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2021 Ford Bronco Sport is ready for mountains and malls

No matter the environment, there's a lot to like about Ford's "Baby Bronco."

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Andrew Krok
2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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This isn't the full-beans Bronco, but rather the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, a compact unibody crossover meant as a slightly smoother-edged complement to the rough-and-tumble big boy.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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That might make it seem like it's rife for undesirable compromises, but nope, this blocky little thing lives up to its name, and then some.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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When it comes to the Bronco Sport's competition, there's a whole bunch of it, and the Ford isn't always the clear champion.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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While adventure gear aplenty may fit behind the second row, the Bronco Sport Badlands lags behind several cars in terms of net cargo capacity, including the Subaru Forester, Nissan Rogue and even its platform-sibling Ford Escape.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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Many of its competitors are able to break the 30-mpg-highway barrier, too, which the Bronco Sport barely musters with the smaller three-cylinder engine.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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And while the 2.0-liter Bronco Sport can tow a decent 2,200 pounds, it comes up 1,300 pounds short against the Chevy Equinox, Toyota RAV4 and, again, the Ford Escape.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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But numbers on paper rarely tell the whole story.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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When you consider everything from dual-purpose capability to aesthetics, it's clear that the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport has carved out a hell of a niche for itself, one that I believe will resonate with buyers who want some Bronco-based street cred without going HAM on the truck-based big-boy model.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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This small SUV has been a long time coming, and it absolutely feels like it was worth the wait.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport
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Keep scrolling or clicking to check out even more pictures of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport.

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