Searching for a Ford Bronco Sport for sale only to see the perfect model parked next to a Ford Bronco can make a buyer pause for a second. You can’t help asking yourself, “What’s the difference?” Besides the size and price tag, can the Bronco Sport really do everything the Bronco can when it comes to going off-road? Should you spring for the larger Bronco model, or is the Sport more than enough to get you out into the woods once in a while when adventure calls?
While the Bronco and Bronco Sport share a similar name, that’s not all they share. Both vehicles were made for nature lovers. Whether you’re looking to go large with the Bronco or compact with the Sport, you really can’t go wrong as long as you pick the right trim and performance options. This is where things get tricky, considering how much the two models have in common with each other.
We get that buying a vehicle to match your lifestyle is a big investment of time and money. You want to make sure whichever vehicle you opt for is up for the challenge. Let’s take a closer look at the performance and off-road features the recent Bronco and Bronco Sport have to offer those looking to take their ride past pavement to far-flung locations.
Whether you’re going off-road for a weekend or tackling winter weather, you want to make sure your vehicle won’t let you down. The 2024 Bronco offers a standard Turbocharged 2.3L Ecoboost engine with 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque, or an available 2.7L V6 with 330 horsepower and a noteworthy 415 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are available with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the standard 2.3L engine can also be paired with a seven-speed manual transmission for those who like to row their own gears. To unleash the full potential of the Bronco you will want to level up to the Bronco Raptor edition, which comes with a 3.0L EcoBoost engine making 418 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque.
Because the Bronco Sport is the smaller of the two models, the engines are also a little smaller. The Bronco Sport still packs a few punches despite its compact size. The impressive standard 1.5L EcoBoost delivers 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. For more power, level up to the Badlands trim level to unlock the 2.0L EcoBoost engine with 245 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are balanced out with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.
Best Trims for Off-Roading
The Bronco and Bronco Sport are both capable of handling the great outdoors, but some trim options are more capable than others. So which do you choose?
Starting with the Bronco, drivers will notice a change to the lineup with Ford dropping the previous base trim. The Big Bend trim isnow the entry-level trim option. If you’re looking for a tough ride that fits within your budget, the Big Bend trim comes loaded with a Terrain Management System with six G.O.A.T modes to help you adjust your level of performance for any terrain. This is a great vehicle for your basic weekend warrior and light off-roading fun. From there, the Bronco just gets more and more rugged. There are nine trims in all, including a Heritage Limited edition.
The base level Bronco Sport trim is also the Big Bend, ready to take your family on your next adventure, whether to the woods, the beach, or just a night out. Like the Bronco, it comes standard with a G.O.A.T Terrain Management System, but offers only modes to choose from in contrast to the Bronco’s six.
If you have your eye set on a Bronco Sport for your off-roading fun and don’t want to mess around, then can go right up to the top-tier, the Bronco Sport Badlands trim. This trim was designed for rough-and-tumble fun. It comes standard with the beefier 2.0 EcoBoost engine. Add the optional Badlands Premium Package for additional performance features that will keep your Bronco Sport at the top of its game. It comes with 17-inch wheels, and feel free to opt for the available all-terrain tires for increased grip. The Badlands Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T boasts seven different modes, the two additional modes being Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl. If you want a lot of power with a smaller silhouette, the Bronco Sport Badlands trim is the model to look out for.
There’s no denying that the Bronco was built for a rugged good time, but we’re going to jump the top-tier Raptor trim. This trim was designed for outdoor games. The Bronco Raptor is set to tackle dusty trails, muddy roads, sand, and everything in between. If you’re trying to decide between the Bronco Sport Badlands and a Bronco model, the Raptor delivers the ultimate offroad experience compared to other Bronco trims. Like the Bronco Sport Badlands trim, the Raptor model gives drivers the added benefit of the expanded Terrain Management System with seven G.O.A.T. modes, as well as the strongest engine available, the 3.0L Ecoboost V6.
Both the Raptor and the Badlands have plenty of things in common despite the difference in power and size.
- Trail Control
- Seven-mode G.O.A.T system
- Four-Wheel Disc Brakes with Anti-Lock Brake System
- Superior off-road suspension for a smooth and rewarding drive
- Post-Collison Braking
- Electric Power-Assisted Steering
- AdvanceTrac® with RSC (Roll Stability Control)
All of which makes both of these top trim options perfect for off-roading fun. While the sizes and engine power might vary here and there between the Bronco Sport Badlands and the Bronco Raptor, they are both designed to deliver a rugged and unforgettable off-roading experience for the driver.
Badlands Or Raptor?
Both the Bronco Raptor and Bronco Sport Badlands are the highest trim models available for each model. They have shown that they have more in common than one would think. While the Bronco Sport is more like the Bronco’s little sibling, there are enough overlapping features to make it a choice tough.
The Bronco Sport Badlands is a quick and clever small SUV that is perfect for nature lovers who like to get lost in the woods at the end of the week. Its compact frame makes it efficient and tough in all the ways a Ford should be. Going for the Badlands model gives you all the flexibility you need to enjoy your drive on or off the road.
If you’re in the market for something big and tough, the Bronco Raptor is Ford’s answer to the full-size SUV. It offers drivers more cargo space and a heavier frame that’s set for off-road use. It features the same Terrain Management System as the Badlands, but sports a bigger engine and a more advanced suspension to support its bigger frame over more difficult terrain. If your idea of fun is tackling a variety of serious terrain and you need the space for equipment, passengers, or essentials, the Bronco Raptor is the way to go.