2021 Ford Bronco Sport - Things We Like And Things We Don't
As we all know, the 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport are among the hottest Ford premieres in years. Their unique combination of off-road capabilities, cool design, and modern features are generating enormous interest from both the motoring press and buyers. Ford has really outdone itself, and since we already know what both off-roading SUVs look like, what features they're delivered with and how much they will cost, the only thing left to know is how they drive.
Luckily, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is already available, and numerous magazines and YT channels have published tests -- all with rave reviews. As you probably know, we'll have to wait about six months to get our hands on the 2021 Bronco (two and four-door) due to parts suppliers' problems.
However, we've gone through a collection of the most relevant reviews by respectable news outlets regarding the 2021 Bronco Sport, and have compiled a list of six things that all of us liked, as well as three things that almost all of us found short of the mark.
Things we like:
The 2021 Bronco Sport is based on Ford's C2 platform, which also underpins the Ford Escape. The Ford Escape is a soft, urban SUV, that comes standard with front-wheel-drive, and the Bronco Sport is significantly more off-road capable, equipped with competent all-wheel-drive, higher ground clearance ready to tackle any terrain.
So, how Ford did manage to use the same platform but get different results? Through intelligent engineering, varying components, G.O.A.T. driving modes, and overall design.
All road testers agree that they didn't expect that the 2021 Bronco Sport would drive so impressively and they consistently noted its spacious interior -- a nice by-product of its higher roofline and boxy overall shape.
The general consensus is that Bronco Sport feels nimbler than the Escape but also offers more usable space and practicality. A flat hood and higher seating position provide the driver with a better view, which comes in handy when driving on the trail.
Even though the standard engine is a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder Ecoboost unit, the power output of 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque provides the 2021 Bronco Sport with more than decent on and off-road performance. The engine pairs with a standard 8-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive and offers an assortment of driving modes. This is a great everyday combo, capable of taking you on camping weekends without any problems.
However, all magazine testers praised the optional, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with its 250 hp, which provides the Bronco Sport with real performance and an upscale feel. The additional torque (275 lb-ft) will do wonders when towing or venturing onto an extreme off-road course.
Clever Trim Levels
On most similar models, you'll find trim levels that don't really change the vehicle's personality, but only add more equipment and creature comforts. The 2021 Bronco Sport is decidedly different, with trim levels that are centered on its various uses and the driving characteristics of its owners, and not just on selling you more stuff you don't need. That's why the lowest trim level (Base) doesn't feel cheap, since it offers you all the equipment you'll use, coupled with an all-wheel-drive system.
If you want to chase luxury in the 2021 Bronco Sport, you can, in the form of the Outerbanks or Badlands trim levels, which come with bigger wheels and leather interior. However, a posher Bronco Sport isn't necessarily a better Bronco Sport. The essence of this SUV is practicality and off-road capability, not trying to impress your neighbors.
It's so refreshing to see a major company return to the SUV segment's roots and offer an honest off-roading vehicle. For decades we had models that looked tough, but have off-road capabilities of a shopping cart and would only embarrass you veer off the pavement. The 2021 Bronco Sport isn't like that; it's designed and engineered to be at home both on the highway, and on desert, forest, or snowy mountain roads.
With driving modes that really help change the vehicle's personality, a capable all-wheel-drive system, and a tough suspension and underpinnings, the 2021 Bronco Sport is a family off-roader that puts the fun back into owning an SUV.
Of course, don't get carried away while behind the wheel -- it's still an SUV, which means you can't go full Baja 1000 in it. For that, you'll have to wait a little bit longer for the standard Bronco to arrive in the summer.
The interior is one of the most important aspects of any vehicle. After all, you'll spend all your time there, so it must be well-designed and ergonomically suitable. In the case of the 2021 Bronco Sport, it's all of that and more. All the magazine testers recognized the industrial design aspect of the Bronco Sport's interior, with its no-nonsense approach, high-quality materials, and practicality.
The big brother Bronco will feature washable floors and seats for extreme off-road use, but the Bronco Sport is also well-suited to plenty of regular "rugged" use.
The Bronco Sport also comes with a standard infotainment screen, nicely laid-out controls, and plenty of usable space for your knickknacks.
We all know that features sell cars nowadays and this is certainly the case with Bronco Sport. People may be drawn to showrooms because of its appearance, name, and heritage, but they'll want to confirm that the Bronco's comes with all the state of the art features they would want.
Ford understands this, which is why the 2021 Bronco Sport comes with Ford's Co-Pilot360 system, Android Auto, and Apple Car Play. There are numerous practical touches, as well, like flip-up glass on the tailgate, a roof rack, and plastic covers underneath the bumpers, so you don't damage the undercarriage when going off-road.
Things we don't like:
Because the 2021 Bronco Sport is based on the C2 platform, overall interior space could have been a problem. Ford's engineers did all they could to provide Bronco Sport with headroom and an airy feel.
However, legroom in the back seats could be a problem if you happen to be 6 feet or taller. Simply put, in order to make the cabin accommodate everything Ford wanted, compromises had to be made. The resulting legroom will work out just fine if you drive your kids in the back, but for grown adults, long trips could be a bit uncomfortable.
No Sync 4?
Nowadays, every manufacturer is trying to offer the latest and most advanced infotainment system to its customers. That's why Ford's decision to install the Sync 3 in 2021 Bronco Sport is puzzling.
The Sync 4 system, which is significantly better, is already offered on models like the Ford F-150. We really can't understand why 2021 Bronco Sport hasn't got it as standard equipment, and we believe that Ford will offer it down the road.
People Will Think That This is Bronco-lite
One of our concerns is that non-car enthusiasts will think of the 2021 Bronco Sport as a cheaper, smaller, not so convincing version of the standard and rugged Bronco. True, the Bronco Sport is more affordable and doesn't come with the extreme off-road hardware you'll soon find on the Bronco, but this doesn't mean it's less of an off-road SUV.
It's simply a different kind of vehicle, and the Bronco and Bronco Sport shouldn't really be compared. They're aimed at different markets, different uses, and for different consumers. Both of these models are extremely good, if not the best, in their segments.