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Ford has the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs in its lineup this year, and shoppers have been scrambling for both models. However, the 2023 Ford Bronco and Ford Bronco Sport have shifted in the rankings recently. These compact Ford SUVs have plenty of pros to list, but the cons category is a little longer for one vehicle. The one major difference that separates the two models? There might be more models to choose from with the regular Bronco, but that doesn’t make it easier to find.

What SUVs does Ford have?

These Ford SUVs include the 2023 Ford Bronco
A 2023 Ford Bronco | Ford

Many Ford SUVs are in the brand’s lineup this year, but the 2023 Ford Bronco and the Ford Bronco Sport are some of the best. In the most recent U.S. News rankings for compact SUVs, the Bronco is pretty high up. Interestingly enough, the Bronco Sport is even higher in the rankings. The Bronco Sport is the smaller and normally less popular version, but it has merits.

One of the reasons the Bronco Sport is so popular is due to the reasonable cost. Ford priced the base Sport at $29,215, and a fully-loaded Bronco Heritage Limited starts at $44,655. There are six trim levels total, varying from comfortable daily drivers to off-road capable adventure vehicles.

If you don’t want to decide between the two, the Bronco Sport makes a lot of sense as a daily driver that is off-road capable. It has also been generally easier to find than the regular Bronco SUV.

Is the Ford Bronco a small SUV?

These Ford SUVs include the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport
A 2023 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

The Bronco is one of the smaller Ford SUVs this year, but that doesn’t impact its capability. In fact, the 2023 Ford Bronco is one of the most qualified off-road vehicles, with plenty of ways to customize and improve the experience. Ford offers an astonishing 10 trim levels with pricing ranging from the low $30,000s all the way up to the $90,000. The base 2023 Bronco starts at $34,890, while the fully-loaded Bronco Raptor starts at $68,580. The Big Bend Bronco is the most popular model so far.

There are so many ways to build the Bronco; no two seem the same. Two doors, four doors, four-wheel drive, manual transmission, and even a soft top roof. Beyond that, the Bronco has some quirks like poor fuel economy and a very noisy cabin. It is a great off-road vehicle, but it is less of a comfortable daily driver than the Bronco Sport.

Additionally, the Sport earned the Top Safety Pick Plus award from the IIHS. It earned great scores on the main crashworthiness tests, as well as the headlights. On both front crash prevention tests, the Bronco Sport protected passengers well. While the 2023 Bronco still earned high marks on many IIHS tests, it earned no awards.

Does Ford make reliable compact SUVs?

According to the scoring by J.D. Power, both Ford SUVs are pretty reliable. J.D. Power gave the 2023 Ford Bronco a 77 out of 100 predicted reliability score. That falls into the “average” category. The 2023 Ford Bronco Sport earned a predicted reliability score of 87 out of 100, falling into the “great” category. It is clear the regular Bronco makes up for its lower scores in other ways, like fun and off-road capability.

Even though the Sport model is more favored these days, there are plenty of Ford SUVs to go around. Those who want to spend the weekends trying to out-adventure Jeep Wranglers off the beaten path might be better off with the regular Ford Bronco. If you want more comfort and daily driveability, the Bronco Sport is better suited for that. It’s also one of the cheapest and best-looking SUVs in the lineup. Don’t be surprised if these two Ford SUVs swap places in the rankings a few more times, especially heading into 2024.


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