Off-Road Assassin

Nothing Baby About It: Ford Bronco Sport

With the full-size Bronco being the star of the show, we knew that there would be an all new “baby Bronco,” but we had no idea it would be like this. The all-new Ford Bronco Sport off-road vehicle – the Bronco of small SUVs – signals for adventure-seekers a welcome return to roads and trails less traveled.

With unmistakable Bronco styling and unrelenting Bronco capability, the smaller sibling of Bronco two-door and first-ever four-door SUVs joins the family with its own idea of fun. As with all Broncos, 4×4 is standard, and this rugged SUV is engineered to handle whatever weekend adventure its owner has in mind.

“Bronco Sport has the toughness and smarts to help turn off-road novices into 4×4 pros,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “Bronco Sport embraces the needs of outdoor enthusiasts – every inch of it was designed and engineered with weekend adventurers in mind.”

Bronco Sport is smartly designed to transport two mountain bikes standing up in its cargo area – and two cyclists upfront. Four available accessory bundles – in addition to more than 100 factory-backed standalone accessories – let owners easily make the vehicle their own by outfitting it to transport kayaks, skis, camping equipment or whatever gear propels their adventure.

Five trim levels are available, including the base model, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition. Reservations for Bronco Sport open today at ford.com; vehicles can be reserved for $100 on the Ford website with vehicles arrive in dealerships late this year.

Built Wild 4×4 Confidence

Like the larger Bronco, the all-new Bronco Sport delivers the 4×4 off-road capability that made the original Bronco a legend. With off-road performance at its core, Bronco Sport provides solid footing on sand, snow, mud, rocks and more.

For maximum off-road capability and long-term durability, Bronco Sport was tested in extreme conditions in places such as the Johnson Valley desert in California, as part of Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing. Badlands and First Edition models pack an advanced 4×4 system with a class-exclusive twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature to allow greater off-road performance – similar to a traditional mechanical locking differential. The system can divert virtually all rear axle torque to either wheel, setting it apart from any other vehicle in the non-premium subcompact utility segment.

Bronco Sport’s suspension can take on rugged terrain and is complemented by Ford’s trail technologies. The small SUV’s Terrain Management System with up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes helps drivers “go over any type of terrain” and in various conditions. Standard modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand; Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes are available on Badlands and First Edition.

All models feature an independent front and rear suspension engineered and performance-tested in demanding environments across North America. The suspension is optimized to help drivers confidently maintain vehicle composure while aggressively taking on rugged terrain.

On Badlands and First Edition series, the system includes uniquely tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound stops designed to provide a quieter, less jarring off-road experience. In addition, 46-millimeter-diameter monotube rear shocks are among the largest in the class, helping provide improved response and more comfort off-road, while softer springs and antiroll bars offer greater articulation over obstacles.

Class-exclusive Trail Control technology furthers the vehicle’s off-road prowess. The available feature enables a cruise control-like setting up to 20 mph forward and 6 mph in reverse for vehicle-controlled throttle and braking, letting the driver stay focused on navigating the trail.

For adventurers taking on rough and rocky terrain, the small SUV’s design includes made-for-the-trails departure, approach, and breakover angles. An available class-exclusive front off-road camera with lens washer serves as a spotter and helps provide better visibility of the trail ahead, displaying the video 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.

Off-road capability is further reinforced by four steel bash plates, plus available frame-mounted front tow hooks that 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.

Thrilling Performance Borne Of Bronco DNA

Staying true to the DNA of the first-generation Bronco, the all-new Bronco Sport SUV pays it forward with modern, heritage-inspired style, agile off-road architecture and optimized suspension for better control in all environments.

The Badlands and First Edition series are powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that produces a targeted best-in-class 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque for high-speed off-road performance. Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks series feature the proven 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with a targeted 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque.

Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while Bronco Sport Badlands and First Edition add SelectShift with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to help drivers maximize control both on- and off-road. A cooling system with additional transmission and rear-drive coolers keeps 2.0-liter models running strong over tough terrain.

The Bronco Sport SUV’s design inspiration is directly linked to the all-new Bronco halo model. Its rugged design attributes include signature encapsulated cartridge grille, round headlamps, clean, flat bodysides, and timeless proportions that enable the short front and rear overhangs required for off-road maneuvers. Tough unpainted finishes smartly cover exterior contact points, so the vehicle is ready for almost anything the rough and tumble outdoors can throw at it.

The Badlands series comes standard with 28.5-inch all-terrain tires. 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.

Ready For Fun To Venture Into The Wild

Human-centered design led to special Bronco Sport features such as class-exclusive liftgate LED floodlamps – because out in the wild, there are no streetlamps – MOLLE straps to carry extra gear, zippered seatback pockets for additional stowage, and even a built-in bottle opener in the cargo area.

Its upright design and safari-style roof contribute to Bronco Sport’s adventurous silhouette, which not only features a long flat roof rail for maximum carrying length, it also treats occupants to best-in-class first- and second-row headroom. The cargo area has enough height to accommodate two standing 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes with the available Yakima dealer-installed interior bike rack accessory.

Bronco Sport will launch with more than 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each owner’s individual adventure needs. Bronco Sport buyers can also opt for any of four lifestyle accessory bundles themed Bike, Snow, Water and Camping.

A flip-glass rear window, low-load floor cargo area, overlanding-ready roof rack with capacity to make roof-top tent camping easy, and front fender peaks that allow the driver to see the corners of the vehicle easily from behind the wheel reveal this small SUV is purpose-built for adventure from front to back, top to bottom.

Bronco Sport can quickly help with basecamp setup thanks to an innovative slide-out working table, part of the available five-way configurable Cargo Management System, plus a class-exclusive 400-watt inverter and liftgate floodlamps that illuminate up to 129 square feet for when the adventure ends after sundown.

To make post-adventure cleanups painless, the Badlands and First Edition series offer 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, and available storage bin is located below the second-row passenger-side seat.

Smart in addition to being rugged, the vehicle features a 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.

For more information on the Bronco Sport, be sure to visit the Ford website. What do you think of the all-new Ford Bronco Sport? Tell us in the comments below!

Steven Olsewski

He grew up with a true passion for anything with an engine. During the year he can be found enjoying the outdoors, building Legos with son, and looking for the next adventure with his kids. They are a huge part of his life and their passion for God.