The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is an all-new compact SUV that follows in the footsteps of the Bronco II of the 1980s. It’s a companion to a mid-size Bronco model that Ford also introduced for the 2021 model year. Together, the Bronco and Bronco Sport reintroduce Ford to the off-road-ready SUV segment.
Ford offers the Bronco Sport in Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Badlands trim levels. The first three use a 1.5L three-cylinder engine, while Badlands models get a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder. All are standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
Base trim comes with 17-inch sparkle silver wheels, flip-up rear glass, a black grille and roof rack rails, body colour bumpers, LED headlights and taillights, LED front signature lighting, terrain management system, rain-sensing wipers, and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Inside, there’s manual air conditioning, a 4.2-inch gauge cluster display with trip computer, a compass, outside temperature display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power windows, a six-speaker stereo with 8.0-inch touchscreen, Sync 3 infotainment, cloth upholstery, and manual front seat adjustments.
Safety kit includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and automatic high beams.
Big Bend trim adds gloss aluminum wheels, a grey grille, heated side windows, rear privacy glass, automatic climate control, passive keyless entry, remote engine start, LED fog lights, a rubberized cargo floor, two extra cupholders (for eight total), lighted vanity mirrors, satellite radio, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, and a keyless entry keypad.
The Outer Banks package brings body colour door handles (replacing black), 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6.5-inch gauge cluster display, ambient cabin lighting, a 110-volt power outlet, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, and a power front passenger seat.
Finally, Badlands trim gives up the heated steering wheel and reverts to 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, a manual front passenger seat and single-zone automatic climate control. Additions include a front 180-degree camera with washer, a trim-specific grille, metal bash plates, velour floor mats, enhanced terrain management, and trail control.
All trims are available with a sunroof. The Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assist system is offered in Outer Banks and Badlands trims.
The Badlands model can be optioned with a Badlands package that adds a power front passenger seat, a 10-speaker stereo, dual-zone A/C, reverse sensing, a sunroof, heated steering wheel and wireless smartphone charging.
Likewise, Big Bend offers a Big Bend package of sunroof, backup sensors, leather-trimmed steering wheel, and wireless charging; and Outer Banks models get an Outer Banks package of a 10-speaker stereo, sunroof and wireless charging.
Standalone extras include a Class II towing package and the Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 system.
As of this writing, Ford had yet to publish fuel consumption estimates for the Bronco Sport. It uses the same engines as the Escape crossover, but the bulkier Bronco Sport will be less thrifty than the mass-market Escape. Our educated guesses on the Bronco Sport’s consumption are 10.0/8.5 L/100 km (city/highway) for the 1.5L engine, and 11.5/8.5 L/100 km for 2.0L models.
The Ford Bronco Sport faces little direct competition. The Jeep Compass and Renegade are among the few vehicles that will give Ford’s new small SUV a run for its money. The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is more expensive, but packages a capable chassis in a compact package.