The Ford Bronco Sport has no business being as good as it is off-road.

  • Car: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands
  • Location: Rowher Flats, Southern California
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (IG + Twitter: @16vPete)
  • Camera: Canon 6D, EF 35-85mm Zoom AF

Thanks to roof recalls, brutally high demand, and ridiculous dealer markups, the full-size Ford Bronco has a bunch of drama surrounding it, but the smaller Bronco Sport has pretty much kept out of the weeds. It might share the same chassis as the Ford Escape, a point of spirited discussion, but it’s an incredibly potent and capable unibody rig. My colleague Chris Rosales and I experienced this firsthand the day I snapped the above photo during an extremely fun day in the mountains.

The only drama surrounding the diet Bronco is that it isn’t the ultra-hyped-up full-size version. But that’s not its fault, and it certainly shouldn’t be written off for it either. I’m not saying skip the big Bronco to buy a Sport, because the full-size model is reportedly an incredible machine, but the Sport doesn’t deserve the hate it gets on the internet. Think of it as an easier-to-park, slightly more fuel efficient 80-percent Bronco.