2021 Ford Bronco Sport

MSRP range: $26,660 - $38,160
(26)
MSRP$28,485
Edmunds suggests you pay$28,829

What Should I Pay
4 for sale near you
  • 2021

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Review

  • More all-terrain capabilities than your typical SUV
  • Smart features for both adventures and everyday use
  • Lots of customization options
  • Rugged styling
  • Last-generation infotainment system
  • Overly light and vague steering feel
  • A new off-road capable SUV based on the Ford Escape
  • Kicks off the first Bronco Sport generation introduced for 2021

The redesigned Ford Bronco is a significant addition to the Blue Oval's lineup — after more than two decades, Ford aficionados finally see the return of a body-on-frame off-roader intent on beating the Jeep Wrangler at its own game. But what if you want Bronco styling and abilities in a more road-friendly — and affordable — package?

Enter the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. Based on the Ford Escape small SUV, the Bronco Sport aims to marry the look and feel of the Bronco with traditional crossover SUV strengths such as improved road manners and better fuel economy. The Bronco Sport holds its own when venturing off the beaten path thanks to standard all-wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance, multiple traction settings, and a wealth of optional off-road upgrades.

This is a genuinely fun and well-executed small SUV that's bursting with charm. Unfortunately, the Bronco Sport's enhanced off-roading capability comes at the expense of some on-road refinement. How big of a deal is it? Read the categories of our Expert Rating below to learn more.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert RatingThe Edmunds Vehicle Testing Team evaluates a fresh batch of vehicles every week, pairing objective assessments at our test track with real-world driving on city streets, freeways and winding roads. The data we gather results in our Expert Ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover every aspect of the automotive experience.
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The newly introduced Ford Bronco Sport promised off-road capability, and it delivers. This is one small crossover that can tackle terrain and look good doing it. Technology and usable space are also strong points. However, the Bronco Sport struggles to meet expectations in several areas that rivals have long mastered such as ride comfort, rear passenger space, and confident steering and braking.
It's clear that the Bronco Sport has off-roading on the brain, especially in the Badlands guise we tested. The good news is the Bronco Sport is a blast to drive in the dirt. The bad news is that it's much less enjoyable on the street.

The optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine provides admirable power, covering 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds, which is good for the class. The power makes the Bronco Sport an eager off-roader and allows good use of intelligent traction modes. On the road, however, the braking and steering are not up to par. Stopping from 60 mph took 127 feet, which is more than average for a small SUV, but worse is the lack of feel and response from the brake pedal. Transmission shifts are also jerky at low speed.
The Bronco Sport comes with the tacit acknowledgment that you are prioritizing off-road capability over traditional crossover comfort. So it inherently lacks the smooth ride you get from rivals such as Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5. For instance, the Badlands suspension that's been tuned for dirt and rocks often gives a bumpy ride over various road surfaces. And since the Bronco Sport has an upright design, there is wind noise at most speeds.

We also found issue with the front seats. Although they feature a wide range of adjustability to accommodate drivers of various heights, they also lack lateral support and cause your shoulders to jostle. Buyers may also expect dual-zone climate control, which is an option this vehicle did not have equipped. These are not deal-breakers. But they are noticeable.
Inside, the usefulness of the Bronco Sport is an advantage over many rivals. There is a lot of space in the front, particularly headroom, and it's easy to slide inside thanks to the wide range of adjustability in the front seats. Another strong point is the control placement, with dials for both the transmission and selectable drive modes that fall right to your hand.

On paper, the Bronco Sport trails most of its rivals on rear legroom. And while taller occupants might have difficulty squeezing in behind taller front passengers, the rear seats prove comfortable and supportive, especially during off-road endeavors. But the small rear doors, and narrow access to the rear seat footwell, make it difficult to climb inside. Another concern is the wide and flat hood, which can impede forward visibility, but some trim levels include a handy front-facing camera to aid in off-roading and parking situations.
For a vehicle focused on playing in the dirt, the Bronco Sport's tech game is on point. All Bronco Sports come with the Sync 3 infotainment system and an 8-inch touchscreen, which prove to be a potent combination. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard and simple to use. Audio quality is also very good, and appreciated because it effectively blocks the otherwise prevalent wind noise.

