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2021 Ford Bronco Sport: Get Outside

Niel Stender

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is ready for your most fanciful adventure with full-time 4WD, loads of outdoor accessories, and a just-right amount of comfort.

What’s New for the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport

Joining big brother Bronco in the new line of Ford’s 4×4 SUVs is the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. Smaller in stature but loaded with off-road features, the new baby Bronco is all about that active lifestyle. Ford’s marketing talks up water fording, approach angles, and getting off the beaten track with the new Bronco Sport, which is backed up by legit 4×4 goodies. Lifestyle accessory bundles like Snow and Camping reinforce who the target market is and a nice blend of tech with innovative features makes for an interesting new SUV.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport - media.ford.com

2021 Ford Bronco Sport – media.ford.com |  Shop 2021 Ford Bronco Sport on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $26,820

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

4WD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

25 City / 28 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Unmistakable Bronco styling

4×4 drivetrain is standard

Clever features like liftgate floodlights

Solid tech with 8-inch touchscreen & SYNC 3

Combining cute and rugged in a capable SUV

Rough on-road ride quality

Still waiting for the non-Sport

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Specs

Trims & Pricing

Base - $26,820
Big Bend - $28,320
Outer Banks - $32,320
Badlands - $32,820
First Edition - $38,500

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Powertrain

2021 Ford Bronco Sport 1.5L I3 - carsforsale.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport 1.5L I3 - carsforsale.com

Every 2021 Ford Bronco Sport has a 4×4 drivetrain and 8-speed automatic transmission. Lower trims are equipped with a 181 horsepower 1.5-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder motor, while the Badlands and First Edition receive a 2.0-liter version making 250 horses and 277 lb-ft of torque. The bigger motor should provide ample scoot for the roughly 3500-lb Bronco Sport, but its focus is off-roading.

To that end, all models have hydraulic rebound stops, up front, to ease occupant jarring while off the highway. Large, 46 mm monotube rear shocks improve response while softer springs and anti-roll bars provide greater suspension articulation.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport - ford.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport - ford.com

Up to seven different drive modes are available via the G.O.A.T. Terrain Management system, including pseudo low-range settings like Rock Crawl. Baby Broncos running the 2.0-liter power plant also receive the advanced 4×4 system with a rear differential lock and the ability to send all available torque to a single wheel.

Towing & Payload

2021 Ford Bronco Sport - ford.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport - ford.com

2021 Ford Bronco Sports are ready to tow, fill up the interior, and load up the roof. The max tow rating of 2200 pounds is achieved when combining the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and trailering package. Transmission and rear diff coolers on that powertrain lend a hand here. In the back, a cargo management system allows you to create dividers and shelves for stowing all your gear. Literally on top of that, the roof rack is rated to support 150 pounds, which is handy for the optional roof tent accessory.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Fuel Economy & MPG

Active front grille shutters and start/stop idle technology are in use on both 2021 Ford Bronco Sport motors to help on the fuel efficiency front. The direct- and port-injected 1.5-liter engine has an EPA estimate of 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. While the promise of power is enticing with the 250 horsepower 2.0-liter, those numbers drop to 21 mpg and 26 mpg, respectively. In addition, be aware that Ford recommends premium fuel on the two-liter versus regular with the smaller motor.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

The aforementioned cargo system can transform into a table, which is a nice place to rest your drink after opening it with the integrated bottle opener. Ford touts over 100 aftermarket products specifically for the Bronco Sport like the $238 interior bike rack. Thanks to the “Safari Roof” design, a pair of 27.5-inch mountain bikes can be loaded in the back, standing up. After a day of outdoor excursions, heated leather seats and automatic climate control are a nice touch.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Ford Bronco Sport - media.ford.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport - media.ford.com

Lineup-wide, an 8-inch touchscreen handles infotainment duties and includes Apple and Android integration. A Wi-Fi hotspot is included with the FordPass Connect system that also has a vehicle locator and phone-operated remote start ability. Bang & Olufsen offers high-end audio with 10-speakers and a subwoofer. Fun accessories like the dash- and rear-facing cameras can record a day on the trails or pull sentry duty with motion and impact sensors ready to trigger recording if something happens to your Bronco Sport while you’re away.

Safety Features

Ford’s suite of active safety features, Co-Pilot 360, is standard equipment on the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert as well as a rear-view camera, automated emergency braking, and lane keeping assist are part of this. A full network of airbags includes front-to-back curtains with a rollover sensor. SOS Post-Crash alert and 911 Assist provide a helping hand in the event of an accident.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Trims & Pricing

2021 Ford Bronco Sport base - Raiti's Rides on YouTube.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport base - Raiti's Rides on YouTube.com

Base – $26,820

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is a 4-wheel drive vehicle first, so even base models are full time 4x4s. Ford takes an of-the-moment pun and spins it to Goes Over Any Type of Terrain or G.O.A.T. to describe the terrain management system. Drivers can select from five different modes in the base Bronco Sport – Eco, Normal, Sport, Slippery or Sand. The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 181 horsepower, paired with an 8-speed automatic on this trim which also features 17-inch alloys.

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On the tech front, Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment software is controlled via an 8-inch touchscreen display along with physical buttons for core functions. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Co-Pilot 360 are also standard. Co-Pilot is Ford’s suite of driver aids that include pre-collision assist, lane keeping, and automatic high beams.

Roof rails, floodlights embedded in the tailgate, and flip-open rear glass validate the little Bronco Sport’s adventure credo. LED headlights and a backup camera make it easier to get to and from all those outdoor excursions.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend - ford.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend - ford.com

Big Bend – $28,320

Big Bend Broncos Sports step up the creature comforts with easy-clean upholstery, heated exterior mirrors, and automatic climate control. Optional 18-inch wheels are the largest you’ll find on a Bronco Sport. A rear camera washing system should keep reverse maneuvering simpler and at this price point, there are available packages.

The $1595 Big Bend package contains heated front seats and power adjustability on the driver side as well as a moonroof and wireless charging pad. For about $500, a Class II Towing Kit is added and $795 pays for an upgraded Co-Pilot system. It includes adaptive cruise, evasive steering help, and navigation with traffic updates.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks - ford.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks - ford.com

Outer Banks – $32,320

The OBX edition dresses things up with leather seats, 18-inch wheels, and a black painted roof. A heated steering wheel, sliding second row, and auto-dim rearview mirror improves the interior vibe while a 6.5-inch color LCD gauge cluster and 110-volt outlet steps up the tech. Tick the $1595 Outer Banks package for a hi-fi audio system from Bang & Olufsen, HD radio, moonroof, and Qi pad.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands - ford.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands - ford.com

Badlands – $32,820

As the most hardcore off-road Bronco Sport, the Badlands trim includes the more potent 2.0-liter engine making 250 horses. Cyber Orange paint is available for $595 and looks sharp next to the black and orange leather upholstery. The G.O.A.T. system picks up Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes, 4 metal underbody plates, and an off-road suspension that jacks the Bronco Sport up one inch. Trail Control offers low-speed maneuverability and beefy tow hooks sprout from the front if things get dicey.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport First Edition - AutoNation on YouTube.com
2021 Ford Bronco Sport First Edition - AutoNation on YouTube.com

First Edition – $38,500

Though reservations are currently full, First Edition Ford Bronco Sports combine the Badlands off-road bits with the Outer Banks luxury amenities. A unique front grille treatment and body decals signify First Edition trim. Leather is only available in the Navy Pier color scheme and the moonroof, B&O 10-speaker stereo, plus heated everything makes for an upmarket interior. Metal bash plates, the towing kit, and off-road suspension round out First Edition rough road creds.

Warranties

There is no complimentary maintenance with the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport warranty, but the vehicle is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Powertrain components and safety restraints have a 5-year term or up to 60,000 miles. The same coverage period applies to Ford’s roadside assistance program, while rust perforations are taken care of on an unlimited mileage basis or up to 5 years.

What we think

2021 Ford Bronco Sport - ford.com

2021 Ford Bronco Sport – ford.com |  Shop 2021 Ford Bronco Sport on Carsforsale.com

Those looking to get off the beaten path without needing to dominate Moab should check out the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. It offers enough off-road chops for the majority of folks who fancy themselves as outdoorsy while tacking on butch Bronco looks, plenty of tech, and creature comforts.

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Niel Stender
Niel Stender

Niel got his start in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer with SVT at Ford. He still has dreams of running figure eights on the wet pad in an S197 GT500. These days, when not fending off karate kicks from the 3 tiny humans that run his household, he can be found on St. Louis backroads pretending to be Ken Block in his 6-speed Mazda 6.

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