Ford Bronco Sport vs. Ford Bronco

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 17, 2021

After roughly 25 years, Ford has brought the Bronco nameplate back. This time around, it’s putting the iconic name on two all-new SUVs. There’s the midsize Bronco, which is a rugged, midsize SUV that utilizes a body-on-frame chassis. It sets its sights directly on the Jeep Wrangler with removable doors, an easy-to-clean interior, and a removable roof. The new Bronco is an off-road-first SUV, through and through.

At the same time that Ford announced the midsize Bronco, it revealed the compact Bronco Sport. Compared to the larger Bronco, the smaller Bronco Sport utilizes the same platform as the Ford Escape crossover, comes with smaller engines, has non-removable body panels, and doesn’t come with the same off-roading goodies.

While size, performance, and off-roading components are the most obvious differences between the Bronco and Bronco Sport, there are a few other things that separate the two models. In this comparison, we’ll help you pick between the two models.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Ford Bronco Sport & the Ford Bronco »

What The Bronco Sport Gets Right

As the smaller SUV, the Bronco Sport is the more affordable of the two SUVs. Prices for the Bronco Sport start at $28,315 (including destination) and go up to $39,655. The larger Bronco costs $29,995, while prices can top out at $58,905. As a whole, the Bronco is a far more expensive machine than the Bronco Sport.

For consumers that expect to spend the majority of time driving on smooth tarmac, the Bronco Sport will be the more comfortable SUV of the two. The Bronco Sport has independent suspension at both ends, while the Bronco has a solid rear axle at the back. The solid rear axle on the Bronco won’t be as comfortable on-road as the Bronco Sport’s independent suspension.

When it comes to safety features, the Bronco Sport comes with Ford Co-Pilot360 as standard equipment, while it’s an option starting on the Bronco Big Bend. Ford Co-Pilot360 includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beam assist, and lane-keeping assist.

What The Bronco Gets Right

Unlike the Bronco Sport, Ford offers the Bronco in both two-door and four-door body styles. Additionally, the Bronco’s roof and doors can be removed, giving passengers the ability to enjoy the open air when off-roading. Some trim levels on the Bronco are available with marine-grade vinyl upholstery and rubber-like floor coverings with a drain in each footwell to make cleaning after a hard day of off-roading easy.

The Bronco has a major edge over the Bronco Sport in the performance department. Power for the Bronco comes from either a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder or a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6. The four-cylinder makes 270 horsepower, while the V6 is rated at 310 hp. The most powerful engine in the Bronco Sport makes 245 hp. Another benefit of the Bronco is that it’s available with a seven-speed manual.

For consumers that plan to go off-roading, the Bronco is the superior machine. It comes with a sturdier four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case, as well as front and rear locking differentials. The Bronco offers more ground clearance (11.6 inches compared to 8.8 inches) and can wade through up to 33.5 inches of water, while the Bronco Sport can ford through 23.6 inches of water.

Lastly, while the Bronco Sport uses Ford’s older SYNC 3 infotainment system, the Bronco comes with the latest SYNC 4 system. The system comes with wireless smartphone compatibility, more computing power, over-the-air updates, 1,000 off-road trail maps, and an optional 12-inch touchscreen.

Plan On Going Off-Roading?

The Bronco is a true off-roading SUV, offering higher levels of off-roading capability to options like the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner. For consumers that plan to go off-roading regularly, the Bronco is the better choice.

Our Verdict: Ford Bronco Sport

As amazing as the Ford Bronco is, the smaller, more affordable Bronco Sport is the better fit for the majority of consumers. It has more than enough off-roading capability for the occasional trail while carrying the iconic name and bigger-than-life styling as the larger SUV.

Take a closer look at the Ford Bronco Sport »

Take a closer look at the Ford Bronco »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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