The Ford Bronco is back!! After a 25-year break, Ford has decided to revive their Bronco nameplate. The original Bronco was introduced in 1965, it was Ford’s first SUV, and was in production until 1996. The original Bronco was a small 2-door off-road vehicle, competing with vehicles like the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout. The Bronco was replaced by the huge Ford Expedition, that was around the time SUVs were starting to become popular.
Unlike previous generations of the Ford Bronco, the 6th generation Bronco comes in two different formats. The Bronco and Bronco Sport. The big Bronco isn’t available for sale yet, but you can still buy the Bronco nameplate in the form of the smaller Bronco Sport.
Last week I had the opportunity to review a 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands, below are my thoughts on the newest CUV from Ford.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport Canadian Prices
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is offered in four trims. The Base has a starting price of $32,199, Big Bend starts at $34,199, Outer Banks starts at $37,699, and the top-of-the-line Badlands has a starting price of $40,199. These prices do not include Freight/PDI and taxes.
Our review vehicle for the week was the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands, it had a sticker price of $47,449. The final price included the following items:
- 235/65 R17 All-Terrain Off-Road Tires ($600)
- Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ ($850)
- Class II Trailer Tow Package ($600)
- Cargo Management System ($200)
- Badlands Package ($3,000)
- Dual-zone Auto Temp
- HD Radio
- Power Moonroof
- Reverse Sensing System
- Wireless Charging Pad
- B&O Sound System with 10 Speakers
- Freight & PDI ($1,900)
The Bronco Sport may be small, but it certainly isn’t cheap, especially in our top-of-the-line trim.
Ford Bronco Sport Engines
The Bronco Sport is offered with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine, producing 181 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 190 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. The Badlands trims gets the a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, producing 250 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 277 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. Both of the engines are mated to 8-speed automatic transmissions, the Badlands comes with “SelectShift” (steering wheel mounted paddle shifters). All trims come with AWD as standard, the Badlands comes with Advanced 4X4 with twin-clutch rear drive unit.
These are the same engines offered on the Ford Escape, which the Bronco Sport is based on.
According to Ford, the 1.5-liter engine equipped Bronco Sports should consume 9.3/8.3/8.9 liters/100 km in city/highway/combined driving, while the 2.0-liter engine equipped Bronco Sports should consume 11.1/8.9/10.1 L/100 km.
The Bronco Sport isn’t particularly an exciting vehicle to drive, but it isn’t meant to be some sort of a “sporty” vehicle. It is meant to more of an adventure vehicle, a CUV/SUV that you take off road (light off-road that is). It’s a vehicle you take camping, to the cabin, on unpaved roads to get you to your favorite secret hiking spot. Or as marketers would call it “it’s an active lifestyle vehicle”.
Like it’s bigger brother, the Bronco Sport also comes with G.O.A.T modes (Goes Over Any Terrain), although I’d call it GOAT-light. The modes include Sand, Slippery, Sport, Eco, and Normal. Our Badlands trim had the additional Rock Crawl and Mud/Ruts modes. The Bronco Sport also comes with AWD as standard on all trims. In addition, the Bronco Sport has a 23.6” water-fording capability and is equipped with H.O.S.S. Suspension (High-Performance, Off-Road, Stability, Suspension).
With all its off-road capabilities, we actually kept the Bronco Sport on paved roads. We’re not allowed to take these vehicles off-road, so I can’t attest to its capabilities, but I’m sure it’s capable of what Ford’s marketing department says it is.
Driving the Bronco Sport on the streets is a bit of a different experience than the average CUV’s. Automakers constantly try to make their CUVs drive more like cars, however, the Bronco Sport is tuned so it drives like a body-on-frame SUV. The ride is soft and has that slight bouncing feel you get on body-on-frame SUVs or pickup trucks. It really does feel like you’re driving a truck-based SUV. I kind of liked it, it gave me same “king of the road” feeling I get when I drive a truck, but in a much smaller package.
The on-road modes, Eco, Normal, and Sport are self-explanatory. However, I didn’t notice much of difference in performance in the different modes. The transmission does hold gears a bit longer in the Sport mode.
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine seems adequate enough for this size of a vehicle, it performs well in the city and has good passing power for the highway. I would think the 1.5-liter engine might be a bit too small, but you’ll have to give it a test drive yourself to see if it produces enough power.
