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This Is The All-New 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Subcompact SUV

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Though the bulk of the Bronco hype has thus far gone to the return of The Blue Oval’s iconic off-roader, the automaker is quick to point out that it’s new baby brother, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, is no slouch. Like the regular Ford Bronco, the Bronco Sport is designed to offer excellent off-road capability, durability, and the latest technology features, and it does all that in a small, easy-to-live-with package.

As with all Bronco models, the Bronco Sport comes equipped with standard four-wheel-drive, but with an independent front and rear suspension in place of the larger Bronco’s independent front and solid rear axle setup. The small SUV’s Terrain Management System comes equipped with up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes. Standard modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Sand, while Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes are available on Badlands and First Edition models.

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Badlands and First Edition models pack an advanced 4×4 system with a class-exclusive twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock that’s similar in design to a traditional mechanical locking differential, and the system can divert virtually all rear axle torque to either wheel. The suspension on these two models comes equipped with uniquely tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound stops, along with 46 millimeter diameter monotube rear shocks. Softer springs and antiroll bars offer greater articulation over obstacles.

The Bronco Sport is also available with Trail Control, which enables a cruise control-like setting up to 20 mph forward and 6 mph in reverse for vehicle-controlled throttle and braking. An available front off-road camera with a lens washer displays footage on the center stack-mounted touch screen. In Rock Crawl mode, the electronic power steering assist system is uniquely calibrated to provide more precise control and help reduce steering wheel disturbance during low-speed maneuvers over rocky terrain.

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Off-road capability is further reinforced by four steel bash plates, plus available frame-mounted front tow hooks, which Ford says can individually withstand static loads up to 100 percent of the gross vehicle weight. Badlands and First Edition can wade through up to 23.6 inches of water.

Two engine options are offered with the new Bronco Sport, depending on which model buyers choose. Base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks models come equipped with Ford’s 1.5L EcoBoost engine that’s targeted to produce 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. Badlands and First Edition models are powered by the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that produces a targeted best-in-class 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque.

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Both engines are backed up by an 8-speed automatic transmission. On Badlands and First Edition models, the transmission also comes with SelectShift technology and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. In addition, 2.0L models come equipped with additional transmission and reardrive coolers.

On the design side of things, the Bronco Sport was directly inspired by the regular Bronco. That’s evident from its signature encapsulated cartridge grille, round headlamps, flat body sides, and short front and rear overhangs. The Badlands series comes standard with 28.5 inch all-terrain tires, while the First Edition comes standard with 29 inch all-terrain off-road tires with more aggressive, deeper treads that stretch on to the sidewalls for improved off-road traction.

The long, flat roof rail was designed to carry large outdoor gear, while the cargo area can accommodate two standing 27.5 inch wheel mountain bikes with and available Yakima dealer-installed interior bike rack accessory. There’s even a built-in bottle opener in the cargo area.

For those that enjoy the great outdoors and overlanding, the Bronco Sport comes with an innovative slide-out working table, which is part of the available five-way configurable Cargo Management System. Other accessories include a 400-watt inverter and liftgate floodlamps that illuminate up to 129 square feet of space.

The second row of the Bronco Sport holds has some innovative features, including MOLLE straps on the first-row seatbacks to carry extra gear, zippered seatback pockets for additional stowage.

Badlands and First Edition models come with 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.

In terms of technology, the Bronco Sport comes with Ford’s SYNC 3 system with an 8 inch touch screen and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other available technology features include Ford+Alexa and SiriusXM satellite radio.

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. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 technology adds Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane-Centering, and Speed Sign Recognition.

Bronco Sport buyers will be able to choose from four different lifestyle accessory packages to suit their own individual taste, including Bike, Snow, Water, and Camping. Altogether, over 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories will be available at launch.

Interested customers can reserve their 2021 Ford Bronco Sport now at Ford.com for a refundable cost of $100. Ford has not confirmed order or delivery dates for the subcompact SUV, but order books should open up soon, and deliveries are expected to begin sometime this coming fall. The Bronco Sport will be produced at the Ford Hermosillo Plant in Mexico.

We’ll have much more on the new Bronco Sport very soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Bronco Sport newsFord Bronco news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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9 Comments

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  1. Beautiful vehicle but a betrayal to our BRAVE auto workers in AMERICA who won’t build this because Ford decided to use cheap labor in Mexico. This is the face of globalism, folks!

      • You’re both kidding right?

        Brave auto workers in America? You mean the greedy UAW that continues to put American automakers at a disadvantage vs the foreign OEMs? The same UAW that continues to squeeze the U.S. automakers for all they’ve got? The same UAW that strikes and hurts the companies even more when it doesn’t get what it wants? Oh right. Thoooose American auto workers. Yeah, they’re real brave.

        If the American auto workers don’t support their employer, there is no reason for the employer to support them.

        I’m surprised the big three CEOs haven’t gotten together and found a way to pull ALL production out of the U.S. just to dismember the UAW once and for all, and them bring manufacturing back slowly. Working is a privilege not a right. Stop with the entitled bull$hit.

        Also, the auto workers in Mexico and the world over are also BRAVE. And Mexican and Canadian workers are also Americans. Mexico is located in North America… or did you not take geography?

        • Someone finally said it. Slowly but surely, Ford quality has been going down while prices continue to climb. Most of the workers for Ford make more money on their own than my household does on a three job income, but they continue to take bigger and bigger chunks of the profits.

  2. I think this a brilliant move by ford to offer this boxy design baby bronco along the smoother shaped kuga.Mexico is part of america! and ford products from Mexico are well built and very reliable.The main reason ford produce this and the Mustang Mach E in Mexico is that they have a factorys that has space to produce them and it means becuase of the lower wage they can kept the price competitive People simply want everthing as cheap as possible.

  3. Can’t wait to see one of these in the flesh!!!!!
    I don’t ever buy first year so some of the bugs get worked out.
    It’s going to be hard to wait on this though! It’s EXACTLY what I have been
    Looking for, I’m so sick of the jelly bean look.
    I especially love 4×4 is standard just to start my list!

  4. I agree with Diana. I have been waiting for years for Ford to bring back a boxy SUV. I’ve been holding onto my 2008 Escape because I just can’t go with the jelly bean shaped crossovers. Overall, I love everything about the Bronco Sport that I’ve seen so far, except the the engine choices. I excepted they would use small engines, but it would have been nice if the 2.0 liter was an option across the line. Looks like I’m going to have to go for the Badlands.

    • I’m with you Lynn, I just built a Badlands fully loaded for fun $37,500
      It will be what we want, a little creature comfort

  5. Not sure if this is just me, but I see a lot of the Flex which in my book isn’t a bad thing. But the Flex has not sold well. It will be interesting to see how well it sells, it’s $1,700 more than the Escape, and what it does to Escape numbers.

    My couple suggestions: I would have done something different with the C pillar, added a tab more in the rear overhang and change the name it sounds like a trim level on the regular Bronco (which is confusing to most people).

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