It likely has more to do with the driver and tires rather than the Jeep itself.
The people who have criticized Ford for slapping the fabled "Mustang" badge on an electric SUV probably raised their eyebrows again when “Bronco” was used for a unibody crossover. While the boxy Bronco Sport doesn’t have the off-road chops of its truck-based bigger brother, new footage shows it can hold its own on difficult terrain.
Not just any terrain, but the grueling 6.5-mile Hell’s Revenge trail in Moab, Utah where the fullsize Bronco has been spotted repeatedly in the last few days. The adjacent new video published by FreeWheelin Overland on YouTube shows a Bronco Sport in the Badlands specification going up a hill with moderate effort as it wasn’t able to climb the rocks on its first attempt.
Gallery: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport
After patiently waiting in line, the lifted Jeep Wrangler in Unlimited flavor sans front doors then tried to do the same but needed a lot more time to complete the course. Blame it on the overly inflated tires and/or the driver’s lack of skills, but the JL Rubicon had some serious problems climbing the hill. Watch the video until the very end and you’ll see the Jeep eventually got on top.
Jumping to the conclusion the video puts the Jeep in a bad light would be fundamentally wrong because there’s more to it than the vehicle itself. Those tires don’t look aired down and that certainly has a negative impact on performance, and while we’re no off-road experts, the Wrangler should’ve cleared the obstacle without much effort.
As for the Bronco Sport, the video goes to show the Badlands trim is indeed “at the peak of Bronco Sport capability” as described by Ford. It costs from $32,660 and offers 8.8 inches of ground clearance provided it rides on the optional 29-inch A/T tires. That’s an improvement of one inch compared to the Base and Big Bend models and 0.9 inches over the Outer Banks.
The Badlands also has significantly better approach, breakover, and departure angles along with greater maximum water fording capabilities than the lesser trim levels. It’s still no big Bronco, but as long as you’re not a hardcore off-road enthusiast, the Sport version should suffice in the vast majority of situations.