Bronco Sport Styling
One of the biggest selling points of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is its styling. The Bronco Sport pays homage to the original Bronco while still keeping the overall look fresh. I’m personally a big fan of the looks on the Bronco Sport, it looks really cool and tough. With after market accessories, it will look even cooler.
The overall body shape reminds me of some sort of Land Rover vehicle, maybe the raised roof line in the back looks a bit like the LR4. Our review Bronco Sport had quite a few heads turning and I had many people tell me how cool it looked. I even got comments about some famous football player driving a white one of these in the 1990’s, maybe a white Bronco Sport might have been more appropriate.
The shape of the Bronco Sport is boxy, giving it a tough look. The front section pays homage to the original Bronco with its round headlights and the grill with rectangular cutouts. The roofline moves up slightly in the back, giving more head room to the rear passengers.
The interior on the Bronco Sport matches the tough look of the exterior. The interior is boxy and comes with lots of little places to store small items. Our review car was the top trim, so it came with all the bells and whistles available. At the center is the 8” touchscreen, which is responsive and has crisp graphics. Below the screen is a small area for tuning/volume and other buttons for the entertainment system. There’s a small storage area underneath, next to the start/stop button. Below that are the controls for the climate control system, which are easy to understand and sure do beat having to go through the menu to change fan speed, temperature etc. Under this is another storage area, it includes a wireless phone charging pad (included in the optional Badlands Package), a standard USB and USB-C charging port, and a 12-volt charging port. The center console has a rotary dial for the gear selector, next to a pair of cup holders, and a small little section for the G.O.A.T system.
The gauge cluster has a simple design, with an analogue tachometer and speedometer, and a 6.5” color LCD screen in between.
Our review car came with brown leather, which has a rich look and texture to it. Most of the interior is a mixture of hard and soft plastics, normally I’d take points off for this, but this is a tough-ish CUV, so these plastics would make it easy to clean mud and dirt off.
I found the interior pretty roomy for this size of a vehicle, which can be attributed to the boxy styling of the body. There was plenty of room for me, 5’ 8”, in the front and rear seats. However, taller passengers might find the leg room to be on the tighter side in the rear seats. The rear seats have a lot of head room, thanks to the higher roof in the back.
The interior is decently quiet, it’s on par with vehicles in this segment. I found the interior to be comfortable thanks to the softer ride quality. The suspension soaks up bumps nicely and should be very comfortable on off road trails.
The 2021 Ford Bronco might look retro, but it’s packed with the latest tech, convenience, and safety features. Our review Bronco was the top-of-the-line trim with all the options, so it’s loaded quite well, below are highlights of all the features.
- Manual liftgate
- Flip-Up Rear Glass Open
- Shadow Black Roof
- Safari Style Roof Open
- LED Configurable Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)
- LED Signature Lighting
- LED Fog Lamps Open
- Bottle Opener (Located in Hatch)
- Active Grille Shutters
- Electronic Automatic Temperature Control with rear air duct
- Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control
- Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
- 6.5-inch Color LCD Instrument Panel
- Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
- Lane-Keeping System
- BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert
- Terrain Management System (TMS) with 7 G.O.A.T. Modes
- Powerpoints – 12V – Front Center Console and Dual USB (Type C + Std A)
- Power Converter 110V AC Power Outlet (Behind Center Console and Cargo Area)
- Rear Under-Seat Storage (Passenger Side Only)
- Remote Start System
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Power Moonroof
- Wireless Charging Pad
- Power Windows with One-Touch-Up/Down Front and Rear
- Leather Wrapped Heated Steering Wheel
- SYNC 3
- Apple Carplay and Android Auto
- Smart-Charging USB Ports – Four (4) – USB A: 1 Front/Rear and USB C: 1 Front/Rear
- B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen, 10-Speakers and Subwoofer
- Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System
- SiriusXM Traffic with Travel Link
- Remote Keyless-Entry System
- SecuriCode Keyless-Entry Keypad
- Auto High-Beam Headlamps
- Rear View Camera
- Front 180-Degree Camera with Split View and Washer
- AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control)
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is a great little CUV for people looking for an off-road type of vehicle that’s capable of doing some light off-roading and is still comfortable to drive on the paved roads. The Bronco Sport also looks very cool, I personally loved the styling on it and always had to look back when I parked somewhere. I would personally go with the orange color, which is quite eye catching.
For more information on the Bronco Sport, check out Ford Canada’s website.