Say hello to the new Ford Bronco.
It's the big body on frame Bronco.
That's gonna get all the magazine covers.
Have everybody making grunting noises, but it's this guy, the 2021 Ford Bronco sport that's likely to be a better fit for more people's actual day to day needs while still being plenty capable of playing dirty on the weekends.
Yes, this is what's been known in the rumor mill for years as the baby Bronco.
It's a unibody crossover based on the same front wheel drive architecture that underpins Ford's Escape, but you'd never know it from looking at it.
As much as I like driving the new Escape, I find its hatchback-like looks way too soft.
This is more like it and Ford has smartly baked in more rough and tumble capability too.
So the sport ain't all hat no cattle.
It looks fun, right?
In a way this design reminds me of the original Ford Escape.
Back when it looked Truckee and a bit more like a body on frame vehicle.
But this one figures to be a lot more capable.
Plus, thanks to its squared off corners and rising Safari style roof.
The sport actually has kind of a junior Land Rover Discovery I or II vibe to it.
Just as importantly the bronco sport isn't actually front wheel drive.
While you will find solid axles under their Ford will only sell the sport with all wheel drive.
What's more, there's beefed up ground clearance and enough starch in the hardware to actually accomplish a pretty decent amount of off roading.
Heck, you can even get a twin clutch rear drive unit with a locking diff.
Like the escape bass power comes from a 1.5 liter three cylinder turbo, estimated to be good for 181 horsepower and 190 pound feet of torque, an optional two liter turbo with 245 ponies and 275 pound feet should make this one of the quicker models in the segment.
While giving you the torque to churn through muddy rutted trails, and deep snow, with an optional 29 inch tire ground clearance sits at 8.8 inches, which is more than the Trailhawk version of Jeeps, compass and Cherokee as well as Subarus Crosstrek.
And it's got better arrival and departure angles as well.
The spec sheet even lists a waiting depth of nearly two feet, so you've got a better chance of successfully 14 rivers on the Oregon Trail.
As for not dying of dysentery Well, you're on your own there.
Regardless of engine all Broncos come with an eight speed automatic, but the two liters transmission is available with shift paddles and an auxiliary oil cooler for heavier duty work.
Of course this isn't just about hitting the trailhead on weekends.
The sports unibody construction and fully independent suspension means that it should be a lot more comfortable for daily life on the pavement.
A lot of folks may want to look as hardcore as the big Bronco but living with the refinement and efficiency trade offs every day is another matter [BLANK AUDIO].
With around 80% parts coming under the skin with the escape the sports figures to be pretty solid at the daily commute to [BLANK AUDIO].
One area where the Broncos sport takes a surprising backseat to its city slicker escape platform eight is towing.
While the escaped can be equipped to yank up to 3500 pounds, the sport only musters a disappointing 2200 official save that's because this SUV prioritizes different customer usage cases they require distinct suspension and power train tuning.
That is an explanation.
Alright, let's head inside.
The cabin appears spacious and accommodating with a different more rugged feel than the escape.
This subcompact SUV features sync three infotainment on an eight inch touchscreen.
Sadly like the escape this sport doesn't get Ford's newer, much more powerful sync for that's headed for the big Bronco and the new f 150.
That means you won't get universal over the air updates or wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto However, you can still get the corded variety and this is still a pretty solid system.
Thanks to that pent roof.
Not only is there good headroom, the cargo area can fit to mountain bikes with 27 and a half inch wheels standing upright inside using an optional Yakima rack.
Plus there are a bunch of other neat available features back there, including a 400 watt inverter liftgate LED fog lamps, A clever oven rack like multi level cargo floor that slides out into a table and a bottle opener.
The rear glass even flips up as well.
No word yet on fuel economy that will probably come closer to the sports on sale date late this year.
That said we do have the starting price.
A base Bronco sport will bring up at $28,155 including delivery That makes it about 500 bucks more than a base escape with all wheel drive, but slightly cheaper than a base Cherokee all wheel drive.
This little truck that has its work cut out for it, it's waiting into America's overcrowded small crossover segment.
But Ford has smartly given the new sport, an overtly rugged outdoorsy vibe in hopes that it will attract a totally different customer from the aerodynamic euro sleek escape.
This two prong strategy is designed to avoid the fat generic one size fits all part of the market where buyers gravitate to whatever they can get cheapest.
I think this vehicle has a better chance of avoiding commoditization than the escape.
But I do like Ford's approach.
So far, I really like what I see the bronco sport two.
The question is, do you