2022 Ford Bronco Sport

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
February 16, 2022

Buying tip

The Big Bend offers the best value, but for off-road drivers only the Badlands will do.

features & specs

Badlands 4x4
Base 4x4
Big Bend 4x4
21 city / 26 hwy
25 city / 28 hwy
25 city / 28 hwy

The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport artfully blends the SUV past and the crossover present into one smartly executed all-terrain vehicle.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport? What does it compare to?

The Bronco Sport compact crossover SUV fills the space between the curvy car-adjacent Escape and the bricklike, truck-based Bronco. It’s a rival for vehicles like the Jeep Compass and Cherokee and the Subaru Crosstrek. 

Is the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport a good SUV?

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It’s poised on the road, terrific off-road, and looks like the car version of Throwback Mountain Dew. So, yes. We give it a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport?

Sold in base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Badlands spec, the 2022 Bronco Sport changes some colors and tweaks feature availability, and that’s about all. It retains all of the rugged charm it coined in its first year on the road: it’s an angular, upright SUV with a durable-looking interior, with lots of Land Rover references in case you missed the obvious. Clad in plastic and rubber (and leather in pricey versions), it’s totally up for whatever mud can be thrown at it.

Base Bronco Sports with the 181-hp turbo-3 don’t feel fast, but they get the job done. They’re outfitted with a simple all-wheel-drive system and passenger-car tires, so make the trails firm, rock-free, and well-marked—but find the fun roads to get there. With a 245-hp turbo-4 and a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system—and big off-road tires—the Badlands model goes further, farther, deeper, and makes a more convincing SUV case, even before you upsize to bigger all-terrain tires and strap on available skid plates.

The Bronco Sport can tote about 65 cubic feet of stuff; it’s smaller than an Escape in people space, but its seats get better bolsters than the short-cushioned buckets in that other crossover. The cabin’s filled with carabiner hooks, storage bins, tie-downs, and Molle straps—and it fills with tire and wind noise generated by the very hardware that gives it SUV credibility.

It tops crash-test ratings, and the Bronco Sport gets standard active-safety features like automatic emergency braking and active lane control, too.

How much does the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport cost?

For $28,910, the base Bronco Sport has all-wheel drive and roof rails, and runs CarPlay and Android Auto on its 8.0-inch touchscreen. We’d spend about $30,000 for the Big Bend, which gets a ruggedized interior and keyless start. Prices rise to the high $30,000s for the Badlands trail-tripper edition, with its skid plates, all-terrain tires, and ruggedized cabin. 

Where is the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport made?

In Mexico. 


2022 Ford Bronco Sport


The Bronco Sport cuts a distinctive figure.

Is the Ford Bronco Sport a good-looking car?

With its square-jawed looks and its fun-plus-function cockpit, it’s a striking vehicle—one with shades of Land Rover, which Ford used to own.

The Bronco Sport looks like an SUV, with retro flair and on-point details. Its eyelet LED headlights frame a big Bronco name that sprawls across the nose in a blocky grille. Heavy cladding protects the corners and extends down the flanks, while the hood bulges and peaks at the corners to help assess the obstacles that may lay ahead. The angular roofline decks itself out with standard roof rails. In back, flip-up glass opens separately from the split tailgate. It’s all old-school; it’s all good.

The Bronco Sport interior wears durable-looking plastics, with leather covering the seats in the more expensive versions. The basic cloth works better: the Sport’s rubberized, hard-working ethic shows up in its trucklike vents and myriad storage bins. The veneer of tech applied to the cabin doesn’t distract, it helps. There’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen, USB ports, and a wireless smartphone charger tucked in the durable-looking interior, all placed for ease of use.

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2022 Ford Bronco Sport


The Bronco Sport has real off-road ability, and a choice of turbo power.

Turbo-3 or turbo-4 under its hood, the 2022 Bronco Sport can trundle down unpaved paths and cruise interstates with ease. It’s worth a point for the latter, to bring performance to a 6.

How fast is the Ford Bronco Sport?

In base spec, it’s adequate. The 1.5-liter turbo-3 on all but Badlands models turns in 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. With moderately urgent acceleration, it’s good at balancing economy and speed, and does it all without much fuss through an 8-speed automatic. 

The 245-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 in Badlands Bronco Sports twists out 275 lb-ft of torque. It can kick up dirt and spin its 28.5-inch all-terrain tires from a stoplight, or take a slow, steady set over rocky terrain, all through the same 8-speed automatic.

Is the Ford Bronco Sport 4WD?

Every Bronco Sport has all-wheel drive, but not all these systems are the same. Turbo-3 Bronco Sports have a simpler system with a front-rear power split and five drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, Slippery, and Sand. 

On the Badlands, the drivetrain couples to a more advanced all-wheel-drive system with a twin-clutch rear differential, which enables it to shift torque across the rear to either wheel. With that comes two more drive modes: Rock Crawl and Mud/Ruts. 

