Earlier this week, Bronco Nation posted video of the 2021 Ford Bronco earning its stripes — some of them literal — on a trek through some of Moab’s more famous obstacles. Turns out the development team took a Bronco Sport to Utah for durability testing as well, and kept the cameras rolling. The gift to us is another eight minutes of slow rolling progress over some slightly less challenging impediments, and thankfully, when it came time to edit, the person in charge of the score was given the day off. This time, we can enjoy the atmospheric sounds of off-roading, including a couple of crunches when the Bronco Sport gets sicced on steep terrain. Hallelujah.
Based on the grille and the tires, the crossover in the video appears to be the hardcore Badlands trim. At the top of the trim tree above the Base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks, the Badlands is equipped with trim-specific off-road suspension and four-wheel-drive system with a twin-clutch differential on the rear axle capable of torque vectoring. At one point in the video we hear the spotter ask if the driver has engaged the rear locker. Bigger 28.5-inch Falken Wildpeak All Terrain tires normally wrap 17-inch gray-painted wheels, but steelies get the nod in the video. There are also metal bash plates, a low-speed trail cruise control function, front tow hooks, and a trail camera system. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is standard equipment, and the G.O.A.T. mode switcher is expanded to seven different terrain modes.
Especially toward the end, this testing session gives us the idea the Bronco Sport is packing the kind of capability we expect from the model’s main rival, able to do far more than its buyers will ask of it unless those buyers get horribly, terribly lost. That’s good news for everyone.