Some optional features are also strong. Adaptive cruise control is a bright spot due to smooth operation, especially in stop-and-go traffic, though you need the Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 package to include it. Navigation is not standard on any trim, but when equipped, the directions are clear and work in concert with voice recognition controls.
Available storage space is well utilized in the Bronco Sport to an impressive degree. It's among the class leaders in maximum cargo space, whether the second row of seats is folded down or left up. The Bronco Sport has a high ceiling and low load floor, which, by the way, is rubberized and can be removed completely to clean. The cargo area has a number of hooks, plugs and lights available that are sure to come in handy on trips. Badlands and First Edition models have rear underseat storage cubbies.

The Bronco Sport can accommodate child seats in the rear easily, but it may be difficult to load bulky rear-facing seats due to doors that don't open very wide. And be aware that the maximum towing capacity of 2,200 pounds, even with the optional towing package, is not very impressive compared to the Toyota RAV4 or even the Ford Escape.
The Badlands trim and its 2.0-liter engine are rated at 23 mpg (21 city/26 highway), which is unimpressive for the class. However, on our 115-mile mixed-driving test route, the Bronco Sport returned an average of 26.6 mpg. That's good considering the EPA's estimate but not very high for the class.
There are a number of factors working in the Bronco Sport's favor when it comes to price — standard all-wheel drive, excellent tech features and a lot of style, just to name a few. Our Badlands test model came to $35,745 including options and destination fees, which undercuts its closest rival in the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk before you add extra equipment. If you expect off-road ability for that price, you likely won't be disappointed. For others, however, the lack of premium-feeling materials could be of more concern.

Ford offers fairly standard coverage on the Bronco Sport, with three-year/36,000-mile basic and five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranties. It also offers coverage of five years/unlimited mileage for rust and five years/60,000 miles for roadside assistance. We find this acceptable, but some rivals are much more generous.
The Bronco Sport deserves its off-road credentials thanks to a host of impressive rugged technologies, and it doesn't hurt that it looks the part, too. This crossover turns heads, prompts questions and inspires smiles — something that a lot of competitors simply can't say. And it is genuinely fun to drive when the pavement ends.

In fact these attributes are enough to cover some significant shortcomings. The Bronco Sport is far from perfect in everyday driving on the road, and we advise you to take heed. This is a unique vehicle with a lot of charisma. If that's enough for you to forget some frustrations, then congratulations on your new Bronco Sport.

Which Bronco Sport does Edmunds recommend?

The Bronco Sport's core strength is in its off-road ability, so we recommend capitalizing on that with the Badlands trim. Besides a more powerful engine, you get plenty of off-road features to conquer challenging terrain. We would also upgrade to all-terrain tires.
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Ford Bronco Sport models

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is offered in five trim levels: Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands and First Edition. Feature highlights include:

Bronco Sport Base
The Base model gets you the basics plus some decent tech features, such as:

  • Turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder (181 horsepower, 190 lb-ft of torque)
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Four-wheel drive
  • 17-inch wheels
  • Roof rails
  • LED headlights
  • Rear liftgate with flip-up rear window and lighting
  • Adjustable drive modes
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Remote monitoring and control via a smartphone app
  • Six-speaker audio system

Every Bronco Sport also comes with the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of advanced safety features that includes:

  • Frontal collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the vehicle back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)

Big Bend
The Big Bend trim adds several convenience and comfort features that include:

  • Foglights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Tinted rear passenger and cargo windows
  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • Automatic climate control
  • Stain-resistant cloth upholstery and rubberized cargo floor
  • Cargo pockets on the front seatbacks with Molle cargo straps

Outer Banks
The midrange Outer Banks trim is a good pick for rugged shoppers who also want some of the niceties that are available in less off-road-specific SUVs. These include:

  • Rain-sensing and heated wipers
  • Rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible behind the vehicle when parking)
  • Remote ignition
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Household power outlet

Badlands
The Badlands model comes with the most off-roading features. Compared to the Big Bend trim, it adds:

  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 hp, 277 lb-ft)
  • Specific off-road suspension and all-terrain tires
  • Underbody skid plates
  • Front tow hooks
  • Upgraded 4WD system with special rear differential
  • Trail control (cruise control for off-roading)
  • Forward-looking 180-degree camera system
  • Rubberized flooring
  • Household power outlet
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Passenger-side rear-seat underfloor storage

First Edition
The First Edition is essentially a nearly fully loaded version of the Bronco Sport. It includes the items that were deleted from the Badlands trim as well as:

  • Slightly taller all-terrain tires
  • Roof rack crossbars
  • Sunroof
  • Class II tow hitch receiver
  • Trailer sway control (adjusts vehicle brakes to help control trailer movement if a trailer begins to sway)
  • Wireless charging pad
  • 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system

Many features are available on supporting trims as options. A navigation system can be added to any trim level. Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front) is also available.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport.

