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2024 Ford Bronco Sport: Pros, Cons & Competitor Analysis

2024 Ford Bronco Sport Pros, Cons, and Competitor Comparison
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By Norman Ruckpaul
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch
Published: Feb 5, 2024

Forget pavement princesses – the new 2024 Ford Bronco Sport storms in with real off-road grit and throwback vibes. Like a mini version of the legendary Bronco, this plucky ride packs beastly talents for weekend warriors seeking outdoor thrills beyond pavement. With its tech and looks on point, the Bronco Sport brings comfort wherever your adventures go.

But how does it stack up to big players like the Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Compass and Kia Seltos? Comparing pros and cons gives helpful perspective on where this Bronco shines and where it falls a bit short. So buckle up, outdoor explorers who hate roughing it – the Bronco Sport could be the perfect trail pal to conquer nature in style.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Bronco Sport has real off-road chops with AWD, hunkered stance and drive modes to kick up dirt on the trails.

  • Modern tech like SYNC infotainment, smartphone integration and driver assists keep you connected and safe on the road.

  • The higher price tag warrants comparison to rival SUVs to determine if the premium features justify the cost.

  • With flexible cargo space and a comfortable cabin, the Bronco Sport suits weekend adventures or daily driving.

What We Like - Ten Pros of the 2024 Ford Bronco Sport

The 2024 Bronco Sport is a nice addition to the Ford Co lineup. It delivers an optimal blend of retro style, off-road capability, smart technology, and driving dynamics. Ford has crafted an appealing compact SUV with strong performance and broad appeal.

1. Retro-Inspired Design

Channeling the spirit of the original Bronco, the 2024 Bronco Sport features rugged, boxy exterior styling with short overhangs and raised ride height. Round LED headlights and taillights, removable roof rails, and aggressive grille designs provide vintage styling cues. The Bronco name undoubtedly carries clout with off-roading enthusiasts. The heritage-inspired design sets it apart from tamer-looking competitors and connects it to past Bronco models. With its brick-like proportions and chunky fender flares, the Bronco Sport makes a strong styling statement in the compact SUV segment.

2. Good Off-Road Capabilities

While it's not a hardcore rock crawler, the Bronco Sport provides genuine off-road capability thanks to its available all-wheel drive system, 8.6 inch 6, and short overhangs for better approach and departure angles. The optional Badlands trim adds off-road oriented upgrades like heavy-duty bash plates and specific off-road drive modes. This gives the Bronco Sport an edge over soft-roading rivals when the pavement ends. With up to 7 drive modes depending on trim, the 2024 Bronco Sport maintains impressive off-road chops despite its size compared to the Ford Bronco. Short front and rear overhangs also help the Bronco Sport navigate trails. The Bronco Sport can confidently handle dirt, sand, and light to moderate off-roading.

With its all wheel drive 4x4 drivetrain, Terrain Management System, and G.O.A.T. Modes, it will handle rough trails, mud, and snow with ease.

Comparing it to its rivals:

  • With higher ground clearance and rugged upgrades, the Bronco Sport can traverse rougher terrain than the Crosstrek. But drivers looking for light off-road ability would be well-served by either model. Crosstrek is not far behind.

  • With better ground clearance of 8.8 inches versus 8.1 inches for the Compass, superior approach and departure angles, and an off-road optimized AWD system featuring a twin-clutch rear drive unit and specialized off-road modes, the Bronco Sport outperforms the Jeep Compass off-road by allowing it to clear obstacles, avoid bottoming out, handle inclines better, and navigate rugged terrain. [2]

  • Compared to the street-focused Seltos the Ford comes with better four-wheel drive capability, engine power, and ground clearance.

3. Good Powertrain & Engine Performance

The base engine is a a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with an eight speed automatic transmission. The horsepower is 181 and torque is 190. Although the base engine has less power than the Jeep Compass (200HP), it does offer more power than the Kia Seltos and Subaru Crosstrek. (146 HP and 152 HP respectively.)

