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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know there has been a lot of hype and anticipation regarding the new Bronco and Bronco Sport over the last few years. Nearly all SUVs have become CUVs, low to the ground and being marked to a majority of folks who do not take their vehicles off the pavement. What was left was the 4Runner & Wrangler. Sadly even the Xterra got axed. Lots of folks bought SUVs because they use their vehicles where they need the extra clearance...usually in snow or rough terrain. For the better part of a decade, there have been very few vehicles for those customers to choose from and many of them turned to Tacomas and other pickups so they still had usable vehicles in their areas. The Bronco and Bronco Sport models now finally give a CUV-bloated market some viable alternatives...all while sharing Ford's fairly efficient Ecoboost engines. I thought I would create this thread for people considering getting one of the Bronco models, who are comparing it to the Escape or other vehicles or just have some cool photos of Broncos they see.
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Well I was out this weekend and saw a few Bronco Sports at two local dealerships. Sadly neither had the most anticipated Badlands trim with the higher ground clearance, but the pictures give you some idea of what the Bronco Sport looks like "in the wild". Please bear in mind that my Escape is lifted with larger all terrain tires, so this is not a fair comparison. Still, it gives you some ideas in case you are considering a Bronco Sport or are just looking into what all the hype is about. My modified Escape does have higher ground clearance than the non-Badlands Bronco Sport, but the Bronco Sport still has more clearance than the Gen 3 Escape with even more clearance compared to a Gen 4 Escape (which is lower than the Gen 3 Escape).
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In the pictures you can easily tell the more boxy or truck-like shape. You can also notice it is shorter than the Escape. I could not get inside pictures but there are plenty available online. It is basically a Ford Escape interior (which is already decent) with some new features and special Bronco badging. The easy to clear rubber flooring will make it super easy to clean after throwing all your gear inside. I can confirm the accuracy of reviews online that state the taller interior space makes up for much of the reduction in interior space from the smaller wheelbase. The interior roofline is quite high. I wish my Escape had the rear flip-up glass in the tailgate! One of the two Bronco Sports I saw today had front and read mud flaps, something that will help reduce the sides of the vehicle from being pitted and scratched from rocks and road debris.
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A Gen 3 Escape had 6". That was the measurement I took before I modified mine. Ford's official #'s are higher and clearly incorrect. The new Gen 4 Escape is supposed to have .5" less ground clearance than the Gen 3 Escape. That would make sense as the Gen 4 Escape is rather low, much like a sedan. I did not have a tape measure on me, but from the looks of it, the Bronco Sport (non-Badlands) appears to ring in at somewhere around 6.75" or 7"...still better than any stock Escape.
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The Badlands is supposed to have a very decent 8.75" of ground clearance. When I see a Badlands model, I will get more photos and try to take raw measurements. My Escape is at 8 & 5/8" clearance, so I will be able to see how legit Ford's 8.75" is.
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Personally, I like the look of the Bronco Sport. I think Ford will finally have a couple of good vehicles to fill the void in the SUV market and I hope they sell a ton of them.
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When the "Big" Bronco is available, I will try to get some pictures and post here too for comparison. I hope others will get some pictures or Bronco Sports and Broncos, maybe even test drive one and post back here with their experience.
 
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My next vehicle will likely be a Bronco Sport in the Badlands edition. One reason I have an Escape v.s. a sedan is it's easier for a person with a bad back to get into a higher seat. I like the body shape of the Bronco Sport... I never really cared for the direction the Escape has been going appearance-wise in both 3rd gen and 4th gen.

I do like my Escape. It's a nice drive. My Ford vehicles have all turned out to be pretty good transportation.
 

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I love the look of the new Bronco’s. Before we bought our RDX, I was trying to convince my wife to wait until the Bronco came out. I was unsuccessful. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just noticed that the placement front license plate and air vents through the fascia might make it challenging if installing an LED light bar or other auxiliary lighting. An owner of a Bronco Sport might have to get creative, but I am certain mounting lights in the front is possible. I had to get creative installing mine with custom light mounting brackets using small aluminum plates from the local hardware store. Such a setup looks like it might work on the Bronco Sport too. If someone were to get an LED light bar with slide-adjustable mounting brackets, a 24" bar should be able to fit wherever you install such brackets. You just don't want to block too much of the air intake. For all we know Ford might have some accessory light mounting kit they will sell (seeing that they are all about accessorizing the Broncos). I will say that with the Bronco Sport's larger round headlights, a pair of 6" KC highlights, Hellas or bigger PIAA round driving lights would compliment the look of the front quite well. You can get LED round lights like mine or larger from just about all the aftermarket vehicle lighting companies. They don't use much power so you don't have to upgrade the alternator. Speaking of lights, I like the idea of the rear liftgate down-pointing lights so you can see the ground where you are loading your gear.
 

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The day I ordered my 2021 Escape, the dealer had just gotten in a Bronco Sport. I sat in it, but didn’t drive it. They weren’t allowed to sell it until it had 4000 miles, so I didn’t want to get too attached, LOL.

Even though I liked the looks of the Bronco Sport, I convinced myself to stick with the Escape. I was concerned about first model year teething issues and also noticed the max towing capacity is 2200 instead of 3500 for the Escape. Also, I was looking for something with good driving dynamics. Perhaps the Bronco Sport drives just fine, but I would expect it to not handle as well as the Escape.
 

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We realized after packing for the long road trip we just did that the Escape is too small for us now. We have a one year old and another on the way as well as a husky mix and a mini poodle mix that come with us on trips. I like the Bronco Sport and would have probably gotten that as the next vehicle for me but it is probably too small as well. Full size Bronco was next on the list but with the abysmally low tow rating and the relatively low hauling capacity, it's hard to justify getting that over a Ranger/Suburban/F150.
 

