The Bronco is back, finally, and with it is its crossover-based cousin the Bronco Sport. It comes in four of the same guises as the bigger Bronco—base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Badlands—and it also gets a limited-run First Edition. Unfortunately, the more exciting 2021 Ford Bronco isn’t on Ford’s configurator yet, so we can’t build and price it. But the smaller and cuter Bronco Sport is, so a few Car and Driver staffers headed over to Ford’s site and built their dream Ford Bronco Sport.
Drew Dorian’s $32,240 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend
Since this isn’t the real-deal Bronco, I’ve decided it’s not wise to get too crazy, so I’ve chosen the Big Bend model. It’s just one rung up from the base model in the Bronco Sport’s five-trim lineup, but for a modest $1500 price bump over the entry-level model, the Big Bend offers a host of additional features, including fog lamps, heated exterior mirrors, tinted rear windows, push-button start, SiriusXM satellite radio, and two extra cupholders.
Most of the Big Bend’s available exterior colors are free of charge, but I went and got myself attached to Alto Blue, which costs $395; I also prefer the lighter Medium Dark Slate interior color scheme. The standard 17-inch wheels look a little dinky to me, so I’d opt for the $595 18-inch rollers. I also noticed that I can get heated seats, a moonroof, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel as part of the Big Bend package for $1595, so I have to add that, too. It includes an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, rear parking sensors, and a wireless smartphone charging pad. When all is said and done, my Bronco Sport Big Bend tallies up at $32,240, which isn’t too bad considering it has all the features one could want, plus standard all-wheel drive and handsome exterior styling. —Drew Dorian
Joey Capparella’s $33,655 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks
I’m a sucker for anything in brown on brown, so I chose the Bronco Sport’s Outer Banks trim level. (I also have fond memories of a family vacation on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina from when I was a kid.) Plus, the Sport is hardly off-road-ready like the “real” Bronco, so why bother paying extra for the off-road Badlands trim level when this small crossover is already so expensive to begin with? I didn’t add any options, so mine stickers for $33,655. — Joey Capparella
Roberto Baldwin’s $36,749 2021 Bronco Sport Badlands
It’s not the Bronco. Still, the Bronco Sport does have a lot of features that people want out of a small SUV with a 4×4 drivetrain. That makes it ideal for camping, snowboarding, randomly driving around on dirt roads, and hitting up the mall. If I’m going to get an off-roader, I’m going to spec it for the lifestyle that makes for great marketing material. With that in mind, I went full bore with the Badlands trim level with the accessories for a primo outdoor life.
The Cyber Orange paint job means when I step off the slopes or out of the ocean, I’ll be able to locate my vehicle in the parking lot among a sea of gray, black, and silver SUVs. It also makes it easier for rescuers to find me in case things go sideways while off-roading or driving through the narrow passes of Tahoe during a blizzard. I opted for the 17-inch gray aluminum wheels because the retro styling just feels right. Plus I added roof-rail crossbars so I can store my surfboards and snowboards on top of the vehicle instead of inside. The Badlands package itself pairs the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with the eight-speed SelectShift transmission, giving slightly more control via paddles over my gearing. It also comes with all seven G.O.A.T. driving modes, so sand, snow, rocks, rain—whatever the elements throw at me—I’m ready. The front 180-degree camera keeps me from driving over something I shouldn’t and even if I do, the metal bash plates should keep me from destroying the Bronco Sport. I also added the Co-Pilot360 driver-assist package because being stuck in traffic on the way back from the mountain has become routine, and stop-and-go adaptive cruise control would make it a less awful experience. For actual camping, I added the weird Sportz (real name) SUV tent. Sure, it looks like it’s birthing the Bronco Sport, but after decades of dragging gear from the car to the tent and back again, this seems like a better option. Plus, if I ever upgrade to a swanky travel trailer, I’ve added the trailer tow package with sway control. — Roberto Baldwin
Connor Hoffman’s $37,380 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands
I’m not all that hooked on the Bronco Sport, because, well, there’s the big four-door Bronco, and that entices me a bit more. But I understand the marketing ploy behind the Sport. It’s cute yet rugged, and it sort of fits my lifestyle perfectly. For my Bronco Sport, I’m going to snag one of the Badlands models, which gets the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and starts at $34,155. Wait, I might rethink this. Well, never mind, this isn’t real, so I won’t worry about price.
I like the Area 51 color on the Sport the best because I love blue-gray exterior colors. Then, I’ll be selecting the 17-inch steelies, somehow a $300 option over the standard 17-inch wheels, and getting 235/65R-17 all-terrain rubber. Additionally, I’ll be adding cross roof rails and the Badlands package for $2595, which adds items such as a Bang & Olufsen sound system, a power moonroof, and a wireless charging pad.. This way I also get brown leather seats. I’ll also be adding the rear cargo mat ($130) and front and rear floor liners ($200) for when things get messy. All in, I’m looking at $37,380 for my Bronco Sport, but with that much money I could probably get a base four-door Bronco with the Sasquatch package. — Connor Hoffman
Maxwell Mortimer’s $39,995 (est.) 2021 Ford Bronco Sport First Edition
When selecting my baby Bronco, I tried to imagine I was one of the many that have been waiting for Ford’s iconic Bronco to return for years. So why hold back when I could have it all? That’s why I chose to go with the fully loaded Bronco Sport First Edition. Ford hasn’t released full pricing for this special model, but we estimate that a First Edition with no additional options, like this one, would start at $39,995.
For exterior colors, the First Edition trim comes with only four options, of which I chose the bluish-gray gunmetal hue named Area 51. Apart from the coat of paint you choose, nearly everything else—save for a few small options—on the First Edition comes standard: 17-inch black painted wheels, all-terrain tires, hood and side decals, power leather seats with heat up front, Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment with an upgraded 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and the optional Advanced 4×4 system. Powering my Bronco Sport is the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic—standard on Badlands and First Edition trims—that propelled a recently tested Ford Escape to a 5.7-second zero-to-60 effort, so it might just be a sleeper, too. Despite being the smaller, less brutish Bronco variant, the Bronco Sport should prompt even the most conservative of parking-lot crawlers to take a road less traveled. — Maxwell B. Mortimer
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