Hooniverse Asks: What competes with the Ford Bronco Sport?

The new Ford Bronco is one of the hottest cars of the year and it’s not even out yet. This is an off-road convertible SUV with retro styling done right and a swathe of clever new features. The answer to the question of why it exists is obvious: the Jeep Wrangler had essentially monopolized this market segment and was long overdue for a competitor. But there are other segments in the off-road-ready SUV/CUV space so Ford is also rolling out the Bronco Sport.

It’s a compact SUV about the size of a Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class. Except it isn’t like any other compact SUV on the market. Like its big brother, the Bronco Sport wears macho, rectangular styling, and it’s easily the best-looking vehicle in its class to my eyes. Of course, this is not exactly unique to the Sport – the Jeep Renegade and Mercedes GLB also resemble a medium-sized USPS shipping package.

Additionally, the Bronco Sport works off-road.

 

At this point, you may wonder what I’m on about. The Jeep Renegade is a small crossover with boxy styling. The Subaru Forester is a small crossover that can go off-road. But the Bronco Sport is different. It sounds like the Bronco Sport is good at everything the Renegade can do and everything the Subaru can do. The Subaru is pedestrian and the Renegade is, frankly, kind of crappy. But the Bronco Sport does it all and does it well. On top of that, it’s cool-looking and has a bit more attitude and style than most of the competition.

So, in my view, the Bronco Sport lacks a true competitor.

There is no other small crossover on the market that works as well as an off-roader and as a daily driver, especially for the money. Plus, the Bronco Sport has added some cool factor to one of the lamest segments in the car industry. Hopefully, other automakers catch on, and auto enthusiasts will have a slew of smaller, relatively civilized, off-road capable SUVs to choose from.

But for now, we ask, what competes with the Ford Bronco Sport?

About Ryan Lowe

Car fanatic located in Huntington Beach. I have a propensity to make fun of vehicles. I also play the drums and like clothes.

13 Comments

  1. Can’t answer this for the US-market, but I share your impression from afar. Retro done right is following some of the same principles that went into the design back then, too: A certain degree of pragmatism and simplicity is required. Retro cars that are too much in love with themselves, look the part, and fail. The only one I can come up with locally is the Jimny, from a brand that is retrofying its entire lineup, Suzuki:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/2019_Suzuki_Jimny.jpg

    …and then there’s a one-upper, not retro, but original. The UAZ Hunter is still available, now only in a special “Expedition”-edition at a very stiff 13000$, but it looks as cool and rugged as ever. Might also be as crappy and impractical for modern life as ever, no judgement:

    https://i.ibb.co/L0cPQwK/UAZHunter.jpg

        1. Sure! Pick it up at your local dealer in Albania, Chad, Pakistan, China, Cuba, Vietnam or North Korea!

          1. Albania? That means this thing might be EU certified, since they are on the extended EU application list and started accession talks this year. I…may…have…a…BJ. From Albania. Letting that sink in.

          2. Be careful how you phrase that. Stating that you got a BJ in Albania could be…misunderstood. 😉

  2. I feel like the Bronco Sport competes both up and down market. It’s smaller than the Honda Passport and Chevy Blazer, but it might be cross-shopped against those. Although it costs at least $4,000 more, it sort of competes with the Jeep Compass/Renegade. And although it costs over $10,000 less, it sort of competes against the Land Rover Discovery Sport. It even has a quasi-Land Rover look to it. I own a Ford Compact (C) platform vehicle in the Lincoln MKC. I chose it over the Escape and Discovery Sport. If I had to replace my car now, I’d seriously consider the Bronco Sport, even though less than 1% of my driving would be on unpaved roads in Cape Cod. And I would tell people to re-consider the entry-level, Slovenian-assembled Land Rover. If you don’t need that third row, but you want the look of a contemporary retro off-roader, consider the Bronco Sport. It gets about the same fuel economy to boot.

  3. There’s plenty of overlap between the Bronco Sport and Jeep’s entire small lineup, from (as mentioned) Renegade and Compass, right up to the Cherokee, including in pricing. As far as capability goes, the Trailhawks aren’t slouches, and I’d at least easily put up FCA’s 2.4 against the Ford I3 (and the 2.0 vs the 3.2 is probably a fair match as well). While we’re at it, I haven’t sat in the Bronco Sport yet, I’ve been in new Escapes, and while their interior is fine, FCA’s are at least a little nicer (or don’t have anything as aggressively cheap as the Escape’s rear door panels).

    Other than those, and the Subaru, maybe the RAV4 Trail? As much as the Badlands they’ve been pushing hard has the capability, otherwise this feels a bit like when Jeep decided to sell the Compass and Patriot simultaneously, depending on how butch you wanted your little crossover to be.

  4. Definitely a class of one, at least for now. Yeah some other CUVs have optional packages for the AWD/4WD versions that have the base Bronco’s off road abilities, but those are the exceptions not the norm. But where the others capabilities end, the Bronco Sport is just getting started.

  5. Hmmm… Compact size and more than a nodding retro- reference to beloved ancestor. Dare we call it the Mini of SUVs?

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