Type to search

Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport are not the same vehicle. At all

Share
Ford Bronco

The all-new 2021 Bronco family of all-4×4 SUVs, shown here, include Bronco Sport in Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Bronco two-door in Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat and Bronco four-door in Cactus Gray. (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

I’m having a head-slap moment as I write this article because I feel it’s fairly obvious that the Ford Bronco and Ford Bronco Sport are not the same vehicle.

But, judging by the slew of comments I got on a recent TikTok video, apparently it isn’t.

For random Joes proclaiming they’ve already driven the Bronco and hated it (they haven’t, it isn’t out yet) to the trolls who claim it looks dinky and horrible on the road (again, it isn’t out yet), I feel the need to set the record straight: What you are currently seeing on the roads and in dealers as of May 2021 is the Bronco Sport, otherwise known as the Baby Bronco.

@jillciminillo4 of the more obscure Easter eggs on the 2021 ##FordBronco. ##cardujour ##ford ##bronco♬ original sound – Jill Ciminillo

So, to put some facts out onto the interwebs, I want to address some of the more egregious comments and half-truths that are apparently circulating in social media as well as do a little comparison between Bronco and Bronco Sport, heretofore referred to as Baby Bronco.

So, here it goes.

Bronco is not built in Mexico

The Bronco was designed and engineered in Dearborn, Michigan, and it’s built at the Michigan Assembly Plant. Full stop.

The Baby Bronco, however, is built in Mexico. Specifically, it’s built at the Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly plant, which is located in Sonora. Previously this plant built the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, but with sedans at Ford going the way of the Dodo, Baby Bronco replaces these two vehicles. We expect the upcoming Ford Maverick will also be built here.

Bronco is not built on the Escape platform

Again, we think you’re confusing the Big Bronco and Baby Bronco if you think it looks like a Ford Escape circa 2011. The Baby Bronco is, in fact, built on the current Ford Escape platform and also shares the same engine line-up – a 1.5-liter EcoBoost and a 2.0-liter EcoBoost.

The actual Bronco is built on the Ford Ranger platform, and they both share the base 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Bronco, however, adds an up-level 2.7-liter EcoBoost, and the Ranger does not.

Bronco is actually cooler than the concept

My Bronco TikTok videos have spurred a bevy of comments about how the “concept” was way cooler than the production vehicle. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when the TikTokers say “Bronco Concept,” I think they actually mean the Big Bronco that was revealed in July 2020, which they’ve only seen in photos so far. Unless, of course, they’re referring to the 2004 concept revealed at the North American International Auto Show.

But, frankly, I’m not sure most of my followers on TikTok are old enough to remember 2004.

So, again (head slap), people are confusing the Baby Bronco with the Bronco, calling the Bronco Sport the production vehicle and the Bronco a concept.

The Big Bronco is not a concept. I swear. It’s coming. Soon. I just don’t know exactly when.

Ford Bronco

This silhouette of the Bronco Family clearly shows the differences between the vehicles. (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

Badlands is a trim not a package

This one isn’t specific to Bronco vs. Baby Bronco, but covers them both. There is a Badlands trim on both vehicles. It’s meant to be the bad-ass off-road trim (think Jeep Rubicon), yet when I referred to the Badlands trim, people felt the need to correct me and call it a package.

Let me counter-correct the mansplainers (‘cause, yeah, it was all men who told me I was wrong): I believe you’re confusing the Sasquatch Package on the Big Bronco with the Badlands trim.

In addition to 35-inch tires, the Sasquatch Package includes electronic locking front and rear axles, 4.7:1 final drive ratio, high-clearance suspension, position sensitive Bilstein shock absorbers and high-clearance fender flares. It is only available on the Big Bronco.

