Trucks & SUVs

The Standard 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Punches Harder Than You’d Suspect

After a few years in the retirement home, Ford has brought the Bronco back. The 2021 Ford Bronco will have plenty of standard features and even more options, but its engine may look kind of bad on paper. That said, here’s a look at why the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport actually punches harder than the numbers may suggest. 

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport comes with a three-cylinder engine

Like MotorTrend reported, the Ford Bronco Sport’s more affordable trims, which include the standard version, the Big Bend trim, and the Outer Banks trim, all come standard with a 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder engine. The more expensive trims have the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as standard, but despite its three-cylinders, the base engine on the Ford Bronco Sport is actually quite capable. 

The three-cylinder engine delivers about 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque, which may not seem like a lot for an SUV, but since the Bronco Sport is a compact crossover SUV, it’s actually a decent amount of power for a car of its size. On top of that, MotorTrend was very curious about how well those three-cylinders on the Ford Bronco Sport would perform against SUVs in its class, and as it turned out, the Bronco Sport performed very well. 

The hard numbers from the tests

MotorTrend used the roughly $34,000 Outer Banks trim of the Ford Bronco Sport for its tests, and the other SUVs it went up against were of similar value. In terms of how well it accelerated, MotorTrend said that the Bronco Sport got from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.6 seconds, which wasn’t the fastest for the segment, but it definitely beat most of its competitors. For example, it took the Jeep Cherokee 9.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH. 

Acceleration aside, MotorTrend found that the Bronco Sport’s breaks were also pretty good, as it went from 60 MPH to a full stop in a shorter distance than most of its competitors did. Once again, the Bronco Sport wasn’t the fastest, but it was pretty close to the top. The Bronco Sport had a very similar showing when it came to how it handled corners, and MotorTrend said that it was “in the middle of its pack.”

That being said, despite being such a small engine, many people may assume automatically that the Ford Bronco Sport has great fuel economy. But, like MotorTrend wrote, once again, the Bronco Sport’s fuel economy, at 26 MPG combined, was pretty average. It wasn’t the best, and it also wasn’t the worst. 

An overall look at the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport

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Overall, despite its three-cylinders, compared to its competitors, the Ford Bronco Sport is pretty good or just OK in every metric that MotorTrend tested it for. That’s why MotorTrend advised not taking these numbers too seriously, since the Bronco Sport is an alluring purchase for many other reasons. It may not accelerate as fast as the Honda CR-V, and it’s not as fuel-efficient as the Subaru Forester, but those aren’t the reasons people want a Bronco Sport.

Obviously, the Bronco Sport’s engine wasn’t designed for racing, but rather, for working. It provides more than enough power for the Bronco Sport, and that’s all the power that it really needs.

Plus, like MotorTrend said, the Ford Bronco Sport comes with a ton of surprising little features. In addition to that, the Bronco Sport was made for adventures, as is evidenced by the fact that all-wheel drive is standard on the Bronco Sport. On top of that, the Bronco Sport can also carry quite a bit of stuff, as it has up to 65 cu. ft. of cargo space, and it can tow up to 2,200-pounds.

And, while the Outer Banks trim costs over $30,000, the standard Ford Bronco Sport starts at under $27,000.