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The Ford Bronco Sport and Subaru Forester are two compelling entries in the compact SUV class. They’re both on the rugged side with capabilities to match their aesthetics. Both come with standard all-wheel drive and offer a nice balance of daily practicality and off-road capability.

These SUVs are evenly matched in many ways. Which one is more popular?

The Ford Bronco Sport outsells the Subaru Forester

According to data on GoodCarBadCar, the sales numbers are pretty close between these two SUVs. The Ford Bronco Sport has sold 51,991 units so far in 2023, while the Subaru Forester has sold 50,641 units in the same time frame.

So, while the Ford narrowly outsells the Subaru, it’s also worth considering the fact that Ford has a much bigger dealer network in the U.S. than Subaru.

Another factor worth considering is the Ford Escape. Although the Escape doesn’t have the same rugged personality as the Bronco Sport or the Forester, it technically competes in the same compact SUV class.

Ford has sold 50,015 units of the Escape so far in 2023, almost 2,000 fewer than the Bronco Sport. That’s interesting since the Escape is a more mainstream SUV with more interior space and better fuel economy at a lower price point. However, despite its practical shortcomings, the more rugged Bronco Sport is more popular.

Why is the Bronco Sport more popular?

Other than the aforementioned advantage of a more extensive dealer network, there are a few other reasons buyers are choosing the Bronco Sport over the Forester. Ford has done an excellent job making Bronco a sort of off-road subbrand.

The Bronco was a hit when it made its big comeback in 2021. The Bronco Sport was offered alongside the Bronco as a more road-friendly but less capable alternative. SUV shoppers who love the aesthetics of the Bronco but don’t do much off-roading are naturally attracted to the Bronco Sport.

The Ford also has some nice variety in its lineup, increasing its appeal. The Badlands model is a serious off-roader, the Outer Banks trim is a well-equipped, upscale SUV, and the Heritage editions add a quirky, retro aesthetic that’s hard to ignore.

The Forester has a lot going for it, too, like the capable Wilderness model, but the sales numbers show that the Bronco Sport is a little more appealing.

Which one is right for you?

It’s hard to deny that the Subaru Forester is a better value than the Ford Bronco Sport. The Subaru is bigger, roomier, more affordable, and more fuel-efficient than the Ford. On paper, the Subaru beats the Ford in many categories.

However, we can’t blame you if you’re in love with the Bronco aesthetic. The Ford Bronco Sport has a unique charm matched only by the Bronco, and it’s sure to turn more heads and stand out in traffic more than the Forester.

You really can’t go wrong with either, and which one is right for you depends on your priorities in an SUV.


Where Does the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Fit in Its Vehicle Segment?