If you want a more powerful engine, you need to pay up and go for the Badlands model - price approaching 40K. The badlands trim provides a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 277 of torque. (No hybrid version is available for this vehicle.) More power than all three competitors.

4. Good Infotainment Features

The 2024 Ford Bronco Sport is packed with modern technology features. Notable feature include:

  • SYNC 3 Infotainment System - includes an 8-inch touchscreen display.

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

  • FordPass Connect - you can remotely access and control certain vehicle functions using your smartphone.

  • Optional B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen.

  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio

  • USB Ports and Charging Outlets - Inside and behind Center Console "A" and "C"

5. Safety Features & Ratings

In addition to the Co-Pilot360 tech, Ford offers:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

  • standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection

  • blind spot monitoring

  • rear cross traffic alert

  • lane keeping assist

  • auto high beam headlights

  • pre collision assist

  • Cross-Traffic Alert

These safety features earned it a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. With the latest driver assistance technology as standard equipment, the Bronco Sport provides comprehensive active safety protection on road and off. Five-star crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration affirm its protective structure.

6. Versatile Interior & Good Cargo Capacity

The Bronco Sport comes with a flexible cargo space thanks to its sliding 60/40 split-folding rear seats. With the seats moved forward, there is room for two mountain bikes with the front wheels on and the tailgate closed. Easy to remove rear seat cushions also allow for up to 32.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Interior attachments points and cargo nets add more flexibility. The rear seats can be configured in a variety of ways to accommodate gear and offer handy cargo solutions. With both sections folded down, the vehicle provides up to 65.2 cubic feet of cargo space. The wide rear opening also aids loading bulky items.

Vs the competition - Behind the Rear Seats/Total Cargo Volume:

  • Bronco Sport - 32.5/65.2 cu-ft

  • Compass - 27.2/59.8 cu-ft

  • Crosstrek - 19.9/54.7 cu-ft

  • Seltos - 26.6/62.8 cu-ft

7. Comfortable Interior

The Bronco Sport's interior offers available leather trimmed seats, soft-touch materials on the dash and doors, and options like heated front seats and steering wheel. Niceties like dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, push-button start, and a retractable cargo cover add comfort. Ride quality balances capability and comfort well. The interior is designed to be durable, yet maintains nice materials and amenities. Thoughtful storage solutions and an available B&O premium audio system elevate the interior ambiance. The cabin nicely balances ruggedness with livability.

8. Good Reliability

J.D. Power gave the 2024 Ford Bronco Sport reliability score of 87 out of 100, which puts it in the great category. The listed it in the top three small SUV's for 2024.

9. Versatile Trim Levels and Pricing Options

The Bronco Sport models has options ranging from an affordable yet capable base model to a fully-loaded luxury variant to a rough-and-tumble off-roader. There's a Bronco Sport for every type of buyer.

  • Big Bend (Base Model) - Starting at $32,825 - The base Big Bend trim strikes an optimal value balance of capability and affordability.

  • Heritage Edition - Starting at $35,295 - The Heritage Edition pays homage to Bronco history with retro styling details.

  • Free Wheeling - Starting at $35,325 - New for 2024, Ford freshened up the 2024 Bronco Sport lineup with the new Free Wheeling model. It pays homage to classic Broncos inside and out with vibrant sunset graphics on the exterior, retro pinstriping on red-accented seats, 17-inch wheels with Race Red trim stripes. The Bronco Sport Free Wheeling model is a modern take on throwback style.

  • Outer Banks - Starting at $37,510 - The Bronco Sport Outer Banks trim piles on luxury and tech with leather and premium details.

  • Badlands - Starting at $39,985 - Finally, the rugged Bronco Sport Badlands trim is built for extreme off-road adventure with specialized 4WD and underbody armor.

10. Good Towing Capacity for a Small SUV

Properly equipped, the 2024 Bronco Sport can tow up to 2,200 pounds. This gives it one of the highest tow ratings in its class, allowing it to handle small trailers, boats, jet skis and more. The standard turbocharged engine provides low-end torque well-suited for towing needs. For camping trips or track days, it has respectable towing skills to bring gear along. Careful matching of vehicle and trailer weights is still recommended.

It outperforms the Subaru Crosstrek (1500 pounds), Jeep Compass (2000 pound), and Kia Seltos (up to 2000 pounds). Not life shattering but still a win.

What We Don't Like - Four Cons of the 2024 Ford Bronco Sport

While the 2024 Ford Bronco Sport boasts many impressive features, there are a few areas where it doesn’t quite measure up to its competitors.

1. Higher Price Range

Base models start at $32,825 but many desirable options push the price over $39,000. That's on the high end for a subcompact SUV. However, standard AWD does offset the pricing somewhat. Adding the luxuries and off-road upgrades hikes the sticker price up. Careful selection of features is required to keep the Bronco Sport affordable. The higher pricing matches its positioning as a more premium compact SUV.

Seltos $25,715, Compas $27,495, Crosstrek $26,540

2. Firm Ride Quality Makes for a Bumpy Ride

The Bronco Sport leans towards the firmer, more truck-like end of the spectrum for ride quality. Big bumps and ruts can be felt. Road and wind noise are also noticeable at highway speeds. The available off-road upgrades contribute to the firmer ride. Compared to car-based rivals, the Bronco Sport has a busier, more rigid ride. Noise insulation could be better. This is the trade-off for off-road capability.

In comparison to its rivals:

  • The Seltos provides a more comfortable highway ride. Wind and road noise are lower at speed.

  • The Compass also rides more comfortably on pavement while lacking the Bronco's off-road grit. Its on-road manners make it a better daily commuter.

  • The Crosstrek's car-like ride provides a more comfortable daily driving experience.

For those looking for for a compromise between on-road and off-road driving, J.D. Power rated the driving experience as great, giving it 86/100 overall.

3. Lower Fuel Economy than Competition

With up to an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, the Bronco Sport manages just OK fuel economy from its 1.5L base engine. The 2.0L engine gets 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

The competition fairs better at the pump. According to the EPA, the Jeep Compass gets 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with its 2.0L engine. That better than the 2.0L on the Bronco.

The Kia Seltos gets 27 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, and Subaru Crosstrek gets 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

4. Limited Rear Seat Legroom

With 36.9 inches of rear legroom, tall passengers may find the Bronco Sport's second row tight on leg space. This is typical for the segment, but worth noting if regularly carrying adults in the back. The rear seat and cargo area compete for space. While comfortable for two passengers, a third adult will feel cramped. The Bronco Sport offers less stretch-out space than larger SUVs.


Here are our thoughts. If you are an adventurous and outdoorsy individual who values off-road capability, versatility, and a rugged design, this vehicle should fit the bill. We believe the new smaller Bronco Sport makes a strong case as a young, exciting entry in the growing subcompact SUV segment. It blends legitimate off-road chops with modern tech and the iconic Bronco styling in a smaller, more affordable package. Strong towing skills, good safety ratings, ample cargo space, and available off-road upgrades make it stand apart from rivals.

Downsides like a higher starting price, firm ride quality and lower fuel economy keep it from being the perfect all-around SUV. If you are looking for all-out comfort and a lower price tag, you may be better served by alternatives like the Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Compass, or Kia Seltos. But if you prioritize adventure, the Bronco Sport strikes an appealing balance between a daily driver and weekend warrior. Its pairing of capability and compact versatility give the 2024 Bronco Sport wide ranging appeal.

The Bronco Sport carves out a niche for itself as a rugged small SUV with modern connectivity. Buyers drawn to its adventurous lifestyle image will find it a unique offering in a sea of cute-utes and crossovers. While not a hard-core off-roader, it provides real 4WD skills lacking in most rivals. The iconic Bronco name carries weight with outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape paved roads. For its combination of heritage-inspired design, usable technology, and available off-road upgrades, the new 2024 Ford Bronco Sport makes a compelling option in the compact SUV field.