The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport gets EPA ratings up to 25 mpg city, 28 highway, 26 combined. The off-road ready compact crossover shares many of the same parts as the 2020 Ford Escape, including the 181-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo-3 base engine that earns those ratings.
The larger 245-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 standard in the top Badlands trim gets 21/26/23 mpg.
The 2020 Escape gets 26/31/28 mpg when equipped with the 1.5-liter turbo-3. Both models use an 8-speed automatic transmission and this rating applies to the all-wheel-drive system standard on the Bronco Sport. The Escape comes standard with front-wheel drive and a 27/33/30 mpg rating, but for shoppers who want to optimize fuel economy, the redesigned 2020 Escape comes as a hybrid that peaks at 44/37/41 mpg, or a plug-in hybrid that gets 37 miles of all-electric range or a combined 41 mpg with gas only.
But the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport does things the Escape cannot, namely go off-roading in conditions more extreme than a rutted path through a field. It also wears all the rugged design cues of its bigger sibling, the 2021 Ford Bronco, and follows a similar trim logic.
Ford's revival of the nameplate last used in 1996 lets the Bronco Sport bridge the off-road prowess of the Bronco with the more street-friendly Escape. The fuel economy estimates first reported by Autoblog reflect that tweener status. Bronco estimates have not been released, but it's expected to be a match for the 23 mpg combined rating achieved by the most efficient gas version of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler.
Competitors of the Bronco Sport include Trail-rated versions of the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Compass and the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek to a lesser extent. It's a compelling niche for shoppers who might want the Bronco but value the more practical Escape. The Bronco Sport costs between $26,660 and $32,660 for top Badlands trim. The sold-out First Edition model stickered at $38,160.
Built in Mexico, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is on sale now.