Average user rating: 3.8 stars
26 total reviews
5 star reviews: 58%
4 star reviews: 11%
3 star reviews: 3%
2 star reviews: 5%
1 star reviews: 23%

Trending topics in reviews

  • appearance
  • comfort
  • off-roading
  • ride quality
  • fuel efficiency
  • spaciousness
  • driving experience
  • doors
  • lights
  • transmission
  • maintenance & parts
  • road noise
  • oil
  • value
  • interior
  • seats
  • engine
  • warranty

Most helpful consumer reviews

3/5 stars, beautiful car, drive train problems like no other
Zerk,
Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
2 days off the lot, torque converter locks up. Takes a month for Ford to decide what to do. Another 22 days for the transmission to be replaced. Engine does not sound the same. there is a light rattle and some oil or fluid may be leaking from the engine/transmission area. In an independant shop today. About two months out now.
5/5 stars, Beyond Impressed! Wow!
JRav007,
Big Bend 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A)
So far I’m loving everything about this from the look to the feel to the little details. It’s a pretty basic Big Bend model with the tow package and not too many other upgrades. I’m not one for extras and wanted to keep the pricing as reasonable as possible. I am in South Jersey and haven’t seen a single other one on the road yet...this is definitely turning heads. If there is one thing I’m not crazy about, it is the “Auto-Stop” function that shuts down the car at lights. I’m really not used to this and it feels kinda rough when it re-starts after shutting off for the light. Luckily it is possible to disable it and I haven’t used it at all. Ive driven it a pretty good deal both city and highway over the past couple days and am really really enjoying it! I’ve mostly stayed in “standard” mode (option of Standard, Sport, Eco, Sand, Slippery) and have been getting PHENOMENAL gas mileage all things considered. Also a very smooth and consistent ride as long as I keep the frigging auto stop/start disabled. Feels good on acceleration despite some reports of it feeling a little sluggish. Not mine! Feels great up in the 60-75 range too...nice and powerful. I’m not pushing it at all until I hit over 1500k on the miles. Absolutely in love with it so far!
2/5 stars, Grinding when backing up and turning
Catherine,
Big Bend 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A)
36k price. Loved this car up until I hit 2400 miles or less. Noticed when I backed up and turned out of my drive way; I heard a loud rough grinding noise last Thursday. I took it in the following morning to Ford they backed up two times but heard nothing and tried to send me away. I insisted on them checking it out again. Left it overnight and they still don’t know what is going on with it. Not too happy with the Bronco Big Bend now. Have an escape that is not making the noise when I back up and turn out of my driveway. Anyone experiencing this??
5/5 stars, Great Surprise!
Alex,
Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Just had the opportunity to drive the Badland edition, and I really liked it. I immediately dismissed it previously as a rebadged Escape, but I was surprised. Firstly, very good driving experience. The engine has good power, the steering has good feedback and great on-center feel, and it's refined. It felt really solid, and I was not expecting that at all. On the highway, I caught myself going over the speed limit many times due to its refinement. Comfortable interior, and really powerful heating/heated seats. I just really loved how solid it felt going down the road. The AWD system is really good! Turning off the stability control, it was really easy to get rotation in the snow. I had to drive it to the airport during a snow storm, and it felt so stable on the highway!!! The headlights are really good! Really, I wasn't expecting to like it so much since I drove a new Escape and it felt really different. I liked the stiff ride, as it imparted a solid feel to the vehicle. The driving position is great, and it looks great in person. Like a mini LR Defender. The sculpted hood is really cool to look at when driving. Lastly, I loved the size of it. Truly maneuverable and agile. In terms of downsides, the 2.0T seemed to really eat gas. Probably because of the aerodynamics and the good performance. Also, the speakers were truly mediocre. There was a very obvious rattle under heavy bass. Overall, I'd really recommend it. It's priced higher than other subcompact SUVs, but it truly feels more expensive due to its solidity, good performance, and solid driving dynamics. I'm a fan! Edit: The transmission calibration was significantly better than in the Escape. That was one of my biggest qualms I had with the Escape. In the Bronco Sport, it felt pretty well tuned.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport videos

