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The Ford Bronco Sport is the subcompact SUV for the outdoors

It’s the smaller brother of the regular two- and four-door versions

The Bronco Sport is really just an urbane version of the more rugged-looking and bigger models. PHOTO FROM FORD

We think it’s safe to say that most of the automotive world rejoiced this week when the Ford Bronco officially came back from a 24-year hiatus. But while many of us celebrate the much-awaited return of the popular SUV nameplate, some are unaware that there are actually three vehicle versions that will now carry the Bronco moniker: the two-door Bronco, the four-door Bronco and the lesser-known Bronco Sport.

While the first two are the regular models, the latter is a smaller vehicle that’s a notch lower than the Escape in terms of exterior dimensions. Technically speaking, the Bronco Sport is a subcompact crossover SUV.

Ford clearly wants us to know this car is not a weak SUV. PHOTOS FROM FORD

Here are the measurements of the three Bronco versions so you can have a better picture of the Bronco Sport’s physical size:

BRONCO 2-DOOR

  • Length – 4,412mm
  • Width – 1,928mm (folded mirrors)
  • Height – 1,826mm
  • Wheelbase – 2,550mm

BRONCO 4-DOOR

  • Length – 4,811mm
  • Width – 1,928mm (folded mirrors)
  • Height – 1,854mm
  • Wheelbase – 2,949mm

BRONCO SPORT

  • Length – 4,387mm
  • Width – 2,088mm (with mirrors)
  • Height – 1,783mm
  • Wheelbase – 2,670mm
We need a vacation. We really do. With this crossover. PHOTOS FROM FORD

Powering the Bronco Sport is a standard 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbo three-cylinder engine (181hp and 258Nm) or an optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder mill (245hp and 373Nm). Gear-shifting duties, meanwhile, fall on either an eight-speed automatic transmission for the 1.5L EcoBoost or an eight-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox for the 2.0L EcoBoost. The latter comes with tiller-mounted paddle shifters.

Just looking at these pictures is making us want to drive to the wilderness. Yeah, maybe we will. PHOTOS FROM FORD

It’s easy to dismiss subcompact crossovers as nothing more than urban soft-roaders whose daily itinerary mostly involves the office and the mall. But Ford seems determined to market the Bronco Sport as a rugged, adventure-type vehicle—one that is capable not only of hauling your bikes and camping gear, but more so of bringing you to far-flung places where you probably won’t be able to access Facebook and Instagram. It has a Rock Crawl mode, for one, as well as other badass GOAT modes (in which the acronym stands for “goes over any type of terrain”).

This car looks like it could be your best friend for life. PHOTOS FROM FORD

And to prove that the market positioning is not just some slick PR propaganda, the American automaker gave the Bronco Sport useful features that would please both Bear Grylls and Angus MacGyver. The cabin boasts numerous MOLLE (modular lightweight load-carrying equipment) straps for securing various essentials, and there are zippered pockets for the seat backs so you can safely stow away your valuables, electronic or otherwise. Our favorite feature is perhaps the bottle opener in the cargo area—so simple and yet so thoughtful.

The best part is that the Bronco Sport will be released to the market with a plethora of available accessories, including an overlanding-ready roof rack, a slide-out working table, a set of liftgate floodlamps, and a storage bin under the passenger-side seat in the second row.

Ford pretty much convinced us with the bottle opener. PHOTOS FROM FORD

Expect the Ford Bronco Sport to be a hit when it arrives at North American showrooms “late this year.” In the meantime, watch this video to see the car in recreational action.

Bronco Sport in the wild



Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 25 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll. He writes the column ‘Spoiler’.



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