A FEW READERS have requested when I’ll check the Ford Bronco journey ute, the Blue Oval’s reply to the Jeep Wrangler. I’m trying ahead to it, however Bronco manufacturing (in Wayne, Mich.) hasn’t even began but. Folks appear to have gotten the concept—maybe from Ford’s relentless, yearlong brand-building marketing campaign—that the Bronco had been out for ages.
However give credit score the place it’s due: A number of in my neighborhood mistook the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport—a Ford Escape that thinks it’s Teddy Roosevelt—for its new child massive brother. Contemplating that the Bronco is a full-blown off-roader with detachable doorways, Dana 44 axles and 35-inch beadlocked tires, and the Bronco Sport is a subcompact crossover with 17- or 18-inch wheels, observers’ confusion represents a triumph of design. Ford has by some means made Bronco-ness scale invariant. That might be commercially helpful.
If our 2021 Bronco Sport Outer Banks mannequin ($36,045, as examined) pretty shouted the title—from the grille and hatch lid, within the maddening display screen graphics throughout startup, in Bronco-themed Easter eggs within the window maskings and cabin moldings—the phrase Ford is uttered solely as soon as, in a whisper, within the badge on the liftgate.
And but the Bronco Sport’s bones couldn’t be bluer: Constructed over Ford’s well-seasoned C2 world platform, the four-door subcompact crossover is assembled at Ford’s works in Hermosillo, Mexico. The instrumentation, switches and inside—whereas re-skinned in metaphoric Bronco cover—are acquainted from the Escape.
Likewise with a lot of the operating gear. Engine choices are a turbocharged 1.5-liter three cylinder—dinky however overachieving—placing out a rated 181 hp and 190 lb-ft; or a turbo 2.0-liter inline-four, throttling as much as 250 hp and 277 lb-ft (within the Badlands and First Version fashions). Each engines are paired with an eight-speed computerized transmission.