[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER 1: We've hit the trail to answer two questions. Is the new Bronco Sport really worthy of the Bronco badge? And how does it function in the real world? To find out, we're putting it to the test alongside that other small SUV with all terrain pretensions, the Subaru Forester. Let's get on with it. Now this might just be the Bronco Sport and not the Ford Bronco. But it does have an impressive lineup of hard and software. All wheel drive, as you'd expect, is standard. And then it features what Ford calls its goat system. Now in my opinion Muhammad Ali was the GOAT, the greatest of all time. But for Ford, it means, Go Over Any Terrain, which is a pretty ballsy claim for escape based SUV. In this the more hardcore Badlands edition, you get seven different modes, everything from eco to rock crawl. You also get uprated suspension in the Badlands, increased ground clearance with the bigger tires, and a trick system that employs two different clutches at the back to give you a kind of de facto locking rear differential. So we'll get to play with that. And we've chosen a hill that might not look that hardcore on camera. But what it allows us to do is to show the wheel articulation of this and the Forester and to get a sense of what each vehicle is capable of. So at the moment, we've got all the fancy systems off. We're just relying on the grip from the tires. And then my immense, let's be right about it, immense talent. And one thing this car doesn't have is a low ratio gearbox, which means that you've got to be pretty delicate with the throttle. Now what we're trying to do is go across this articulation. And immediately you can see it's starting to spin things up. A little bit more momentum. Here we go. A little bit more momentum. And up she goes. But to be honest, it's probably not the best if it's your car. What are we going to do now is we're going to go back up the same hill using the same route. But I'm actually going to deploy the goat. So here we go. I'm going to put it into, you know what drives me mad, is as you turn it right, the screen goes left. Drives me nuts. So we're going to go all the way through to rock crawl. Now what that's done is activate this fancy system at the rear, which allows us to send almost all the torque to either the right or the left tire. I'm also going to put it into manual mode on the gearbox and just lock it into first gear. And then away we go. So we're going to take the same path. I've got the front camera to show me the terrain coming up. Let's have a go. You see actually straight away feel the car doing its work. And she just glides up. From a driver's perspective, not as exciting. From a vehicle preservation perspective, really rather good. I have to say, this is quite an impressive toy. So now we're in the Subaru. On the face of it, it's actually quite a lot simpler. But it does have an X Mode system and a choice between snow and dirt or deep snow and mud or indeed normal which you're in most of the time. We have a continuously variable transmission, automatic, which also has an additional function, which gives you sort of lower ratio kind of thing. So we're going to try and do what we did in the Ford, which is take this sort of fairly aggressive line up this hill. And at the moment, all the systems are off. We're just in normal. So into drive. Let's give it a whirl. Should also say that Subaru is on far less aggressive tires than the Ford. These are all-- immediately we've got stuck. I would call these all season tires, whereas the Ford is very much on all terrain tires. So I'm going to back up a little bit and see if we can't give another go. Now the Subaru as you expect does have a reversing camera. But it doesn't have the forward facing camera that the Ford does that I think is particularly useful. So here we go. Give it a little bit more momentum. And-- OK. So I'm going to try to steer away around this a little bit. Here we go. Let's get a bit of momentum. And as you can see, we are struggling. And up we go. So what are we're going to do now is we're going to take it back round, try again using all the extra gizmos, use this sort of low ratio tight mode on the gearbox. And let's see if we can't restore a bit of Scooby pride. We're going to activate X Mode, turn it into deep snow and mud. What that also does is activate a little screen at the top here, which gives me some guidance about the angle of the car, both from a lateral and a fore and after, whatever you call it, perspective. So just try and use a little bit of momentum, nothing too serious. Let's see how we get on. Actually see the car instantly working harder. That's impressive. That is impressive because these tires have nothing like the grip of the Fords. Shows how clever electronics are getting, eh? This has always been the Scooby's sort of trump card really in the small SUV class. It might not look like the fiercest of off roaders. And it might not make bold claims with fancy go faster stripes like the Ford. But honestly, both these cars are actually better than I expected. And while I think ultimately the Ford will go a little bit further, they Subaru is definitely not disgraced. In fact, in terms of ground clearance, there's only 0.1 of an inch in the Ford's favor. While we cross the trail, why not click Subscribe to our channel and remember to turn on notifications for future films like this. And if you're looking for a change, head to edmunds.com/sellmycar for a cash offer on your current vehicle. The Bronco Sport started at around $28,000. But this top spec Badlands costs almost $36,000. It's based on the Ford Escape SUV but has been beefed up both technically and aesthetically to appeal to outdoorsy types, or at least those who like to pretend they're outdoorsy. The Forester's a lot less extrovert in the best Subaru tradition. Rally specials aside, Scooby's have always been bought by people comfortable in their own skin. It's an anti statement car. But it has the tech to go head to head with the Sport. And at just under $34,000 in this limited trim, it's a couple of grand cheaper. Inside, you can really see the Escape influence. It's not nearly as funky as the big Bronco. And in places, it does feel a little bit cheap. I can't remember the last time that I drove a $35,000 car with a hard plastic steering wheel, probably a rental. There's plenty of evidence of cost cutting to make space for all that off-road hardware. The perception of quality is actually better in the Subaru. It all works well, there's no shortage of tech. But it's not going to win any design awards. If you're a Subaru fanboy, you might call it utilitarian chic. But for me, it's just a bit dull. The Bronco Sport does at least try and liven things up with some neat detailing. I love this little zipper pocket here on the seat back. And yes, it will fit an iPad. You get this little webbing here on the back for hanging stuff from, 110 volt power supply for charging something like a laptop, and my favorite feature under this passenger seat, a sort of cubbie for dirty shoes with enough room for my filthy size 11 Nikes. Neat. But there is a problem. And it's this. Yes. I know I'm 6 foot 4, but it really is tight back here. But tough on the old crotch. This