With up to 7.9 inches of ground clearance on the Badlands edition and a fording depth of 17.7 inches, the Bronco Sport fares far better than the Escape would, though the bigger Bronco’s the true pioneer here. With a set of 29.5-inch all-terrain tires, the Bronco Sport’s ground clearance rises to 8.8 inches and its fording depth to 23.6 inches; it can also be fitted with skid plates for tougher trail rides. 

On the Badlands, Ford fits softer springs and monotube rear shocks for 8.1 inches of rear suspension travel. It also fits a front camera in its specific drive modes to display obstacles on the path ahead, and enables hill descent control which can take over the throttle and braking downhill, for speeds of up to 20 mph.

On the road, the Bronco Sport’s strut and multi-link suspension delivers a compliant ride, and steering responds quickly, but wind and tire noise drum into the cabin often. The turbo-3 can tow 2,000 lb; turbo-4s can pull another 200 lb. It’s not as great at absorbing sweeping curves as the Escape (or even the new Maverick pickup), but it’s not hampered or hammered by its off-road ability, either.

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2022 Ford Bronco Sport

Comfort & Quality

The Bronco Sport has versatile space and clever packaging.

We give the Bronco Sport a 6 for comfort and utility. It has good cargo space; its seats are fine but unremarkable for support, and three across in back is a tight squeeze.

The Bronco Sport has lots of plastic panels inside, and manual-adjust seats on many models. The driving position’s fine—it’s even airy inside, given all the straight lines and the high roof—but the seats have somewhat short bottom cushions, though they’re better than the Escape in that regard. Some trims have rubberized cargo liners, making it easier to scrape out the mud and muck from a trail-blazing ride.

The back seat’s OK. The Sport loses 4.0 inches of rear leg room versus the similar Escape, but still has 36.9 inches back there, which means two tall adults fit well. Three across? Less so, since it’s still a compact vehicle.

Cargo space checks in at 32.5 cubic feet, some 5.0 cubic feet less than an Escape; the math checks, since it’s 8.6 inches shorter overall, too. But when the Bronco Sport’s rear seats fold down and away, its cargo space measures about 65 cubic feet, roughly the same as the Escape.

That cargo hold offers up clever storage and packaging solutions. The interior’s decked out with all kinds of shelves and bins, and the cargo floor can be dropped a few inches to host taller objects. To that, the Sport adds tie-downs, side pockets, carabiners, and a small storage bin tucked in the rear seat. 

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2022 Ford Bronco Sport


The Bronco Sport aces its crash tests.

How safe is the Ford Bronco Sport?

It’s a winner, baby. With excellent crash test scores, standard active safety gear, and good outward vision, it’s a 9 here.

The NHTSA gives the Bronco Sport five stars overall, with a single four-star for rollover resistance. The IIHS dubs it a Top Safety Pick+ for all models—credit its good headlights for the across-the-board win.

All Bronco Sport SUVs have active lane control, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, and automatic emergency braking. Options range from parking sensors to adaptive cruise control with stop and go.

The bonus that comes with the Sport’s boxy look is excellent sightlines to the rear, sides, and front, an unusual trait in a compact crossover SUV.

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2022 Ford Bronco Sport


The Bronco Sport’s value comes from good features and lots of options.

Ford stocks the Bronco Sport with lots of options and a strong set of standard features. That makes for good value—and that all combines for an 8 here. 

The base Bronco Sport costs $28,910. It has power features, cruise control, roof rails, a built-in bottle opener, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It still runs on Ford’s Sync3 interface, not its newer and better Sync4 system; that costs it a point here. Options include rubberized floors, 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound, and a cargo organizer system with a table that slides on a track.   

Which Ford Bronco Sport should I buy?

We like the Big Bend; for another $1,500 it adds rubberized seat backs and cargo mats, keyless start, and zippered pockets with Molle straps—and Ford’s ubiquitous door-mounted keypad.

In the mid-$30,000 range, the Outer Banks gets power front seats, leather upholstery, heated front seats, 18-inch black wheels and a black roof, as well as a 6.5-inch digital display in the gauge cluster. 

How much is a fully loaded Ford Bronco Sport?

The Badlands costs about $36,000, and comes with the off-road hardware and the more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-4, as well as 17-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, a front camera, and front tow hooks. 

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2022 Ford Bronco Sport

Fuel Economy

Turbo-3 Bronco Sports earn EPA kudos.

Is the Ford Bronco Sport good on gas?

It’s good for its intent: real off-road adventure. The EPA rates the turbo-3 edition at 25 mpg city, 28 highway, 26 combined. We call that a 5. A similar Escape crossover checks in at 26/31/28 mpg, though. The turbo-4 Badlands version rates 21/26/23 mpg.

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MSRP based on Base 4x4
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Styling 8
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety 9
Features 8
Fuel Economy 5
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  • 2022 Bronco Sport arriving
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