It’s Bronco week here at Autoblog thanks to finally being able to drive the most anticipated new vehicle of the past two years. If you haven’t read Byron Hurd’s Ford Bronco review yet, do so now and come back here for a deep dive into the Bronco’s little brother.
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport you see here is an Outer Banks version, the version that leans a bit more towards the luxury of the spectrum. That’s not to say it’s luxurious, per se, but it has sleek blue leather trim, plenty of comfort and convenience amenities, and isn’t nearly as hardcore in terms of looks or equipment. offroad than the Badlands above in the pecking order.
While the overall content of features and quality of materials is not that different from a Ford Escape, the Bronco Sport really sets it apart from its corporate cousin and other compact crossovers with its many clever storage solutions. Basically, it’s like Ford wants the Bronco Sport to be sold in an REI rather than a car dealership. Let’s take a look at what you get, keeping in mind that some of this isn’t available on all trim levels.
All the upholstery, with the exception of the base level, benefits from this unique storage space in the back of the seat. There is a zippered pocket large enough for an iPad and / or magazine.
There are MOLLE straps that you can attach to whatever you want, like a metal mug or a flashlight. Honestly, I don’t know how useful their placement is, but it sounds like a good idea.
There is a pocket on the side of the front passenger seat that can store a phone.
The Badlands adds an additional storage bin under the back seat. My Outer Banks didn’t have that.
These clips on either side of the cargo area are another nifty storage solution, as they go beyond a simple hook. Unfortunately the plastic feels pretty brittle, and I wonder how long they would last.
Notice the button in the middle there …
The button turns on these two bright lights intended for a campsite. Now notice those two big grab handles. Ford believed these would be useful for hanging up items, such as wet clothes or a post-surf wetsuit.
Since we’re back here, all of the cargo space, including the seat back, is covered with a sturdy rubber material.
And if you are wondering how many there will be, check out our Ford Bronco Sport luggage test.
In a customer study, Ford found that outdoor adventurers lament that their expensive mountain bikes are vulnerable to theft when ridden outdoors. As such, Ford has gone out of its way to design the interior of the Bronco Sport so that it can accommodate bikes inside. The stepped safari roof is one of them. An accessory bicycle rack then seals the deal. Having that rubber floor definitely helps here too, both in terms of friction and cleaning.
To enter the loading area, you can fully open the hatch or simply open the window. It used to be a staple of SUVs, but the smoother, sloping rooflines make them impossible.
This Easter egg explains how the separate pop-up glass could come in handy.
Here are the roof racks. These are big, sturdy and bulky things that will make mounting the racks very easy. Flush rails, which are becoming more and more common, require special size brackets that attach to the rails, which probably means they can only be fitted to one car. Raised rails like these make it easy to move your gear between different vehicles, as I saw when reviewing the Yakima CBX and Grand Tour luggage racks on an Audi Allroad, BMW X5, Subaru Outback and a Subaru Crosstrek.
Now let’s move on to storing small items.
Above left: The Outer Banks have wireless charging, and there’s plenty of extra space here for extra stuff, too. There are also USB-A and USB-C ports, as well as a 12V outlet.
Top right: The bin under Sync 3’s touchscreen can also hold a phone or whatever else you might need close at hand. The bottom is rubberized, to help prevent anything from blowing off.
The cup holders are large enough to hold my large Yeti water bottle and hold it firmly in place. As in other Fords, there is also a small mid-mount bracket about the size of a Red Bull.
The Yeti would not fit in the rear door bottle holder and there is little storage. Entrance doors are more useful. There are cup holders in the center folding armrest of the rear seat.
And finally, there is a bottle opener inside the tailgate jam. owl.
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