View Photos of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

2021 ford bronco sport badlands

Marc UrbanoCar and Driver

That Ford’s new Bronco Sport can be easily mistaken for the real-deal Bronco will be enough for many buyers. But in top-spec Badlands trim, the baby Bronco has the goods to be even better than we expected when the pavement ends.

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With its cool retro lines and BRONCO lettering emblazoned on its grille, it’s easy for some to mistake the smaller Bronco Sport for the big-dog Bronco.

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To compete with the Jeep Compass and Cherokee, the Bronco Sport is built on Ford’s C2 front-wheel-drive platform, which also underpins the Escape crossover.

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The Bronco Sport’s boxy silhouette and muscular wheel-well flares lend it presence at the curb, but it’s actually about the same size as a Jeep Compass, except for the Bronco Sport’s significantly taller roofline.

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Like the original Bronco from the 1960s and 1970s, the Bronco Sport’s rear window opens separately from its hatch, which is a unique feature in its class.

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A rotary shift dial borrowed from the Escape is one of the few interior bits we could do without in the Bronco Sport. A conventional shift lever would have been a better fit for its rugged design.

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All Bronco Sports feature all-wheel drive as standard, but the Badlands has a torque-vectoring rear differential that borrows tech from the Focus RS hot hatchback.

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Badlands models also get unique suspension tuning with about an inch more ground clearance than lesser trims.

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Our test car wore optional 29-inch-tall Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, sized 235/65R-17.

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The Bronco Sport’s optional 17-inch wheels have a cool, old-school appearance.

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Most Bronco Sports are powered by a 181-hp turbocharged three-cylinder, but the Bandlands gets a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 250 horsepower and a substantial 277 pound-feet of torque.

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2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

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2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

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2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

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2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

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