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2021 Ford Bronco Sport Hood Release Lever Eliminates Need For Secondary Latch

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The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is, of course, an all-new vehicle that borrows some of the ruggedness the Ford Bronco is famous for and instills it in a compact crossover. There are quite a few nifty features present in the Bronco Sport as well, most of which we’ve covered extensively in the past. But when we spent some time with a Badlands model recently, we noticed something else that was particularly interesting – the Bronco Sport hood release lever is capable of opening the hood completely, without the need for a secondary latch.

This is a bit of a departure from many other vehicles, including the also-all-new 2021 Ford F-150, which features a more traditional hood latch system with a secondary release lever located underneath the hood. However, the Bronco Sport hood release lever functions in a completely different way.

To open the hood on the Bronco Sport, the owner first has to pull the hood release lever and let it completely retract, a move that releases the hood latch. Next, fully pull the hood release lever a second time, which fully releases the hood. This eliminates the need to get out of the vehicle and feel around for the secondary lever to fully open the hood.

It certainly seems like this idea is long overdue, and it should probably be present in every new vehicle. For most, opening the hood is not something they do on a regular basis, so it’s sometimes a pain to remember where the secondary latch is located and then find it, enabling the owner to open the hood. But like many other traditional automotive features like column shifters and manual crank windows, some ideas just seem to stick around longer than others.

We’ll have more on the Bronco Sport very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Bronco Sport 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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14 Comments

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  1. This feature is paving the way for a front trunk area that people will use far more often versus the normal engine bay. But engineers still need a safety system so the hood can’t fly open by mistake as easily.

  2. Drove a demo unit at the dealer yesterday while I got an oil change. Probably too small for us, but seemed like a very well done car. Wife and I enjoyed it very much. They did an excellent job carrying the Bronco theme throughout.

  3. As others have said, it’s not new or innovative. Also, nothing was eliminated either. There is zero difference between having to pull the lever in the cabin twice vs pulling the lever in the cabin once, getting out the vehicle, walking to the front of the vehicle, and pulling a different lever once to release. And if you think the pain in the rear of having to get out the vehicle to release the hood has been eliminated, not really. If you opened the hood, you opened it for a reason. And you still have to get out the vehicle and walk to the front to lift and look under the hood.

  4. Vehicles are becoming just extensions of our living room. Anything to have someone not put any effort into doing something, i.e. “laziness “, has become the norm in our daily lives. We will have robots doing our bidding in the future while humankind will sit by evolving into “Jabba the Hutt” from Star Wars.
    That being said, one up on this idea would be to put electric motors with a push button switch to open the hood as they do with the rear hatches on many SUVs and have a light in the instrument cluster indicating if it is closed fully. I’m sure there would be some safety concerns of the hood flying open. The safety latch on the hoods now prevent this from happening which could be pulled before the button is pushed.
    I myself, wished they would have the option to order roll up windows and door key locks outside each door like my old F150 had. And being able to order a vehicle by picking the options and power trains I choose to have and not have some engineer decide for me. It’s my money so I should be able to pick and choose as I please. A step back in time when things were simpler.
    Also, what’s up with these “metallic “ paints? Remember when just red, white, blue green and several other colors were common and metallic was an option.

  5. Having lifted thousands and thousands of hoods over the years as an NHRA tech inspector I figured I would have no problem opening the hood on our new Escape. Nope, couldn’t find the ‘safety release’ under the front of the hood. After going through the owner’s manual I discovered that all I had to do was pull the kick panel latch TWICE!! Duh!

  6. Wait until the first clown opens his hood at 80 mph while he’s high or drunk. The resulting crash will prompt a law suit that will (even though it’s not their fault) cost whichever manufacturer millions of dollars. Sadly you have to build stuff to protect the operator from themselves. Because operator negligence or error doesn’t exist in a liberal court room. Once the ball starts rolling, it’ll be monkey see monkey do.

    • You can’t use the hood latch release lever unless the door is open. If someone is opening the door and releasing the hood at 80mph, there are other issues going on! There is a whole branch of automotive design called ‘Functional Safety’ that analyzes most situations involving potential harm to drivers and passengers. All serious Functional Safety issues must be addressed, before the vehicle design is approved.

  7. Seems kind of dangerous. I forsee people noticing their hood is unlatched while driving then pulling the lever again to latch it (makes no sense, but I want to say some minivan powered rear hatch are like that, with one button). Or pulling the latch twice, then getting distracted, and forgetting the hood isn’t latched. I kind of think having to get out the car is a safety feature, obviously placing the secondary latch inside was always possible. Obviously not the most dangerous thing, as I personally think the brake release latch next to the hood latch on some manual vehicles takes that cake (ranger xterra). I just like the idea of two unrelated systems, keeping the hood down, considering the average driver is increasingly less mechanically inclined.

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