Ford Bronco 2023
The base 1.5L turbo triple is quick enough but it is noisy and also emits an harmonic vibration at every common cruising speed that was remarked upon by all passengers who drove in the car. The 2L turbo is quick, quiet, smooth and flexible but fuel economy is unimpressive. The eight-speed automatic transmission is carefully matched to the engines. The steering is nicely weighted, precise and the car holds its line well on the highway. Road noise and wind noise are not successfully repressed. The Bronco Sport has a supple ride.
The original Bronco, a dedicated off-road vehicle with standard four-wheel drive, launched for the 1966 model year. It continued with minimal updates until 1978. Starting with the 1979 model year, the vehicle, based on the F-Series pickup-based, grew substantially. Ford offered the Bronco II, a Ranger pickup-based SUV, from 1984 to 1990. The current Bronco Sport has a similar footprint to the original Bronco and the Bronco II.
The Bronco Sport is based on a modified Escape platform built on a slightly shorter wheelbase, is marginally taller and usefully narrower for driving on trails and in tight urban conditions. Shorter overhangs permit greater approach and departure angles, separate the Bronco Sport from its Escape showroom mate.
Like a number of recent Fords, the Bronco Sport reflects some styling themes of its previous divisions, in this case, Land Rover. The stance, proportions and even the stepped “Safari” roof of the new Bronco Sport are all reminiscent of Land Rover styling cues. Nonetheless, this crossover looks very good.
The interior features crisp analogue gauges, straightforward minor controls and a deliberately “trucky” design. Cabin materials are attractive with some interesting finishes and numerous soft-touch surfaces. Legroom is class-competitive up front but rear seat legroom is adequate at best for smaller adults. The front seats are reasonably comfortable but some drivers find the seating position too high and too close to the roof. Cargo space is narrow and lacks depth below the window line. Adjustable flood lights can be deployed from the open rear tailgate, and Ford notes that there are more than 100 dealer-installed accessories available for the vehicle.
With all-wheel drive and the Ford Co-Pilot 360 active safety suite, the base Bronco Sport is nicely equipped but hard to find as Ford is concentrating on higher-priced variants. Moving up to the Big Bend trim adds deep-tint glass, a power driver’s seat, heated front seats and a number of minor items at a reasonable price. The new Heritage trim adds fog lights, more luxurious upholstery and a tow package, but is overpriced. The Outer Banks trim, with a heated steering wheel, leather seating and a power passenger seat, is good value. The Badlands model is, with skid plates and other equipment, is focussed on off-road, is powered by the stronger 2L turbo, given its off-piste performance and stronger engine, is worth the price bump. The Heritage Limited trim adds a B&O-branded audio system, navigation, and the Ford Co-Pilot 360+ (adding active cruise control with stop and go, a lane-centring system and road sign recognition, a lane keep assist system, an active collision avoidance system and navigation. Ford Co-Pilot 360+ is offered on the other trims for only $950.
Last update: June 27, 2023
Engine1.5 3R 181 HP; 2l-4T 250 HP
Drive LayoutFront-wheel drive
Body StyleAll Terrain Midsize SUVs
What’s new this year?
New Heritage and Heritage Limited trims for the 2023 model year
What dealers pay: $ 22 222
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