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Bronco vs Bronco Sport: Which Is Best for You?

A yellow 2024 Ford Bronco Sport for sale is shown driving on a snowy road.

Other than noticeable exterior differences, you might think the only other difference between the Ford Bronco and the Ford Bronco Sport is five letters. The truth is, there are many more differences than that, and it takes a bit more than just hearing the name and looking at their exteriors to determine which one is best for you.

The good news is that our team at Ruge's Ford can help you explore both models and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when looking at a Ford Bronco Sport for sale.

Both Broncos are rooted in history, with the first Ford Bronco debuting way back in 1965. That Bronco—which is deemed the first sport utility vehicle by many—was an instant hit with a variety of drivers, especially those looking for adventure. Read on to learn more about the Bronco and Bronco Sport to help you determine which one is best for your needs.

Off-Roading Capabilities

From the beginning, the Ford Bronco was built for off-roading. Today, that purpose is perhaps one of the defining factors as to which model meets your needs. While both will go off-road, they do so differently...

A close up shows the digital gauge and 'baja' mode in a 2024 Ford Bronco.

The 2024 Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco is a rugged and tough vehicle with a seating capacity of four to five people. You can choose either a two- or four-door version, along with your choice of nine trim levels. This variety makes it easy to find the right one for your needs. Throughout the Ford Bronco lineup, you’ll find the signature GOAT Terrain Management System. This system, which stands for “Goes Over All Terrain,” offers up to seven modes: Normal, ECO, Sport, Slippery, Sand/Snow, Baja, Rock Crawl, and Mud/Ruts.

The GOAT system easily transitions from one to the other with the turn of a knob. Depending on the mode, the system adjusts to promote a smoother ride by disconnecting the front sway bar, disengaging or engaging traction control, or fine-tuning locking differentials. Along with this traction control system, you’ll also gain access to the available Trail Control option, which is an off-road feature that allows for low-speed driving as you navigate the trails.

Additionally, the availability of removable tops and doors when choosing the Ford Bronco allows you to truly immerse yourself in nature. Also, available accessories make it easier to haul your kayak or bicycle, plus there’s a tent accessory for nights under the stars. Finally, the Ford Bronco also gives you the ability to see all around the vehicle with the available 360-degree camera, and you can navigate the area better using the Bronco Trail App.

The 2024 Ford Bronco Sport

While the Ford Bronco gives you easy access to the road less traveled, as well as a smooth ride both in town and on the highway, the Ford Bronco Sport focuses on the latter first and then the former.

For instance, you can head off-road in the Ford Bronco Sport with the addition of the available Black Diamond Off-Road Package and the available Front 180-Degree Camera with Split View. However, the interior details, the cushioned seating for five, and the smooth exterior lines seem built for day-to-day driving that dominates while commuting, running errands, and more, rather than cutting new paths through the wilderness.

The Tale of Two Broncos: Which Meets Your Needs?

Off-roading aside, there are other differences between the Bronco and Bronco Sport to consider when choosing the right one for you. Those differences are outlined below, but you can also talk with our team to explore the differences further.

Cost of Ownership

If budget is a major factor when searching for your new vehicle, the Ford Bronco Sport might be a better option, with the lowest trim level starting under $32k. Meanwhile, the Ford Bronco starts at just under $40k. It’s important to remember also that the starting price for the Ford Bronco Sport is for a four-door version, unlike the starting two-door Bronco; this is significant for families with smaller children, as ease of use is a big consideration when shopping for a new vehicle.

Each Model's Footprint

Another thing to consider is where you drive. If you’re in and out of the city regularly, you might want a smaller footprint to enable better navigation and parking. Bumper to bumper, the length of the Bronco Sport is 172.7 inches (a little over 14 feet). At the same time, the two-door Bronco is 173.7 inches long, which is not a notable difference. However, if you need better accessibility, you’ll want the four-door Bronco, which is 189.4 inches.

Power and Performance

When comparing power and performance, we’ll start with the Ford Bronco Sport. First, all trim levels offer all-wheel drive. Second, a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder is the base engine, but you can also opt for a 2.0L four-cylinder that provides you with 245 hp. While this might not be the largest engine in the industry, it does provide you with everything you need, especially if your day-to-day driving is mainly around town and on the highway (with only occasional off-roading).

On the other side, the Bronco’s standard and optional engines produce a significant increase in power. For instance, its standard engine is a 2.3L four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 325 lb-ft of torque and 300 hp. There is also the choice of a 2.7L V6 turbocharged engine that gives you 330 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque.

Of course, you might wonder how the engine options affect fuel efficiency, which is significant no matter where the road takes you. To answer that question, you’ll find that the EPA calculates the highway fuel economy for the standard three-cylinder engine in the Bronco Sport to be 28 MPG. For the Bronco, the highway fuel economy is calculated at 22 MPG. With these figures in mind, as well as the engine options, you might opt for the Ford Bronco Sport to save money at the pump.

Cargo Capacity

In this head-to-head comparison, the Ford Bronco offers greater cargo room, as you might assume. However, that cargo space fluctuates depending on whether you choose the two- or four-door version. With the two-door, you’ll have up to 22.4 cu.ft. behind the rear seats, with a maximum of 52.3 cu.ft. when those seats are folded down. Choosing the four-door option gives you up to 83.0 cu.ft. with the seats down for the soft top option and 77.6 cu.ft. for the hard top option.

While the Ford Bronco Sport offers less cargo space, it uses that space well. For instance, you’ll find that the cargo space of the Ford Bronco Sport can be outfitted with a slide-out table that doubles as a work or dining space, as well as a 400-watt power inverter, LED lights, a built-in bottle opener, and more.

Towing Capabilities

Because of its body-on-frame structure, the large Bronco is really a pickup truck underneath, whereas the unibody construction of the Ford Bronco Sport is modeled after the Ford Escape, which serves as its foundation. Knowing this, along with understanding the engine options, it’s easy to see why the Bronco is better for towing than the Bronco Sport.

That doesn’t mean you can’t tow with the Bronco Sport, however; its 2,200-lb towing capacity is perfect for a small camper or utility trailer—but if you need something more, you’ll want to opt for the Bronco. Doing this gives you a towing capacity of up to 3,500 lbs for both the two- and four-door options.

Connectivity and Safety

When comparing the two vehicles and their options for connectivity, you’ll find that both get the job done efficiently. Each offers intuitive infotainment systems with a seamless connection to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as available amenities like navigation. Additionally, USB charging ports, wireless charging options, an available Wi-Fi hotspot, and more are great convenience features for the drive.

At the same time, you’ll also find that Ford provided both options with a long list of driver assistance features that not only make the drive easier but also give you added confidence on the road.

People are shown stowing kayak equipment in the back of a blue 2024 Ford Bronco Sport.

Check Out the Bronco and Bronco Sport Today

When choosing between the Ford Bronco and Ford Bronco Sport, it comes down to how you’ll use it. If fuel efficiency and adaptability are at the top of your must-have list, the Ford Bronco Sport might be the right one for you. On the other hand, if you need more cargo space and the ability to head off-road anytime you want, the Ford Bronco is the one for you.

At the end of the day, while the Bronco and Bronco Sport seem similar, there are several differences between the two. With the information above, along with the help of our team at Ruge's Ford, you can compare the differences and similarities to help you determine which one is best for you. Stop by and see them both today.

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