Forester's also set up for my driving position. And as you can see, there's a load more room. Seriously, if you're thinking about buying one of these vehicles as a family car and you've got teenage kids, well worth thinking about. Cargo space I hear you say. Well, with both rear seats up, there's very little to choose between them. But with the rear seats folded down, the Subaru has over 10 cubic feet more space. That's a big difference. [MUSIC PLAYING] To be honest, a path like this up to a trailhead is probably the type of off-roading that these vehicles will do most of the time. And both of them handle it with complete aplomb, we're in normal mode, all the fancy gadgets switched off, and cruising along listening to the love channel. Because as we film, it's almost Valentine's Day. Feeling a bit romantic. Beautiful scenery, sun is shining. Hard to believe we're only about half an hour outside of LA. Honestly though, I could probably get a sedan up here. It's not so tough, this bit. At least I feel a bit tougher in the Bronco. I feel a little bit more alpha, macho, manly. [MUSIC PLAYING] Let's be honest about it. Even if you are a weakened adventurer like the beautiful people on Ford's website, you're still going to spend most of your time on the road. And on the terra firma, the Bronco Sport is all right. Don't expect Honda CRV levels of comfort, or Mazda CX5 style driving finesse. But it's still better than more dedicated off roaders like the Jeep Wrangler. The ride can be a bit choppy and the steering lacks a bit of precision. But we suspect that's exaggerated in the Badlands edition by the off-roader focus suspension and tire setup. Be interesting to drive a standard Bronco Sport. The Forester has a nicer ride quality and steers better too. But it's still no Mazda CX5. It's also badly let down by its engine. The 2 and 1/2 liter naturally aspirated boxy unit develops just 182 horsepower and 176 pounds feet of torque and works with a CVT automatic. By contrast, the Ford's 2 liter turbo develops 245 horsepower and 277 pounds feet of torque and works with a more traditional eight speed automatic that we much prefer. On the road, the Subaru can feel genuinely sluggish. And the difference was confirmed when we took both vehicles to the Edmunds test track. In the hands of our expert test drivers, the Bronco Sport recorded zero to 60 in 7.2 seconds, a full 2.1 seconds faster than the Forester. But at least a Subaru stopped more quickly than the Ford. The Forester needed 120 feet to stop from 60 miles an hour, seven feet less than the Bronco. Anyway, enough with the facts and figures. And I'm now full of caffeine. Let's head back to the trails. But before we do that, I wanted to demonstrate another neat feature of the old Bronco Sport. You have the option here of either opening the whole tailgate, or get this, just the glass. Like that. Even if getting a rucksack out is a bit of a challenge. So remember that hill that we came up earlier today? Well, we're now at the top of it looking down. And we're going to test out the car's hill descent control systems or whatever Subaru and Ford actually call them. So in the Scooby-Doo X Mode into deep snow and mud, using the transmission into its little low mode. And away we go. Now one thing that Subaru struggles with relative to Ford, you have to look at them to see, is the approach and departure angle. In other words, how much the bodywork's kind of hanging over the front and rear of the tires. And that means you're far more likely to whack a rock at the front or whack a rock at the rear. And that's particularly pertinent going downhill when sometimes it's actually quite difficult to see what you're doing. I'm actually just going to use the brakes a little bit to control the speed. You can feel the ABS doing its thing. I'm actually working with the hill descent control just because I want to manage the speed because I can see with my human eyes that we have a pretty big obstacle ahead. Feel articulation, just easing it down. And again, I'm kind of working with the systems. But I am putting in quite a bit of manual input. I think if we just let it do its thing on its own, we've probably got too much momentum for those big articulations. But we made it down. Now we should make it up the other side. Let's swap to the Ford. So jumping into the Ford, I'm into goat mode rock crawl. I'm going to use manual on the gearbox and lock it down into first. But then I'm going to use what Ford calls trail control. What this effectively is is a kind of cruise control for off road work. And I can actually buy using these little set buttons here on the steering wheel control the speed I want to go. So I'm going to lock it into the lowest possible speed. That's one, take my foot off the brake, and away we go very slowly. So immediately, you've got more control than you had in the Subaru. And if I now I can turn that up to two or three and actually manage my speed electronically. I also love this front camera. I can see where I am. So now I'm going exceptionally slowly. As you can see, all my feet are off the pedals. And down we go. Super easy. Super controlled. Now this would be useful not only if you're doing serious off road work like this, but also if it suddenly snows and you've got to go down a tricky descent. That's really impressive. I've also been playing with this system going uphill. And there I like it less, the reason being that sometimes when you look ahead to different terrain, you actually want to use a bit of momentum. So for me, and I've done quite a bit of off roading, I tend to use it for the downhills and then control the throttle myself on the uphill sections. But it's kind of a personal preference. But it's really good. Really good system. And this is the same system that's now on things like the Ranger Tremor. And we expect it to be rolled out as part of the off road arsenal. Definitely a win for the Ford. And so to the conclusion. What have we learned both on and off road? Well, let's start with question one. Is the Sport worthy of the Bronco badge? Is Baron Von Bronco really happy? And the answer to that is a resounding yes. Honestly, we've all been super impressed with what this vehicle can do off road, particularly in this Badlands trim. But its ability comes with some compromises, which is a neat segue into question two. Is it a good SUV? We'd be willing to trade a bit of on road refinement and even a bit of interior quality for that off-road capability. But the lack of rear room and rear leg room in particular should be a big concern for families. The Subaru Forester isn't as cool and isn't as new. And that engine's a real let down. But it arguably offers a better compromise of some off-road ability with on road refinement and space. So here's what I think. If you want a fund junior off-roader at a pretty accessible price, then buy a Bronco Sport. If you warm a comfortable, spacious, family SUV, then perhaps go for our top ranked Honda CRV. And if you want a bit of both, then by all means choose the Subaru Forester. If you enjoyed this film and if you want to see more like it, then subscribe to our channel, and Baron. Head to edmunds.com for all your car shopping needs. You won't regret it. There's no horseplay. [MUSIC PLAYING]