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We have a one year old and another on the way as well as a husky mix and a mini poodle mix that come with us on trips.
Yep, I think your family is going to outgrow the Escape. You could use a roof pod for extra cargo capacity. I also bought some large plastic crates for the rear of mine and took two dogs and a 10yr old child on holidays with us. The smaller dog was in the cargo area, in his bed, on top of the crates. The larger dog (a greyhound) was sharing the back seat with the 10yr old child. With younger children you're going to be wanting to take prams and have baby capsules/ child seats.

We're not getting the Bronco Sport here in Australia. The new Escape isn't getting very good reviews and doesn't do much for me style wise. One thing with the Bronco Sport I'm surprised by the front bumper design- they seem to have limited the front approach angle with the bumper extending low in front of the wheels. Strange given that's their "off road" alternative.
 

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Yep, I think your family is going to outgrow the Escape. You could use a roof pod for extra cargo capacity.
We are in the middle of a month long trip and we needed the roof and hitch carrier on our 4Runner for everything. Granted some of that is Christmas presents, but the baby takes up a ton of space. Playpen, pack and play, dairy free food both refrigerated and not (she has a dairy allergy), high chair, stroller. It all adds up fast. If the kids were older and could fit everything in one bag like my wife and I do, the Escape would be fine. As it stands, I've realized over the last two months or so that the Escape and Bronco Sport do not fit my family. I'd love to have the smaller size for daily driving but it's not realistic at this point. Maybe in 7-10 years.
 
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The rumoured 7 seater Escape/ Kuga would probably fit better. Remove the rear seats and you should free up a lot of space. I did that in a 7 seater Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 we used to have.

Back to the Bronco Sport, just looking at Ford's website even the Badlands model seems to sit low given the market it's aimed at? https://www.ford.com/suvs/bronco-sport/models/bronco-sport-badlands/

View attachment 78416
It's got 8.8 inches of ground clearance reportedly. People take their Subarus all sorts of places and they are around the same. It's also got an approach angle of 30 degrees and departure of 33 degrees. That's better than a stock 4Runner which is targeted as an off-road vehicle. The departure is actually pretty close to a Wrangler as well. Obviously the ground clearance isn't going to be as good as those BOF vehicles but it's still not bad. If this thing is actually good off-road, I'm sure there will be lift kits and someone who figures out how to cram a bigger tire on it. If it could get to 10-11" I think it would be a fine easy to medium difficulty trail vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
@murcod I was thinking the same thing about the front bumper. I've knocked such front bumpers/fascia for the past decade. The terms "bulk master", "snowplow" and "carpet sweeper" come to mind! They are on everything from F150s to Silverados, Equinoxes, Explorers, Escalades and so many more. The Bronco Sport is not the worst of such bumpers I've seen though. The approach angle is actually very high for a small SUV (you can see the high angle from the last photo I originally posted) as there isn't much vehicle ahead of the front wheels (compared the the Escape). The one downside is the low overall bumper height for overall ground clearance. I'll have to see a Badlands when the local dealer has one. Bumper height is still better on the Bronco Sport than it is on the Escape. If the Badlands has similar specs to my "improved" Escape", most owners will be able to take their Bronco Sports everywhere they probably dare venture with it. I used to have an older Blazer with 8.75" of ground clearance and it got me into and out of really tough situations. I can take my Escape everywhere I used to take the Blazer, so 8.75" on a Bronco Sport should offer the same abilities in theory. If anyone needs more abilities than that, they really do need the "Big Bronco". I'd love a Big Bronco one day. It won't be cheap but the price point will be similar to an Explorer. It really is amazing how expensive vehicles have become.
 

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I'd love a Big Bronco one day.
I Googled "Bronco Badlands" originally and that looks like a serious off road version. ;) Nice choice of engines too.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Here's a reasonable first impression from TFL on the Bronco Sport Badlands. I like it but the back seat looks a little cramped for legroom.
 
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Interesting they've upgraded the AWD and used the RDU out of the Focus RS (I noticed on the build sheet "Twin Clutch RDU" -or similar- listed.) You've got the rear diff and 4WD "lock" buttons.

It a lot more different to the new Escape than I was expecting.

They could sell well in Australia if released here. I'm guessing there's no way they'd ever build a RHD model given it's made in North America... I wonder if they bothered to design it to allow the future possibility for RHD? The Mustang is sold here and has done well.
 
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I like the review. Thanks for sharing. I think the backseats are what to be expected. The driver was 6’2”, so the front seat was all the way back. He sort of fit fine in the backseat. Be good for someone sitting behind a shorter driver. Looks like lots of head room at least.
 

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Here's a reasonable first impression from TFL on the Bronco Sport Badlands. I like it but the back seat looks a little cramped for legroom.
TFL had a Big Bend version they gave first impressions of too. Different member of the team. He is also 6'2" and seems to think there is a reasonable amount of legroom for a compact SUV.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
@murcod Chevy did import the SS model a few years ago from Austrailia. Who knows. You might see the Broncos in Australia. The US is still waiting on a Nissan Xterra replacement too and the Terra is being sold elsewhere. One can only hope, right?
 

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@murcod Chevy did import the SS model a few years ago from Austrailia. Who knows. You might see the Broncos in Australia.
It's possible, but only if the developed it with RHD being an option. At the moment (from what I've seen) Ford Australia have said we aren't getting it.

Regarding the 6'2" people having marginal rear leg room- that's surprising as I'm just under that and have enough space behind my seat in my 3rd gen Kuga.
 
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