Auto review by Veeno Dewan
Back after a 24 years hiatus is the venerable Ford Bronco, a revamped and redesigned SUV is back! Chunkily styled, the new Bronco arrives in either two or4 door formats with 4X4 capability. In term of looks, Ford have done a wonderful job when it comes to styling. There is the cool front ad rear heritage fascia’s, and the raised roof line at the rear that can be used as a base for the installation of a tent on the roof. Of note is the fact that two mountain bikes can be placed in the cargo area. Ford even provides specifically designed racks for the bikes, among the 100 accessories already offered for the vehicle. If you are camping or out at night, there are two LED spotlights – one on each corner of the rear lift that can be adjusted to help you see what you’re doing. The roof rack meanwhile can accommodate tents, skis, kayaks and camping equipment.
The Bronco Sport is front engined with four-wheel drive. powered by a 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine with 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. The other three models – Base, Badlands, Big Bend and Outer Banks – have the 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine that produces 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to an8 -speed Select Shift automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
We tested the Bronco Sport Badlands Edition equipped with an independent suspension and five adapted drive modes, the Badlands trim includes specific front struts and heavier monotube rear shocks help increase vehicle responsiveness and provide more off-road comfort. Options include: Extra skid plates, tow hooks, and oversized tires. the Bronco Sport is not cheap the basic version sells for $32,199, to which $1,900 must be added for shipping and PDI. The three variants are priced at $36,099, $39,599 and $42,099 respectively. Our Badlands edition was priced at $45,548, including options and destination.
Interior wise there is a modern well integrated interior within the steering wheel, with comfortable seats and good ergonomic. Creature comforts abound with such features as heated seat and steering climate controls directly under the eight-inch touchscreen that has AM, FM and Sirius satellite radio, and navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standards. The Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assist technologies are standard on all models, which helps in highway driving and has collision avoidance. Other neat touches include Auto stop and start and a feature where the touchscreen lights up with a warning to Check Rear Seats for Occupants along with a warning chime. Moving to rear, the Bronco Sport offers storage space within the rear seats. Those rear seats also fold down to increase the amount of cargo space. there are 900 litres of cargo space with all seats in place. Folding the rear seatbacks increases capacity to 1,840 litres.
On the road, the Bronco does not disappoint the Trail Control system allows you to take advantage of cruise control for off-road driving, while a front camera system allows you to see, literally, the obstacles ahead. And two other drive modes are available with this version, bringing the total to seven modes on the Badlands Edition.
On road performance is good with a smooth ride, although you do feel potholes and bumps. The automatic stop-start at red lights and stop signs, which saves fuel and engages well. Overall, the Sport offers good handling and acceleration when needed. The brakes are also very good.
Up to seven modes are available that will help the driver take the Sport just about anywhere. Standard modes include Normal, Eco, Sport and Slippery & Sand. Mud, rut and rock crawl modes are extra cost. Ford also offer the Trail Control Tech mode which operates like cruise control for rough surfaces. As expected, off-road performance is great with the long travel shocks and the well sorted suspension.
Fuel economy is rated at: (Standard) 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbo – 9.3L/100km city/8.3 Highway/8.9 combined. The 2.0-litre EcoBoost turbo offers 11.1L/100km city/8.9 Highway/10.1 combined. The two rating is up to 1,000 kilograms, enough for a small boat or trailer.
Stylish, desirable and in demand from both Bronco aficionados and new buyers looking for a cool practical SUV; the Bronco does not disappoint. Not a lot of complaints, the back seat is tight for tall people and the price cab be steep for the upmarket models. Still I expect the Bronco to do very well as it should. Highly recommended.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands Edition: priced from $40,199 plus options and $1,900 destination and delivery. Price as tested: $45,548