close to the same vehicle. Every Bronco Sport comes with excellent crossover features like passenger and cargo space, excellent fuel economy, and a surprisingly peppy engine. If the standard SUV is more than you need, the Bronco Sport crossover might be right for you.


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