Trucks & SUVs

There’s Almost No Reason to Buy a Ford Bronco Sport Instead of a Kia Telluride

Other crossovers such as the Jeep Compass and Renegade, or the Subaru Crosstrek have already been referenced by publications like Car and Driver as the obvious car-based competition to the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport crossover SUV. But we think that the Kia Telluride will stand up against the Bronco’s softer side as well. There’s a chance that these two unibody SUVs with their rugged styling and vast lists of options may end up as two crossover SUVs that buyers are choosing between.

2020 Kia Telluride is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Kia Telluride | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport

For the purpose of a raw comparison between these two unibody SUV options, we’ll run through the base models of each. The Ford Bronco Sport comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission paired with an AWD system. More advanced AWD can be had in higher trims, but the entry-level will serve the purpose of heading off the pavement for a bit of gravel road exploration, or gentle off-roading.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport off-roading with standard AWD
2021 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

According to Car and Driver, the powertrain is the same as the Ford Escape. The standard engine for the Ford Bronco Sport crossover SUV is Ford’s turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder that generates 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. More power, of course, is available with upgrades.

The Ford Bronco Sport starts for $26,660, according to Ford. The base model comes equipped with a rubberized floor and cloth upholstery. It also has a ground clearance of 7.8 inches. The standard tech equipment is the older Ford infotainment system with an 8 inch touch screen. The standard Bronco Sport is missing adaptive cruise control, but is equipped with lane-keeping assist, blind-spot warnings, and emergency braking.

The 2021 Kia Telluride

Another rugged-looking unibody SUV, the Kia Telluride is certainly larger than the Bronco Sport. It also offers the option of a third row, while the much more tiny Bronco obviously does not. Each Telluride is equipped with a naturally aspirated V6 engine that creates 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The Kia Telluride crossover SUV also has an 8-speed automatic transmission that powers the front wheels of the base model—though AWD can be optioned for $2000, according to Car and Driver.

This larger SUV has a ground clearance of 8 inches. According to Kia, the 2021 Telluride starts at $31,990. While this is about $5 grand more expensive than the Bronco unibody SUV, it is loaded for a base model.

2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition driving in the city
2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition | Kia

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Even the standard interior is luxurious, with undeniable luxury and high-quality materials. The Kia Telluride crossover SUV also features a fully contemporary infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Plus, similar safety features as the Bronco Sport.

Why buy a Ford Bronco Sport instead?

When you really think about it, the Ford Bronco Sport kind of pales in comparison to the Kia Telluride crossover SUV––except in a few key areas. The Telluride is more luxurious, larger, and includes more modern infotainment. The Ford Bronco Sport offers a more compact package with standard AWD and a less expensive starting price.

Ford Bronco Sport driving through the woods
Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

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Overall, the Telluride is a more versatile unibody SUV. Some may argue that the two are just “so different” that there is no comparison, but we beg to differ. If anyone out there is looking at both and deciding which one to buy, therein lies the comparison. So, here we are.

The reasons someone would buy the Bronco Sport instead of the Telluride are pretty clear. If you don’t mind sacrificing luxury and space for better base model off-road capability, the Ford Bronco Sport crossover SUV is appealing. Plus, it carries the brand allure of the Ford Bronco revival, which definitely counts for something. Though they are both rugged and modern unibody SUVs, they each offer something a little different.