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The Ford Bronco was a popular SUV produced from the 1960s to the mid 1990s. It was originally designed as a compact off-road machine. Every iteration that followed offered strong off-road capabilities too. Ford later enlarged the vehicle and built the Bronco off of their F-Series truck platform. It was discontinued and replaced by the Expedition after the 1996 model year.
After a 25-year hiatus, the Bronco is back and is arguably better than ever. In addition to the new full-sized Bronco, Ford also offers the compact Bronco Sport. This smaller SUV has four-doors and a rear hatch for the surprisingly large cargo area. Its exterior design is a throwback to the iconic appearance of the classic Bronco models. Continuing the legacy of superior off-road performance, every Bronco Sport is equipped with all-wheel drive.
What's New for 2021?
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is a brand-new model for the upcoming year. It was designed to be a smaller counterpart to the full-sized Bronco that also debuts in 2021. The last Bronco models from 1996 were two-door SUVs built off of a tuck platform. The Bronco Sport will feature four doors and its own unique chassis and frame.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport – The Pros
1. Two Strong Engine Choices
The base model of the Ford Bronco Sport comes equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine. This motor offers Auto Start-Stop Technology. It produces a strong 181 horsepower with plenty of torque to get you over off-road obstacles.
Even better is Ford's turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. This power-plant can crank out 245 horsepower. Those extra horses greatly improve the acceleration, passing power and overall performance of the Bronco Sport.
2. Good Fuel-Economy Numbers
The 3-cylinder base engine should get you around 25 miles-per-gallon in the city and 28 miles-per-gallon on the highway according to EPA estimates. Moving up to the more powerful engine yields slightly lower results, but this is to be expected. The 4-cylinder should get you around 21 miles-per-gallon in the city and 26 miles-per-gallon on the highway. Those numbers are fantastic for a gasoline-powered vehicle in this class.
3. Impressive Off-Road Capabilities
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport offers serious off-road credibility. Every model of this SUV comes equipped with 4X4 all-wheel drive. The Bronco Sport has a high ground clearance of 8.8-inches to help it get over off-road debris. It can even ford water of up to 23.6-inches deep. This SUV features Ford's High-Performance, Off-Road, Stability, Suspension System, or H.O.S.S. for short.
Ford's 4X4 systems offer a set of driving modes called G.O.A.T. This is short for Goes Over Any Type of Terrain. The driver can select different modes depending on the terrain and driving conditions. This optimizes performances so that the Bronco Sport can tackle just about anything.
4. The Ability To Tow
One of the best reasons to own any SUV is the ability to tow. With an off-road machine like the Bronco Sport, it's likely that drivers will want to take a boat or trailer along for some outdoor adventures. Fortunately, the Bronco Sport has a maximum towing capacity of up to 2,205 pounds when properly equipped.
5. Plenty of Cargo Space
Cargo space is another reason why so many drivers opt for an SUV over a sedan or coupe nowadays. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport may be a compact SUV, but there's still plenty of room for whatever it is you need to haul. With all of the seats in their normal positions, there's still around 32.5 cubic-feet of space behind that second row. With the seats folded down, you have an impressive 65.2 cubic-feet of cargo space.
6. Room for Your Whole Crew
If room for your cargo is important, room for your favorite people is even more so. Inside of the Bronco Sport, there's plenty of space for your family, friends or crew. The Bronco Sport can comfortable seat up to five people with two up front and three in the back. There's a lot of head clearance and legroom on the inside of this compact SUV too.
7. A Classic Exterior Design
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport was designed to appeal to fans of the classic Broncos from years past. There are a lot of design cues based on the old Ford Broncos. This is perfectly blended with modern design elements. You get something modern and new but with a strong attachment to the past. The design is both rugged and yet sophisticated.
8. A Comfortable Interior
The interior of the Ford Bronco Sport was designed for easy cleaning and maintenance. This is perfect for a vehicle that will be used for off-road fun. It's also a very comfortable interior that should suit anyone just fine on long road trips or daily commutes.
Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control is standard on the top trim levels. The seats have plenty of cushioning yet remain supportive. The driver's seat has 8-way power adjustments and available leather upholstery. They also come with heating at the higher trim levels. There are eight cup holders and a ton of small-item storage spaces throughout the cabin.
9. Modern High-Tech Features
Depending on the trim level, the Bronco Sport gets Ford's SYNC 3 Infotainment System with an Am/FM stereo and navigation system. It offers compatibility with Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto apps. There are four smart-charging USB ports and Bluetooth technology. There is also a B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen with ten speakers and a subwoofer.
10. Safety Features and Driver-Assist Technology
Every Bronco Sport gets Ford's Advanced Airbag System. A Tire-Pressure Monitoring System lets owners know if their tires are underinflated. Every trim level gets Ford's Co-Pilot360 Technology. This includes automatic braking that kicks in during emergencies. The system can even detect pedestrians and provide appropriate warnings to the driver.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport – The Cons
1. Issues With the Forward-Facing Camera
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport has a forward-facing camera that's especially helpful during off-road excursions. It can help you to survey the terrain and see rocks and debris in your path. Some early reviewers, however, have noticed issues with this camera. Specifically, it may lose focus and clarity and leave you wondering what it is that you're looking at.
2. The Steering Dynamics Need Improvement
The Ford Bronco Sport has great traction and handles nicely overall. The actual steering, however, could stand to be improved. Steering feels a bit vague and not as tight as it should be. Things are better when off-roading and rock-crawling, but the on-road steering needs some tweaking.
3. Unrefined Ride Quality at Highway Speeds
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport usually provides a smooth ride over paved roads. It handles nicely, and there's very little body roll when taking on sharp corners. Unfortunately, things are less refined once the Bronco Sport gets up to highway speeds. The ride quality becomes stiff with more vibrations and road noise to make things less comfortable.
4. The Backseats Could Be Bigger
Ford packs a whole lot of space into this small SUV. Up front, it's quite comfortable for two average-sized adults. The back has room for three. The head and leg room is okay even for the rear-seat passengers. The roof rises in the back to provide more space.
Unfortunately, the rear bench seat is on the smaller side. Things would be a lot more comfortable for a wider range of people if the seats were enlarged. Hopefully, Ford will make improvements here for the 2022 models.
How It Stacks up To the Competition:
2021 Ford Bronco Sport vs 2021 Mazda MX-30
The 2021 Mazda MX-30 is set to be one of the top competitors to the upcoming Ford Bronco Sport. It's important to note that these vehicles are in the same class, but the Mazda MX-30 is significantly more expensive. The MX-30 has a hybrid engine that will, however, save you money at the gas pumps. It has more torque too, but the Bronco Sport has way more horsepower under the hood.
Mazda's MX-30 has a more upscale interior with plenty of luxury and convenience features. Ford's Bronco Sport offers all-wheel drive and more capability. It's the more practical vehicle to own with more cargo room. The MX-30 may be the best choice if you're only going to drive on paved roads. The Bronco, however, can do that too while also providing off-road fun that the MX-30 just can't match.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport vs 2021 Nissan Rogue Sport
The 2021 Nissan Rogue will be another tough competitor for the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. These vehicles have similar price points with the Nissan coming in at just a hair less than the Ford. Both offer 181 horsepower from their base engines. The Bronco Sport offers a bit more torque. The Rogue Sport has a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission while the Bronco Sport offers a more traditional 8-speed automatic.
As previously mentioned, every Ford Bronco Sport is equipped with 4X4 all-wheel drive. The Rogue Sport comes stock with front-wheel drive. There's no real competition here when it comes to off-road performance. The Bronco Sport again wins easily. The Nissan has a bit more cargo space, but the Ford has a more comfortable interior and better overall performance and handling.
If you're looking for a new compact SUV, you can't go wrong with the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. It has plenty of cargo space and can seat up to five, so it's well-suited as a family hauler. It has enough comfort and convenience features to be a great daily driver too. It also offers something that not many other vehicles in its class do. The Bronco Sport is a legitimate off-road-performance machine for those who love the great outdoors.