Exploring the Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend: A Surprising Blend of Safety, Performance, and Functionality

Exploring the Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend: A Surprising Blend of Safety, Performance, and Functionality

I had the opportunity to try a Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend for around 2000 miles. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this car.

First off, what needs to be said is that the "Ford Bronco Sport" is an entirely different car than the "Ford Bronco." Of course, this was done for reasons which I'm sure Ford can articulate, but for the laymen who is not intimately familiar with the Ford lineup, it gets confusing. There is some styling overlap, but other than that, they are two uniquely different cars. The Ford Bronco Sport is built off the Ford Escape chassis and engine (I am told they are both relatively identical). The Ford Bronco is an entirely different beast from the bottom up and is designed for off-road capability.

First off, I have liked the Ford brand for a while now. What changed my mind was seeing fellow troopers launch off the road into the trees at 50 miles per hour or get hit in the back of the vehicle by a car going 70 and walk away laughing. Safety is important to me. Ford also has one of the best, if not the best, all-wheel-drive traction control systems around. The car will literally do everything in its power, abiding by gravity, to keep the car on the road. This is a critical function, keeping you and your family safe.

Ford introduced "GOAT" modes to the Bronco lineup, which are essentially driving modes. Driving modes at one point in time felt like a gimmick, but now it needs to be said that they provide some decent advantages in specialized conditions. I particularly like the snow/wet mode during heavy hydroplaning conditions or snowing conditions. This mode helps you both stay on the road on the highway and also helps you not get stuck or to help climb a hill. There is an efficient mode which also, when the vehicle is driven properly, can add a decent amount to mpg. I will say that these cars come with a "sport" mode, which I think is pretty stupid and baffles me slightly as to why it is incorporated in the car, as it is mostly a gimmick due to the likelihood of anyone taking a car like this to the track or pushing the car to an envelope where it could assist would be substantially dangerous to other motorists on the road.

The interior layout and how the driver interacts with the car are top-notch, as it is on many other Ford Cars. Ford, in my opinion, does an excellent job with the "Buttonology" (I probably made this term up but I don't care) of the car. From turning on the windshield wipers to using the HVAC, it's all pretty easy to figure out and easy to reach quickly and intuitively while driving. One of my favorite design choices that Ford has stuck with is keeping the HVAC physical buttons and not integrated on the screen only so you're not stuck fumbling around with menus while driving. I also like in this car, there is an ample amount of shelving and storage available to the driver when driving. Ford's infotainment system is also very simple to use as it is easy to get Bluetooth connected, comes with Apple CarPlay. The screen is big enough to be seen in any condition but not so big that you're wondering where the window is. I am 6'2" and fit very comfortably in this car, which is great considering it is a medium to small car. I would have no problem taking this thing on a long trip as the comfort is certainly there.

The car has cloth seats but comes with heated front seats on this Big Bend edition I had. The seats incorporate some molle webbing at the bottom, which would be good to slap a medical kit and fire extinguisher on it in case things get spicy. The truck has a good amount of storage (enough for a big dog). Ford incorporated the rear glass to open on its own which is a nice feature to have occasionally in a pinch. Ford also has a “smart key” (I called it that) which means you can keep the key in your pocket to open locked car doors and simply need to press the start button to get the car going. I was bummed to see this car did not come with a remote start which I thought was pretty lame for a car otherwise pretty well-equipped.

Who do I think this car is for? It would be a great car for someone who drives in the city, requiring a car that has a little more capability than the normal sedan in an off-road environment. It's super easy to park and drive, has great visibility due to its height, and has plenty of power to get around. I got a respectable 31 mpg in my 2000 miles doing normal highway driving with some backroads. I am told the engine is a 3-cylinder but you would never know it. It sounds fine and does the trick when you need to pass someone or get on the highway. I would strongly consider buying this car if I lived in the city or wanted an SUV with good MPG for commuting and did not need to travel much with passengers.

Go out and test drive one today!

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