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2021 Ford Bronco Sport Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Performance Review


Performance: 7.4

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport has great driving dynamics. The Bronco Sport is highly capable off road, yet it still feels stable and comfortable to drive on road. Two turbocharged engines are available, and both provide sufficient power. On the downside, the Bronco Sport’s fuel economy isn’t great.

  • "Despite its off-road intentions, most people will buy the Bronco Sport for on-road duty. It's just fine here -- there's plenty of power, the transmission works seamlessly in the background, the steering is light and the chassis is relatively compliant." -- CNET
  • "… the Bronco Sport is admirably playful on light to moderate trails. It not only takes bumps and bends with ease but also willingly encourages you to go faster." -- Edmunds
  • "The only compact SUV that comes close to what the Bronco Sport can do is the 'trail-rated' Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, and even then, the Bronco costs less." -- Cars.com

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic

The Bronco Sport’s standard three-cylinder engine has sufficient power for everyday driving, especially around town and in stop-and-go traffic. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, and the Bronco Sport feels brisk. Passing power is just OK at highway speeds. The available four-cylinder engine does a better job of shuttling the Bronco Sport along on the highway.

  • "Many will buy the Bronco Sport and never leave the pavement. For them, the 1.5-turbo is a solid companion. It’s peppy, but not especially quick, and the three-cylinder doesn’t sound half bad under load. The transmission just melts into the background, which is just as well for a vehicle like this — it neither frustrates nor wows." -- Autoblog
  • "So far we've only driven the Bronco Sport with the 2.0-liter engine. It provides a pleasing amount of power and the eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly." -- Edmunds
  • "The turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that comes in the vast majority of Bronco Sports is torquey, peppy and has plenty of grunt for around-town driving … It does tend to run out of steam at higher speeds, however, so passing maneuvers on highways might require a little planning, but it never feels slow or ponderous in its operation; for the vast majority of users, it’s going to be plenty of motor." -- Cars.com

MPG Estimates

The Bronco Sport returns an EPA-rated 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with its three-cylinder engine. The four-cylinder model drops fuel economy to 21/26 mpg city/highway. Neither rating is great for a compact SUV.

Handling and Braking

The Ford Bronco Sport delivers solid off-road capability without sacrificing on-road performance. The Bronco Sport feels relatively stable around sharp turns, its steering is quick, and the brakes provide strong stopping power. The suspension sops up larger bumps and dips comfortably, though smaller irregularities in the pavement can jostle the SUV around a little. Venture off road, and the Bronco Sport’s all-wheel-drive system and 8.8 inches of ground clearance allow it to cross terrain that would sideline most other compact SUVs.

  • "Even up challenging hills strewn with holes and rocks bigger than bowling balls, switching the drive mode from Mud/Ruts to Rock Crawl allowed the Sport to scrabble for traction even with one of its wheels dangling off the ground." -- Car and Driver
  • "There’s an extra bounce and stiffness to the on-road ride you don’t get in other crossovers this size. It’s not so much as to be uncomfortable, but you can tell there’s an off-road-tuned suspension underneath, and it makes popping around town that little bit more fun and involved." -- Autoblog
  • "It’s pleasingly boxy, helping you see the corners of the SUV — useful in off-road situations or parking lot maneuvers. That formidable hood is the only thing that feels big about the Bronco Sport, though, as the rest of its dynamics show it to be a nimble, tight-handling little SUV that’s as good to drive on the street as it is in the dirt." -- Cars.com
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2021 Ford Bronco Sport

MSRP: $26,660 - $38,160

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