2021 Ford Bronco Sport vs. 2021 Subaru Forester | Off-Road Crossover Comparison


Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$26,660
MPG & Fuel
N/A City / N/A Hwy / N/A Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.0 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: all wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Engine
Inline 3 cylinder
Horsepower: 181 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 190 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 172.7 in. / Height: 70.2 in.
Overall Width with Mirrors: 82.2 in.
Overall Width without Mirrors: 74.3 in.
Curb Weight: 3467 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: N/A

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At a Glance:
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Safety

Our experts’ favorite Bronco Sport safety features:

Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
Warns if a front collision is imminent and applies the brakes if the driver doesn't respond in time.
Lane Keeping System
Warns if the vehicle drifts out of its lane and steers it back automatically.
BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert
Alerts the driver to vehicles in its blind spots or to approaching vehicles when backing out into traffic.


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2021 Jeep Cherokee

Ford Bronco Sport vs. Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep Cherokee is another small SUV to check out if you're looking for enhanced off-road performance. The Trailhawk trim, in particular, has a lot of upgrades and is broadly comparable to the Bronco Sport's Badlands trim. The Cherokee is a little more comfortable and easier to drive on pavement, but deciding between the two won't be easy.

Compare Ford Bronco Sport & Jeep Cherokee features 

Ford Bronco Sport vs. Jeep Wrangler

Want maximum off-road capability? You'll want the Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler is one of the most hardcore off-road vehicles available, and it can go places the Bronco Sport simply can't. But you'll definitely be sacrificing comfort and on-road manners. The Bronco Sport is a more balanced SUV overall. It's more affordable too. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Jeep Wrangler.

Compare Ford Bronco Sport & Jeep Wrangler features 

Ford Bronco Sport vs. Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is more of a "soft-roader" than a legitimate off-roader, but if you don't plan on rock-crawling, it could be a viable alternative to the Bronco Sport. It has taller ground clearance than other street-based SUVs and special drive modes to maximize available off-road traction. It's also roomier and more convenient for everyday duties than the Bronco Sport.

Compare Ford Bronco Sport & Subaru Outback features 

2021 Ford Bronco Sport First Impressions

What is the Bronco Sport?

The redesigned Ford Bronco is a significant addition to the Blue Oval's lineup — after more than two decades, Ford aficionados finally see the return of a body-on-frame off-roader intent on beating the Jeep Wrangler at its own game. But what if you want Bronco styling and abilities in a more road-friendly — and affordable — package?

Enter the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. Based on the Ford Escape small SUV, the Bronco Sport aims to marry the look and feel of the Bronco with traditional crossover SUV strengths such as improved road manners and better fuel economy. The Bronco Sport holds its own when venturing off the beaten path thanks to standard all-wheel drive, multiple traction settings, and a wealth of optional off-road upgrades.

What kind of off-road stuff does the Bronco Sport get?

Aside from its more expressive styling, the available off-road features might be the reason you choose the Bronco Sport over the Escape. With standard four-wheel drive, along with Slippery and Sand traction control modes, every Bronco Sport model should prove quite capable at navigating tricky terrain.

The Badlands and First Edition trim levels raise the ante with an upgraded 4WD system that incorporates a clutch at each rear axle, allowing it to shunt almost all torque to either rear wheel when the situation calls for it. They also add Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl traction modes, extra powertrain coolers, unique suspension upgrades and all-terrain tires.

Available features include Trail Control. This is a kind of off-road cruise control you can use to have the Bronco Sport accelerate (up to 20 mph) and brake automatically while you just worry about steering. There's also a front-facing camera to help you watch for objects and other obstructions while off-roading, and it even comes with a washing system to keep mud from obscuring the lens. You can further spec front tow hooks in case you run into a jam.

How does the Bronco Sport drive?

Standard on the base, Big Bend and Outer Banks trim levels is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. You also get 4WD and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Upgrade to the off-road-oriented Badlands or First Edition, and you'll be rewarded with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 245 hp and 275 lb-ft, plus a more off-road-capable 4WD system.

So far we've only driven the Bronco Sport with the 2.0-liter engine. It provides a pleasing amount of power and the eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly. When you're just cruising around town, the Bronco Sport feels nimble and pretty easy to drive. But the steering is shockingly light and vague, especially on initial turn-in. It only stiffens up midway through a corner. On twisty roads, this uneasy sensation is a problem.

Once you venture off-road, the Bronco Sport shows off its many party tricks. In the fully loaded First Edition trim, which comes with an upgraded suspension and two additional drive modes, the Bronco Sport is admirably playful on light to moderate trails. It not only takes bumps and bends with ease but also willingly encourages you to go faster. We haven't had the chance to tackle low-speed obstacles or steep inclines, so we don't know yet how effective the Bronco Sport's upgraded rear differential is for maximizing available traction.

How comfortable is the Bronco Sport?

You'll first notice that the Bronco Sport provides a lot of space for driver and passengers, particularly when it comes to headroom. That upright profile easily lends itself to taller folks. Our initial impression is that the second row lacks legroom for adults over long drives, however. It will either take some creative front-seat positioning or a little backseat yoga to keep people comfortable back there. Kids though? No problem.

The Bronco Sport's ride is comfortable. But at highway speeds, there's a fair amount of wind noise, and the available off-road suspension can make some noticeable noise when driving over bumps.

How's the Bronco Sport's interior?

There are neat little touches sprinkled throughout the cabin and cargo area of the Bronco Sport. Added up, they bring a lot of personality to the vehicle, and it's something we'd like to see in more crossover SUVs. In the front you have a deep center console, two flat storage trays below the touchscreen and a functional controls layout. In the back there are seatback pouches that zip shut, plus underseat storage and cargo netting on the Badlands and First Edition.

How's the Bronco Sport's tech?

The standard 8-inch touchscreen runs on Ford's Sync 3 operating system. We consider it one of the better systems out there. Still, it would be nice to have the updated Sync 4 system that will come with the bigger Bronco. More disappointing, though, is that integrated navigation is not standard on any trim, even the Badlands and First Edition. This may not seem like a big deal since both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. However, in remote locales where cell signals are scarce, a preloaded map frequently comes in handy. Integrated navigation is optional on the Outer Banks and Badlands trims.

