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2021 Ford Bronco Sport earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus rating

Ford's compact SUV has excellent crash ratings and superior driver-assistance tech.

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Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
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2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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2021 Ford Bronco Sport

The Sport is definitely worthy of the Bronco name.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

plucky little Bronco Sport isn't just a rugged SUV, it's a super-safe one, too. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced Friday that the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport earns a Top Safety Pick Plus rating, with "stellar performance in crashworthiness and crash avoidance evaluations," according to the agency.

As its name suggests, TSP Plus is the higher of IIHS' two Top Safety Pick awards. Vehicles must earn "good" ratings in all six IIHS crash tests in order to qualify for a TSP Plus rating. TSP Plus-eligible vehicles must also have excellent forward-collision assistance systems, as well as robust headlights.

The 2021 Bronco Sport "hits all those marks," IIHS said in a statement. "Both the standard and optional front crash prevention systems earn 'superior' ratings in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. And the headlight system offered on all trims earns a 'good' rating."

Ford's other newbie, the Mustang Mach-E, recently earned a Top Safety Pick award, but couldn't quite muster a TSP Plus due to poor headlight performance on select trims. Headlight performance is a common issue preventing many vehicles from earning that coveted Plus rating.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport can tackle the tough trails

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Watch this: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport: A Bronco on its own merits