Tuesday, July 14, 2020
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is Ready to Take the Subaru XV's Lunch Money
Ford completes its family of Bronco SUVs with its smallest offering—the Bronco Sport. Not to be mistaken for the full-fledged Bronco, the Bronco Sport is a completely separate model built to carve a niche in the small SUV segment currently popularized by the likes of Subaru XV.
Like its bigger brothers, the 2021 Bronco Sport passes Ford’s so-called Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing. Unlike its off-road centric siblings though, the Bronco Sport’s all independent suspension means it’ll just be as capable on-road as it is off it.
Despite this, the Bronco Sport features the same Terrain Management System with 7 available G.O.A.T. modes. It also has Trail Control—a cruise control for trail driving as well as a Rock Crawl mode that reduces steering wheel disturbance during low-speed maneuvers over rocky terrain. All-wheel drive is standard, but selected variants also have class-exclusive twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature to allow greater off-road performance.
Off-road capability is further reinforced by four steel bash plates, plus available frame-mounted front tow hooks that can individually withstand static loads up to 100 percent of the gross vehicle weight. Standard are 28.5-inch all-terrain tires, but 29-inchers with more aggressive treads is also available. Water wading depth is at a generous 600 mm.
The Bronco Sport is powered by either a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine or a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. The former makes 181 horsepower and 257 Nm of torque, while the latter makes 245 horsepower and 373 Nm of torque. Both engines are paired to an 8-speed automatic.
Human-centered design led to special Bronco Sport features such as class-exclusive liftgate LED floodlamps, MOLLE straps to carry extra gear, zippered seatback pockets for additional stowage, and even a built-in bottle opener in the cargo area.
Its upright design and safari-style roof contribute to Bronco Sport’s adventurous silhouette, which not only features a long flat roof rail for maximum carrying length, it also treats occupants to best-in-class first- and second-row headroom. The cargo area has enough height to accommodate two standing 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes.
A flip-glass rear window, low-load floor cargo area, overlanding-ready roof rack with capacity to make roof-top tent camping easy, and front fender peaks that allow the driver to see the corners of the vehicle easily from behind the wheel reveal this small SUV is purpose-built for adventure from front to back, top to bottom.
To make post-adventure cleanups painless, the Bronco Sport has washable rubber flooring throughout the cabin and cargo area, easy-to-clean cloth seating surfaces and silicone-sealed control switches. For stowage of wet, icy or muddy gear, an available storage bin is located below the second-row passenger-side seat.
Smart in addition to being rugged, the vehicle features a SYNC 3 system with an 8-inch touch screen. It also comes with the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of advanced driver-assist technologies is standard across the lineup, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking featuring Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System, Auto High Beam Headlamps and a rearview camera. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation.