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2021 Ford Bronco Sport

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$26,660 - 38,160 MSRP

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2021 Ford Bronco Sport Review

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport has composed handling on and off road, solid engine performance, and easy-to-use features, but it also has cramped rear seats and some cheap cabin materials. This SUV does not have an overall score or ranking because it has not been fully crash tested.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong off-road ability
  • Refined engine options
  • Composed ride and handling
  • Easy-to-use tech features
  • Snug rear legroom
  • Above-average starting price

Research & Ratings

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is unranked in Compact SUVs due to missing safety data. Currently, the Ford Bronco Sport's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 12 pieces of research and data.

N/A

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 6.7
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other compact suvs.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Ford Bronco Sport a Good SUV?

The all-new 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is a great pick if you’re shopping for a compact SUV with genuine off-road credentials. The Bronco Sport can take a surprising amount of abuse on rough terrain, thanks to its standard all-wheel-drive system, hardy suspension, and multiple skid plates. It’s offered with a pair of turbocharged engines, and both zip the SUV around swiftly. Venture back onto paved roads, and the Bronco Sport impresses with its civilized ride, easy-to-use infotainment system, and many active safety features. It also boasts a roomy cargo area.

That said, this baby Bronco does have a few notable drawbacks. The back seat is pretty cramped, the cabin materials feel rather cheap, and fuel economy is average at best. The Bronco Sport’s $26,660 starting price is also higher than that of many of its competitors.

Why You Can Trust Us: 12 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 12 Ford Bronco Sport reviews, as well as data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Ford Bronco Sport?

You should definitely consider the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport if you’re smitten with its rugged looks and all-terrain abilities. It’s more than a match for off-road rivals like the Jeep Compass and Jeep Cherokee. On the other hand, if 99% of your driving is on paved roads, the Bronco Sport’s sibling, the Ford Escape, is probably a better option.

Find a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Ford Bronco Sport: What's the Difference?

The 2021 Bronco Sport is a brand-new model, so there are no used versions to compare it to.

How Much Does the Ford Bronco Sport Cost?

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport has a $26,660 starting price, which is higher than average for the compact SUV class. The price rises to $38,160 for the range-topping First Edition model.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

Ford Bronco Sport Versus the Competition

Ford Bronco Sport vs. Ford Escape

The Bronco Sport has a lot in common with the Ford Escape. Both of these compact SUVs boast the same engine options, transmissions, and active safety features. Despite their styling differences, both also share many structural and suspension components. There are some significant differences though. The Bronco Sport has a shorter wheelbase than the Escape and is about 8 inches shorter in overall length. However, it comes standard with all-wheel drive, giving it better off-road abilities. The Escape boasts a roomier back seat, higher fuel economy, a smoother ride, and a lower starting price, making it a better choice for families.

Compare the Bronco Sport and Escape »

Ford Bronco Sport vs. Jeep Compass

The all-new Bronco Sport aims squarely at the Jeep Compass. The Compass is about the same size as the Bronco Sport, and it offers comparable off-road performance in its rugged Trailhawk configuration. Both SUVs can also pack away a similar amount of cargo. The biggest appeal of the Compass is its sub-$24,000 starting price. Ultimately though, the Bronco Sport is the better vehicle. It has snappier acceleration, a more refined transmission, slightly higher fuel economy, and more standard safety features.

Compare the Bronco Sport and Compass »

Compare the Bronco Sport, Escape, and Compass »

Bronco Sport Interior: Practical but Plain

Bronco Sport Cargo Space

The Bronco Sport has 32.5 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats upright and 65.2 cubic feet with these seats folded flat. That’s about average for a compact SUV, though it’s plenty of room for stowing coolers, bulky hiking backpacks, carry-on suitcases, or even a pair of mountain bikes. The rear window can be opened independently of the liftgate, making it easy to load small items into the cargo area without opening the entire hatch.

There’s handy small-item storage as well, including cubbies in the dashboard, zippered pockets on the back of the front seats, and a hidden compartment underneath the rear seat.

How Many People Does the Bronco Sport Seat?

The Ford Bronco Sport is a two-row SUV with five seats. The front seats are comfortable, and there’s generous headroom and legroom, even for taller occupants. The high driving position provides a commanding view of the road ahead, as well as good visibility to the sides and rear. The rear seats offer lots of headroom, owing to the SUV’s stepped roofline, but rear legroom is snug. It’s spacious enough for kids but not ideal for teens or adults on longer trips.

Cloth upholstery and manually adjustable front seats are standard. Leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Bronco Sport and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

Bronco Sport Interior Quality

The Bronco Sport’s cabin fits the bill of an off-road-oriented vehicle. The styling is chunky and rugged, from the dashboard design to the arm rests and door pockets, and most of the interior panels are trimmed with hard plastics. Some models are even outfitted with rubber floor covers. These surfaces are easy to clean and should hold up well over time, but they give the cabin a cheap appearance. On the plus side, the interior does a fine job of muffling road and wind noise.

Bronco Sport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Ford Bronco Sport is equipped with an 8-inch touch screen that runs the brand’s SYNC 3 infotainment software. The menus are simple and uncluttered, the touch screen responds quickly to inputs, and there are numerous buttons and knobs for the main audio and climate controls, making it easy to adjust these functions while driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as well, allowing users to seamlessly integrate their smartphone apps on-screen. Overall, this is one of the most user-friendly infotainment setups in the compact SUV class.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, four USB ports, six speakers, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, two additional USB ports, a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, and wireless device charging
  • Additional standard features: remote keyless entry and a manual rear liftgate with floodlights and a built-in bottle opener
  • Other available features: automatic climate control, push-button start, remote start, ambient interior lighting, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, and a power moonroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Bronco Sport Performance: Ready to Roam

Bronco Sport Engine

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is offered with two engine options. The base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks models are equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. The Badlands and First Edition models feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

The standard three-cylinder engine is more than sufficient for everyday driving. It feels peppy, and it eagerly shuttles the Bronco Sport along in stop-and-go traffic. There’s enough power to hustle up to highway speeds, and the transmission provides smooth yet prompt gear changes. That said, this tiny engine sounds a bit coarse at higher rpm, and highway passing power is merely adequate.

The available four-cylinder engine inspires more confidence when cruising at higher speeds, as well as when venturing onto rougher terrain. It feels muscular and revs smoothly, and it confidently hauls the Bronco around.

Bronco Sport Gas Mileage

The Bronco Sport gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with its standard 1.5-liter engine. That’s about average for a compact SUV. The available 2.0-liter engine gets a thirstier 21/26 mpg city/highway.

Bronco Sport Ride and Handling

The Bronco Sport has refined driving dynamics. This SUV remains stable and composed around turns, the steering is quick and lightly weighted, and its short wheelbase makes the Bronco Sport a cinch to park and maneuver in tight areas. The brakes provide fine stopping power as well. The Bronco Sport’s suspension filters out most bumps and dips in the road comfortably, resulting in an easygoing ride. That said, ride comfort diminishes slightly for the Badlands and First Edition models, which feature heavier-duty springs and shock absorbers.

Bronco Sport Off-Road Performance

The Bronco Sport is a surprisingly capable off-roader, especially in its Badlands configuration. It has multiple skid plates, up to 8.8 inches of ground clearance, and steep approach and departure angles (30.4 and 33.1 degrees, respectively), allowing this baby Bronco to safely ride up and over rocks and other obstacles. The suspension articulates nicely across uneven surfaces, and the locking rear differential and many traction control modes succeed at maintaining grip on rough terrain. Many high-tech items are available as well, like a low-speed cruise control system and a forward-facing camera, which can take the guesswork out of navigating particularly rough trails.

You may want to upgrade to a truck-based SUV like the Ford Bronco or Jeep Wrangler if you plan to hit the trails on a regular basis. Otherwise, the Bronco Sport should suffice for most off-road adventures.

Bronco Sport Towing Capacity

The Ford Bronco Sport can tow up to 2,000 pounds in its standard configuration. That said, the Badlands and First Edition models have a slightly higher 2,200-pound towing capacity. Both ratings are decent for a compact SUV.

Read more about performance »

Bronco Sport Reliability

Is the Ford Bronco Sport Reliable?

The 2021 Bronco Sport has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Ford Bronco Sport Warranty

Ford covers the Bronco Sport with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Bronco Sport Safety

Bronco Sport Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Bronco Sport.

Bronco Sport Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

Available advanced safety features:

  • Rear parking sensors
  • Forward-view camera system
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Road sign recognition

Read more about safety »

Bronco Sport Dimensions and Weight

The Ford Bronco Sport is 14.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,467 to 3,707 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Built?

Ford builds the 2021 Bronco Sport in Mexico.

Which Ford Bronco Sport Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport comes in five trim levels: base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition. Each is equipped with all-wheel drive.

We think most shoppers will be happy with the base model. It has a peppy turbocharged three-cylinder engine, loads of standard tech and safety features, and respectable off-road ability. If you’re looking for higher performance though, you may want to upgrade to a Badlands or First Edition model, which benefit from zestier four-cylinder engines and extra off-road equipment.

Ford Bronco Sport

The base Bronco Sport is priced at $26,660 and comes equipped with a 181-horsepower three-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.

Standard features include an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, four USB ports, six speakers, a Wi-Fi hot spot, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, a roof rack, 17-inch wheels, and all-season tires. The Ford Co-Pilot360 package is also standard, and it includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, LED headlights with automatic high beams, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. Options include mud flaps, larger fender flares, and a Yakima roof-top tent.

Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend

The Bronco Sport Big Bend starts at $28,160 and adds automatic climate control, satellite radio, push-button start, rubberized cargo flooring, LED fog lights, and heated side mirrors.

In addition to the previously mentioned options, this trim is available with a navigation system, wireless device charging, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, a Class II trailer hitch, and 18-inch wheels.

Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks

The luxe Outer Banks trim starts at $32,160 and adds leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient interior lighting, two additional USB ports, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, remote start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear parking sensors, and 18-inch wheels. Most options carry over unchanged, apart from a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with HD Radio.

Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

The rugged Bronco Sport Badlands is priced at $32,660, and it packs a brawnier 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This trim includes all of the Big Bend features, plus a locking rear differential, all-terrain tires, beefier springs and shock absorbers, tow hooks, skid plates, a front-facing trail camera, heated and power-adjustable front seats, rubberized flooring in the first and second rows, and a 120-volt household-style power outlet. Most options carry over unchanged.

Ford Bronco Sport First Edition

The Bronco Sport First Edition starts at $38,160, and it adds to the Badlands trim with leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, satellite radio, remote start, a moonroof, rear parking sensors, black exterior decals, and a Class II trailer hitch. Notably, this special edition is limited to 2,000 models.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

See 2021 Ford Bronco Sport specs and trims »

The Final Call

The rugged-looking 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is the latest addition to the compact SUV class, but unlike rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue, it’s no soft-roader. The Bronco Sport has genuine off-road chops, and it blends that capability with composed on-road handling, spry engine performance, a wealth of safety features, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. It isn’t the cheapest, roomiest, or most fuel-efficient runabout in this segment, but we think its fun-to-drive character is worth these trade-offs.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "… the Bronco Sport over-delivers on off-road capability and style while still being pleasant and comfortable on the six days a week you aren't wheeling. Far from an imposter or a poseur, it's every bit a worthy member of the Bronco family and a darn good little SUV, too." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "This is a genuinely fun and well-executed small SUV that's bursting with charm. If you're looking for style, off-road performance or customization from your next small crossover SUV, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is seriously worth checking out." -- Edmunds
  • "If you're looking to tackle the Rubicon Trail, Moab's Metal Masher, and Arizona's Woodpecker Mine, wait for the big-dog Bronco to arrive in the spring. But the Sport's off-road chops are far greater than expected, and although it sacrifices some ride comfort for performance on the trails, it's also decent to drive on the street. Its capabilities will surely be sufficient for most weekend adventurers, many of whom likely won't mind if passersby mistake it for its big brother." -- Car and Driver
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