All trims come with Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite of active safety features, which consists of forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot monitor and lane keeping assist. You can also add Co-Pilot360 Assist+ with lane centering, adaptive cruise control and navigation, or Co-Pilot360 2.0 with traffic sign recognition that allows the adaptive cruise system to alter speed based on the observed speed limit.

How's the Bronco Sport's storage?

Storage is one area where the Bronco Sport stands out in its class, especially given that it will matter to all owners whether they off-road regularly or not. The Bronco Sport slots between the Cherokee and the RAV4 in terms of cargo space behind the second row of seats, at up to 32.5 cubic feet in some trims, but it certainly tops the class in usefulness and attention to detail. To start, you can load items into the rear by lifting up the entire liftgate as usual. But you can also just flip up the rear window and reach inside — a handy trick that's not only convenient but also keeps other items from spilling out if you have a full load of groceries, sports equipment or camping gear.

Badlands and First Edition models have an available storage bin under the rear passenger seat where you can store muddy shoes, and the front seatbacks have cargo netting for linking loose items with a carabiner. In the back there are tie-downs, clothes hanger hooks, multiple power outlets and available floodlights. It's just a very useful and thought-out utility space. Ford is also making more than 100 accessories available, among them an interior bike rack and a cargo management system that transforms into a work table.

Is the Bronco Sport a good value?

Value is always in the eye of the beholder, but that is even more true in the case of the Bronco Sport. Its functional space, technology and standard all-wheel drive make the base model price very attractive at around $28,000 (including destination). That's about what you'd pay to get into a base version of a Jeep Cherokee or Toyota RAV4.

Materials-wise, there is a lot of plastic inside the Bronco Sport — even on higher trims. That's not atypical for a small SUV, and Ford instilled it with a lot of style and visually appealing design to keep things interesting. The interior works for us, especially considering what the Bronco Sport is designed to do. If you want leather and premium trim, there's always the Mazda CX-5.

EdmundsEdmunds says

This is a genuinely fun and well-executed small SUV that's bursting with charm. If you're looking for style, off-road performance or customization from your next small crossover SUV, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is seriously worth checking out.


FAQ

Is the Ford Bronco Sport a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Bronco Sport both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.6 out of 10. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Ford Bronco Sport. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport:

  • A new off-road capable SUV based on the Ford Escape
  • Kicks off the first Bronco Sport generation introduced for 2021
Learn more

Is the Ford Bronco Sport reliable?

To determine whether the Ford Bronco Sport is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Bronco Sport. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Bronco Sport's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Bronco Sport and gave it a 7.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Bronco Sport is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport?

The least-expensive 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $26,660.

Other versions include:

  • Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $32,660
  • Outer Banks 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $32,160
  • Big Bend 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $28,160
  • First Edition 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $38,160
  • 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $26,660
Learn more

What are the different models of Ford Bronco Sport?

If you're interested in the Ford Bronco Sport, the next question is, which Bronco Sport model is right for you? Bronco Sport variants include Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), Outer Banks 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A), Big Bend 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A), and First Edition 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A). For a full list of Bronco Sport models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Overview

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is offered in the following submodels: Bronco Sport SUV. Available styles include Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), Outer Banks 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A), 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A), First Edition 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and Big Bend 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A). Ford Bronco Sport models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 1.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 245 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic, 8-speed automatic. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Bronco Sport 3.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Bronco Sport.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Bronco Sport featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Ford Bronco Sport?

2021 Ford Bronco Sport 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2021 Ford Bronco Sport 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 27 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 16 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,940. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is trending $106 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $106 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $37,834.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) is 0.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport First Edition 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

Which 2021 Ford Bronco Sports are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Ford Bronco Sport for sale near. There are currently 112 new 2021 Bronco Sports listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $28,155 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $1,096 on a used or CPO 2021 Bronco Sport available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Ford Bronco Sports you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Ford for sale - 1 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,898.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport?

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (recommended)

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed automatic, regular unleaded

2021 Ford Bronco Sport 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A), 8-speed automatic, regular unleaded

EPA Est. MPGN/A
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Drive Trainall wheel drive
Displacement2.0 L
Passenger VolumeN/A
Wheelbase105.1 in.
Length172.7 in.
WidthN/A
Height71.4 in.
Curb Weight3707 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials