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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

Review: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

When Ford finally announced the revival of the Bronco in 2017, the fanfare was palpable—at long last, a Real Deal Holyfield challenger to the Jeep Wrangler. The announcement of a Bronco Sport alongside it, then, felt like Mom was making you give your little brother a controller while you played Halo. An Escape-based off-roader trading on the name of one of the all-time greats? Don’t everybody jump at once.

 

After a few hours behind the wheel of a Bronco Sport in and around the Holly Oaks ORV park in Holly, Michigan, we can confirm that skepticism regarding the Sport’s worthiness is mostly misplaced—provided you’re looking at the upper-echelon Badlands trim. Stick with us here.

 

Read the full review on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/review-2021-ford-bronco-sport-badlands/

 

 
34 REPLIES 34
JohnRT
Passenger

What's with that destination fee?  I can ship a single car across

the country for a fraction of that amount.

TimK
Detailer

You obviously don't deal with teamsters. But in all fairness, shipping isn't cheap anymore even for non union shippers; wages, fuel, insurance, taxes & registration fees. Rates are usually based on weight and how much of the load one item takes and each car takes up a lot of space on the load. It doesn't really matter that the transport in only carrying cars. Rail transport to regions helps the pricing. Look how much it costs to just have a car towed, it's doubled in the past 10 years due to fuel and insurance costs. I doubt if auto transport is any different.

griff
New Driver

Destination fees are not based soley on finished vehicle transportation cost from the factory to the dealer.  It is much more complicated than that.  The destination charge also includes every freight cost of every part that goes into the final production of the vehicle.  Every nut, bolt, rubber part, glass, etc.  It's a manufacturer's cost that is passed on to the consumer.

JohnRT
Passenger

What is the deal with that destination fee?  I can ship a single

car from sea to sea for a fraction of that amount.

GrumpyOne
Pit Crew

Made in Messyko???  Tariff I suspect.

 

Maybe better to pick the vehicle up at the factory...

daydreamerdav
Pit Crew

Is GrumpyOne correct made in Messyco?
Drmarcux
Passenger

Kudos to the author.  This is one of the most crafted auto articles I have ever read.  It's as entertaining as well as informative. Thanks for taking a definable position of the pluses and minuses. Really compliments the vehicles and made reading the whole article a must.  PS Love the truck. I have two 1972 restored Broncos

Nathan
Hagerty Employee

Thank you sir! There is a real, defensible case to be made for this car. They're going to sell a bunch of them. Be sure to check out our other reviews as well for more of this type of analysis!

CJinSD
Advanced Driver

Hopefully the high destination charge will constantly kick off conversations about where Ford builds these overpriced cute-utes.  It still seems like a ton to pay to ship a compact from Mexico. Why buy American when you're just supporting globalists?

TimeFixers
Pit Crew

First glance: 1990's Ford Explorer Redux.

tommyrendano
Passenger

My thoughts also. Very disappointed in the styling especially after seeing various artist renditions of the vehicle prior to Ford releasing the official photos. I had a 89 Eddie Bauer Broncos & a 95 Explorer. Was hoping for a more aggressive look. 

Ana
Passenger

Do you feel the value of the older restored bronco will go up? I'm not a fan of the appearance of this model. The front grill and nose have the appearances of the international scout , I think they should have kept to the appearance of the older bronco nose . 

Ragtop69
Intermediate Driver

As the owner of a '95 XLT, gosh I hope so!

exford
New Driver

Simply put, my wife and I will get a Bronco Sport because we don't "off road" and the 11 and a half inch step up in the regular Bronco is too high for us. Also, it's different looking and unlike the Escape you don't see yourself coming and going on the way to Krogers.

bemrfst
Intermediate Driver

I still think they look kind of dorky, and who wants nice wheels that look like cheap ones?

 Should have been called Bronco II and had those cool tall back windows.

May look better in real life....

 

Tim
Instructor

It's an art form marketing an image. Ford's Bronco covers the customer base from someone who panics if they hit a curb stop in a parking space all the way to Moab rock crawler and desert racer. As the author states, it's about percentages. When the lower Sport trims can do more what than 90% of customers need, it will be interesting to see the take rates for the different Sport trims. Where the Badlands Sport overlaps big-brother Bronco pricing, how many will opt for the extra options of the Sport Badlands vs. a lower trim Bronco? For some, image is more important than actual use. Or maybe it's just the thought of what we could do that sells us, not whether we actually ever will do it.

MarveH
Intermediate Driver

I wonder if this will temp the ladies who like the Wranglers with the big tires and frowny plastic eye make-up over the headlights to run to Walmart in?

So few people really off road, even those that drive the monster truck with "off road" packages that this vehicle were serve most people's needs outside of towing. I also don't get the idea that a car based SUV can't handle trails, haven't people seen world rally events? 

Car makers cater to image because that's what people want and this is a stylish little SUV, I especially love the aluminium wheels that look like steelies wish the aftermarket would do that.

It is a no-way for me because no manual transmission but it is an alternative to Fiat's Jeep Renegade. 

JohninNC
Advanced Driver

I long for a simple SUV with a durable V6 and not a ton of gizmos.  Oh wait, I have it, the 4runner!  

Seriously though how cool would a stripped down Bronco be with a N/A V6 and 7 speed manual with granny gear.  

ctaarman
Intermediate Driver

Seems to me this is more focused on the range rover crowd versus serious offroaders. " Excuse me please, but would you take off your boots and put a towel on the seat before you get back in? I don't want the carpets to get dirty."

 

Where's the version where you get it caked with mud inside and outside, pop out the interior floor plugs, and hose it out?  That's what a serious offroad vehicle offers.  This one is for wannabes.

DaveA
Detailer

The full size version is geared more for the serious off-roaders. In the meantime, this wannabe will be purchasing the Sport as my all weather commuter.

Racebeer
Passenger

Sorry, but I'll take my Cherokee Trailhawk over this. Better approach and departure angles as well!!

DaveA
Detailer

I love it! I’ve been looking for an all weather vehicle for my long commute that can also hold my bicycle and a kayak on the weekends. 

Murray
Passenger

Can you get a model with an engine without a turbo on it?

DaveA
Detailer

No. Even the full size Bronco will have a turbo charged engine.
Murray
Passenger

I know of no reliable turbo engines except perhaps on a diesel.

As a rule, the torque characteristics/curve of a gas turbo are not suited to an off-roader - I believe the review mentioned this.

85Ramcharger
Passenger

After the disappointment over the Blazer returning as a nothing more than a mini underpowered SUV, now the Bronco follows suit with much the same platform.  The photos of the full-size two door Bronco had me warming up the check book and cleaning out the garage.  When will we see a new full-size SUV, with a healthy towing capacity and in two or four door?  

motorsledge
Intermediate Driver

Like Tim said, it's all about marketing, and of course SUV's taking over the world. Most people get into these to get out of cracker box cars and Mr. Mom minivans, thereby boosting self image in the Cul-de-sac. Even with AWD, probably 90% will never leave pavement, but it's better to have it and not need it...additionally, there are some nice models and personally, ease of access is one of the most appealing aspects of the SUV, along with elevated seating position, which promotes driver confidence like wheeling a Mack truck, summarizing my assessment on the decline of the sedan.  Also, Corp. avg. fuel economy (CAFE) is always a consideration, because most of the larger SUV's get much worse fuel economy than a conventional auto, hence, for 40 G's you can bolster your EGO and maybe get 25 mpg, too.  

chrlsful
Instructor

o0OP, they used the "R" word. Raptor has all the other brands beat when leaving the pavement. So as those who see my posts know my 3 yr refrain "If it doesn't have the Raptor underneath it's a mall crawl(er)." Well, looks like w/"the new Bronco company" (just like days of ol when spinning off a luxury brand, econo, etc they've done it w/da bronk) they have a whole gradient of sports utility vehicles.  Just the thinga da times. I thought the top would be way above 40K$...may be it is, I just can't keep track now. No wonder ford said "No more sedans/coupes." A million SUVs now~

JohnnydVette
New Driver

I just picked up my new 2021 Bronco Sport Big bend Saturday. It's Cactus gray color struck me, I've never seen a color quite like it. I test drove one with the 1.5 litre turbo ( ecoboost actually ) engine a day before. I was initially concerned that the engine would not be powerful enough. I took it on a short highway run to see how it would do getting on the highway. It was peppy. U need that here on NY highways. I never had a 3 cyl. anything. I traded in a 2005 Corvette towards the Bronco so U know I like power. I'm going to do mostly local city and suburban driving so this model is good for me.  I like the idea of rolling in open filelds and on the beach but that's likely not what I'll do. I'll take it to my second home in the country on paved roads. I'm in the northeast so AWD is nice to have. The Vette wasn't good for that and I parked it for the winters. I highly recommend this new Bronco, whatever trim level U get for your needs. The Bronco's prices are not that negotiable right now as production of them has apparently been slowed by Covid virus issues.   

GaryO
New Driver

Not "very" negotiable? If you got them to move at all, which dealership and salesman sold you the car and how much did you save off of sticker? Every salesman I talk to won't budge off of sticker price.
Lee
Pit Crew

"An Escape-based off-roader..."  I think I'll keep my paid off 2016 Escape and just paint the roof flat black.  Even the 17" aluminum wheels are nicer.  I've been driving it around a large construction site and it seems quite capable. 

Islander
Intermediate Driver

Too sissified, the flat screen and GOAT button ruin it. 

Off-roading should be done open-air with the windscreen folded down.

Ragtop69
Intermediate Driver

So when does Ford bring out the all electric convertible model with luxury leather interior?  Ford always wants to turn wildly popular models into "product lines" that are all things to all people.  Witness the metamorphasis of the Mustang or the late Thunderbird.

brb
Advanced Driver

The apocalypse is upon us: "there’s Ford’s Trail Control off-road cruise-control. This system, which manages brake and throttle inputs for less-experienced drivers, can handle serious topography, both in terms of short rut changes and steep climbs. The pedals-off approach takes some getting used to, but the system is ultimately impressive—a bit rough around the edges in places, but likely to make buyers happy."

 

Beyond that, an excellent article.  More like this please.