2021 Ford Bronco vs 2021 Ford Bronco Sport: Is Ford’s Newest Full-Size SUV Worth the Upgrade?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

In the Summer of 2020, amidst a global pandemic, Ford unveiled their 2021 Ford Bronco alongside the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. The full-size SUV made its way back onto dealer lots for the first time since 1996 in July 2020. Completely redesigned for a modern look with the same tough, off-roading attitude, the SUV immediately garnered the attention of Bronco lovers everywhere. With plenty of space, the capability to drive off-road, and of course the ability to remove doors, the Bronco made its way onto lots with two versions; The Bronco and the Bronco Sport. But what are the differences between them and is the 2021 Bronco worth the upgrade? Here’s the 2021 Ford Bronco vs. the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport.

Ford Bronco vs. Ford Bronco Sport Differences

2021 Ford Bronco | Scott Olson/Getty Images


One of the most important differences to consumers everywhere is in the engine. The Bronco offers the options of both a four-cylinder delivering 270 hp as well as a V-6 with 310 hp. 

While the Bronco Sport shares engine options with the Ford Escape, giving drivers either a three-cylinder with 181 hp or a four-cylinder 245 hp engine.

Depending on a buyer’s ideal usage for the Ford Bronco, either option may be viable. The Bronco is going to be the way hardcore enthusiasts go, looking for more power for off-road driving or just speed in general. Casual consumers may be more attracted to the 2021 Bronco Sport, since its smaller engine sizes will offer better gas mileage, and as an everyday driver provide everything they might need. The decision is ultimately yours, but the Bronco definitely provides more power if that’s what you’re looking for. In that sense, the Bronco is certainly worth the upgrade.


Another important feature to fans of the new Ford Bronco is of course how well it can stand up to the competition. Part of the competition being Jeep Wranglers and any other vehicle with removable doors and roofs. To some, the Bronco might not even be of interest to them unless the doors come off. Fortunately, they do, but not on the Sport version.

The Bronco offers three designs for hard and soft top varying in capability. Remove all doors, drive fully open or closed, and stow all the panels on the four-door model. Taking into account weather and off-road conditions, Ford has also added waterproof vinyl upholstery and drains on the floors. This version is a body-on-frame truck-based SUV chassis, modeled after the new Ford Ranger pickup truck. 

The 2022 Ford Bronco in Cyber Orange shown on a trail
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

The Bronco Sport comes in only one body style, to which the doors and roof will always be attached. The sport version does not come with anything detachable but has an optional moonroof with at least the Badlands trim level. The Bronco Sport chassis is the same as the Ford Escape crossover SUV. Therefore, this is more of a “car-based” SUV instead of a truck.

The Sport version of the Bronco will drive and handle similar to a small SUV. The Bronco will be closer to a large SUV or truck.


As far as any vehicle purchase goes, the most important things at the end of the day are available options and cost. There are major differences in price for the two versions of Bronco with the standard Bronco starting at $28,500 and the most expensive option being $57,410. That’s a range of $28,910 between the Base model and the First Edition. The Bronco Sport Base starts just slightly under the Bronco at $26,660, with its First Edition trim level costing just $38,160. 

The Ford Bronco offers seven different trim options – Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak, and First Edition. Four-door models are automatically more expensive than the two-door, and trim levels obviously vary based on engine, technology, and other features. 

The Ford Bronco Sport offers just five trim options – Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition. While the Sport misses on many features the Bronco has, the price may be worth it. The First Edition trim level of Sport can be had for almost $800 fewer than the Outer Banks Bronco. So while you’d still miss out on key features like detaching doors and a V-6 engine, the luxury included in the First Edition may make up for it.

Ford Bronco or Ford Bronco Sport

Ford Bronco vs Ford Bronco Sport
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

So you’re looking for an off-roading, no-door Bronco that can drive fast? The 2021 Ford Bronco is the one for you. Especially when looking at the base models of either Bronco. The base Bronco costs just $1,840 more than the base Bronco Sport. If luxury doesn’t matter as much and capability is your primary concern, there’s no reason to settle for the Sport at this trim level. Of course, it becomes extremely costly as you add more features.

At the end of the day, there’s a Bronco for everyone. Any version of the Bronco Sport is going to be the way to go if you’re looking for a slightly smaller SUV, regardless of speed or power. If your search is for a full-size SUV or Jeep Wrangler Rubicon replacement, the Bronco is the only choice. Both of these vehicles have sleek interiors and plenty of options to choose from. As far as the debate of the 2021 Ford Bronco vs. 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, it’s up to the needs of the buyer.

RELATED: The 2022 Ford Bronco Borrows More From the Jeep Wrangler

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