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2021 Ford Bronco Sport: Can the Baby Bronco off-road?

2021 ford bronco sport exterior

Check out that two-toned Cactus Gray and Black exterior! (Photo by Tim Esterdahl)

The return of the Ford Bronco has been such a big deal and has gotten so many people excited that not a lot of people realize there are actually two Broncos: the full-size and the Bronco Sport. And to make matters even more confusing, the Sport was available first. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is the Baby Bronco. It is smaller than its big brother and is more likely to be purchased by those who really like the look, want a little off-road capability for the weekends, but want a smaller vehicle for in-town living.

Publisher, Tim Esterdahl got to drive the Bronco Sport recently, and while he had it, he discovered that its unique design is really speaking to young buyers.

A few things to love about the 2020 Bronco Sport

The Bronco Sport comes equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed transmission. The powertrain is well mated to the 8-speed and the EcoBoost has plenty of power for around-town driving.

Esterdahl says for a vehicle in this price range, the Bronco Sport offers a smooth, comfortable ride and a quiet cab. The cloth seats and plastic interior definitely aren’t luxurious, but they work for a vehicle like this and will be easy to clean after an off-road adventure. He was also impressed with the visibility while driving.

The estimated fuel economy for the Bronco Sport is 20-26 MPG. While driving around on the blacktop, Esterdahl was averaging 24.3 MPG. That’s pretty good for an SUV that can also go off-roading.

Speaking of off-roading…

This 2021 Ford Bronco Sport can ford up to 23.6-inches of water. The independent front and rear suspension lend to its agility on the dirt and rocks and the frame-mounted tow hooks come in handy if you’ve gotten in a little over your head.

This vehicle really was designed for fun. The very large cargo area is outfitted with LED lights, rubber floormats and seat-backs plus some clips to hold small items that might otherwise get lost.

Comfort, storage and technology

Just because it’s an off-road capable vehicle doesn’t mean Ford held back on the creature comforts. While the navigation screen is a little on the small side, Esterdahl thinks anything larger may have been overwhelming in this small SUV.

Plus, he really likes that it leaves room for a storage cubby in addition to the wireless charging pad. There are also USB-A and USB-C charging options for all your devices. On-road or off, the heated seats and steering wheel are a nice touch. And while there isn’t a lot of legroom in the second row, we think you’ll love the abundance of headroom this SUV offers.

Here’s Tim’s video review. What do you think? Would you wait for the big Bronco or is the Bronco Sport more your style?

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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