 2021 Ford Bronco 2-Door2021 Ford Bronco 4-Door2021 Ford Bronco Sport
Base Price$29,995 $34,695 $28,315
Assembly locationWayne, MichiganWayne, MichiganHermosillo, Mexico
Base Engine2.3-liter turbocharged direct injection DOHC Ti-VCT EcoBoost I42.3-liter turbocharged direct injection DOHC Ti-VCT EcoBoost I41.5-liter DOHC Ti-VCT EcoBoost, inline 3-cylinder
Horsepower270270181
Torque310 lb-ft310 lb-ft190 lb-ft
Optional Engines2.7-liter twin-turbocharged port and direct injection DOHC Ti-VCT EcoBoost V-62.7-liter twin-turbocharged port and direct injection DOHC Ti-VCT EcoBoost V-62.0L DOHC, Ti-VCT EcoBoost, inline 4-cylinder
Horsepower310310250
Torque400 lb-ft400 lb-ft277 lb-ft
TransmissionsStandard: 7-speed (6+1 crawler gear) Getrag manual (offered on 2.3-liter engine only)
Optional: 10-Speed automatic (available on both 2.3- and 2.7-liter engines)
Standard: 7-speed (6+1 crawler gear) Getrag manual (offered on 2.3-liter engine only)
Optional: 10-Speed automatic (available on both 2.3- and 2.7-liter engines)
Standard: 8-speed automatic; Optional: 8-speed automatic SelectShift with oli cooler and Manual shitfing mode with paddle shifters (available on 2.0-liter engine)
Final Drive RatioRange: 3.73:1 to 4.7:1 (depending on option packages)Range: 3.73:1 to 4.7:1 (depending on option packages)3.81
ChassisFront: Independent front suspension with twin alloy A-arms and coil-over springs with available Bilstein position-sensitive shock absorbers with end-stop control valves
Rear: Solid five-link rear axle with active bushings and coil-over springs with available
Bilstein position-sensitive shock absorbers with end-stop control valves
Front: Independent front suspension with twin alloy A-arms and coil-over springs with available Bilstein position-sensitive shock absorbers with end-stop control valves
Rear: Solid five-link rear axle with active bushings and coil-over springs with available
Bilstein position-sensitive shock absorbers with end-stop control valves
Front: Independent MacPherson strut-type with unique: coil spring, stabilizer bar, twin-tube hydraulic gas-pressurized shocks with hydraulic rebound stops. Steel subframe with aluminum lower control arm, and cast knuckle. Rear: Independent double lateral link semi-trailing arms with unique coil spring, stabilizer bar, and monotube hydraulic gas-pressurized shocks Isolated steel subframe with unique cast knuckle.
Wheelbase100.4 inches116.1 inches101.5 inches
Length173.7 inches (174.8 Badlands)189.4 inches (190.5 Badlands)172.7 inches
Height71.9 iches (base); 72.9 inches (Big Bend); 73.8 inches (Badlands); 78.9 inches (Wildtrak w/ optional roof rack installed)73 inches (base, softtop); 72.9 inches (Big Bend); 73.9 inches (Badlands); 75.3 inches (Wildtrack)70.2 inches (Base, Big Bend); 70.3 inches (Outer Banks); 71.4 inches (Badlands, First Edition)
Width75.9 inches (Base, Big Bend); 76.3 inches (Badlands); 79.3 inches (Wildtrak)75.9 inches (Base, Big Bend); 76.3 inches (Badlands); 79.3 inches (Wildtrak)74.3 inches
Max Avail. Tow3,500 pounds3,500 pounds2,000 pounds (Big Bend, Outer Banks); 2,200 pounds (Badlands, First Edition)
Max Payload1,170 pounds1,370 pounds1,170 pounds (Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks); 1,010 (Badlands, First Edition)
Ground Clearance8.4/11.6 inches8.3/11.5 inches7.8 (Base, Big Bend); 7.9 (Outer Banks); 8.6 (standard Badlands, First Edition)/8.8 (optional Badlands, First Edition)
Aproach Angle35.5/43.2 (Base/35-inch tires)35.5/43.2 (Base/35-inch tires)21.7 (Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks); 30 (standard Badlands, First Edition); 30.4 (optional Badlands, First Edition)
Breakover Angle21.1/29.0 (Base/35-inch tires)20.0/26.3 (Base/35-inch tires)18.2 (Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks); 20.1 (standard Badlands, First Edition); 20.4 (optional Badlands, First Edition)
Departure Angle29.8/37.2 (Base/35-inch tires)29.7/37.0 (Base/35-inch tires)30.4 (Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks); 32.8 (standard Badlands, First Edition); 33.1 (optional Badlands, First Edition)
Max Water Fording33.5 inches33.5 inches17.7 inches (Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks); 23.6 inches (Badlands, First Edition)

The bottom line on Bronco vs. Bronco Sport

I have to admit, I kind of blame Ford Motor Co. for the general confusion surrounding these vehicles. They were revealed at the same time, though Big Bronco made the bigger splash. Yet it was the Baby Bronco Sport that made it to dealers first.

So, naturally, general consumers assume Bronco Sport = Bronco, not realizing they are actually two very different vehicles, not different trim levels.

Furthermore, the prolific use of “Sport” after whatever model name at whatever automaker is becoming a problem in the automotive world in general. The Subaru Forester Sport is a trim, but the Nissan Rogue Sport is a completely different vehicle from the Rogue. However, prior to the 2021 Rogue’s redesign, the two vehicles looked very similar. Yet Nissan lumps them together when they talk about Rogue sales.

What could Ford have done to mitigate the confusion? Call the Baby Bronco anything other than Bronco Sport. I’m going to throw Bronco Buckaroo out there as a suggestion.

Related posts:

Tags::
Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

  • 1

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *