Ford has one goal for its latest SUV model, and that is to steal some of the Jeep Wrangler’s thunder in the niche off-road market segment. It has been a quarter-century since Ford last sold a Bronco in North America, but the company is banking on nostalgia to help drive sales of this mid-size utility, which shares its underpinnings with the Ranger pickup truck.
Ford offers the Bronco in base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Badlands, Outer Banks, and WildTrak trim levels. Most trims come standard with a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine; WildTrak is the only one that includes a 2.7L turbo V6, which is optional elsewhere in the range.
Some four-cylinder variants are standard with a seven-speed manual transmission, with the option of a 10-speed automatic that is standard with the V6.
Four-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.
The Bronco’s exterior comes with a swing-out tailgate with flip-up glass, removable top and doors, heated/power-adjustable side mirrors, bash plates, 16-inch silver steel wheels, and LED headlights with automatic high beams.
Inside, air conditioning is standard with manual controls, along with push-button engine start, an 8.0-inch infotainment display, and a six-speaker stereo.
All Bronco trims include forward collision detection with automatic braking.
Big Bend adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, six terrain management modes, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
Black Diamond trim adds full-vehicle steel bash plates and rock rails, 17-inch black steel wheels, and seven terrain management modes.
Outer Banks brings 18-inch gloss aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic A/C, passive keyless entry, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert. This trim reverts to a six-mode terrain management system, and gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror, smartphone integration, and heated front seats.
Badlands gets 17-inch grey aluminum wheels, manual A/C, standard keyless entry, and seven terrain management modes.
Finally, WildTrak comes with 17-inch forged aluminum wheels, dual-zone climate control, and passive keyless entry, and regains the smartphone integration, lane keeping system and blind spot/cross traffic monitor that are left out of Badlands trim. There’s also an auto-dimming mirror, and heated front seats.
Off-road-wise, all Bronco trims up to and including Outer Banks use a part-time 4WD system, while Badlands and WildTrak get an automatic on-demand system that’s optional elsewhere in the lineup.
Among the Bronco’s options are an infotainment system with advanced voice recognition; navigation; a 10-speaker B&O stereo; leather upholstery; the Co-Pilot 360 driver assist suite; and power front seat adjustments.
As of this writing, Ford had not published fuel consumption estimates for the Bronco Sport.
As we alluded to above, the Ford Bronco’s only true competitor is the Jeep Wrangler. The closest thing otherwise would be an off-road-focused mid-size pickup truck, like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, or Ford’s Ranger FX4.