Ford Bronco Sport Vs Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Which Rugged Compact SUV is Right for You?

Justin Pritchard
by Justin Pritchard

Adventuresome SUVs are easy to come by these days, and more are on the way. After all, the crossover SUV is big business these days, and more shoppers than ever are considering models specifically built for adventurous lifestyles, strong off-road capability, and added peace of mind.

Below, we’ll compare two popular picks for an off-road ready compact SUV in 2022. The Ford Bronco Sport debuted in 2021, creating a new sub-brand within Ford’s lineup that includes both Bronco Sport and Bronco models, with more on the way.

Get a Quote on a New Ford Bronco Sport or Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

We’ll compare the Ford Bronco Sport versus Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road—a special RAV4 variant with targeted off-road upgrades that help drivers get deeper into the woods.

Ford Bronco Sport vs Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Cabin Space

Ford Bronco Sport: In board the Bronco Sport, it’s 42.4 inches of leg room up front, and 36.9 inches in the rear. On headroom, look for 41.5 inches in the front, and a slight increase to 41.7 inches in the rear seats thanks to its raised rear roof section.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Front leg room in the RAV4 TRD comes in at 41 inches, giving the Bronco Sport a 1.4-inch advantage in this measurement. Rear leg room in the RAV4 TRD is 37.8 inches, a nearly one-inch rear-seat leg room advantage for the RAV4.

On head room, the RAV4 TRD measures in at 37.7 inches up front and 39.5 inches in the rear—leaving the Bronco Sport with a healthy advantage in both measurements.

Bottom Line: Taller RAV4 passengers may wish for added headroom– and when it comes to comfortably seating tall occupants in either front or back, the Bronco Sport is hard to beat. Note that wider occupants will find the RAV4’s front seats slightly roomier, thanks to a slight advantage in hip and shoulder room.

Cargo Space and Towing

Ford Bronco Sport: In the Bronco Sport, look for 2,200 lb of towing capacity when properly equipped, alongside 29.4 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second-row seats. With seats folded down, the Bronco Sport’s cargo volume expands to 60.6 cubic feet.

SEE ALSO: Ford Bronco Sport vs Subaru Outback Wilderness Comparison

Elsewhere, look for a high-lift tailgate with built-in floodlights, a fold-out workstation table, and easy-to-clean rubberized cargo surfaces.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: The Toyota RAV4 TRD’s 3,500 lb. towing capacity smokes the Bronco Sport by a full 1,300 lb—making it the clear choice for regular towing, with room to grow into larger boats, trailers, or campers.

On cargo space, the RAV4 TRD offers up 37.5 cubic feet behind its second seating row, an 8.1 cubic foot advantage over the Bronco Sport. With seats folded, the RAV4 TRD maintains the lead. With 69.7 cubic feet of cargo volume, the RAV4 TRD leads the Bronco Sport on maxim cargo volume by over 9 cubic feet.

Bottom Line: Though the Bronco Sport delivers generous headroom, its cargo and towing capacity are easily outgunned by the Toyota RAV4 TRD.

Tech and Features

Ford Bronco Sport: For novice and avid off-roaders alike, the Bronco Sport offers features like Rock Crawl mode, Trail Control technology, the G.O.A.T. terrain management system, and a wide-angle exterior camera monitoring system with integrated lens washer for a clear view.

The Bronco Sport Base comes with standard features like a built-in bottle opener, aimable lift gate floodlights, manual climate control, a 4.2-inch cluster, dual USB ports, a manual day/night mirror and cloth seating.

Higher-end models add features like a MOLLE strap equipment holder system, automatic climate control, wireless Smartphone charging, leather-wrapped steering, and compatibility with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Bronco Sport Badlands adds content including a 110-volt power inverter, additional power outlets, an up-sized display screen, and an available B&O sound system from Bang and Olufsen.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: The 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD includes LED projector headlights, a TRD-tuned multi-link suspension system, 18-inch wheels with matte-black finish, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a multi terrain drive mode system that allows the driver to pre-configure the vehicle to specific challenging conditions at the flick of a dial.

Elsewhere, look for automatic lights and wipers, wireless charging, a hands-free power tailgate, and plenty more. High-end feature packages add touches like a digital camera-feed rearview mirror, two-tone paint, parking assist sensors, ventilated seats, wiper de-icer, and an 11-speaker JBL audio system.

Bottom Line: Both the 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD and 2022 Ford Bronco Sport spare little when it comes to backing shoppers up for years of adventure, and offering plenty of high-end feature touches for a taste of the motoring high-life.

Shoppers will likely find the Bronco’s infotainment system the more impressive of the pair, and it’s packed with more handy and thoughtful touches throughout its cabin and cargo area, too.

Ford Bronco Sport vs Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Powertrains

Ford Bronco Sport: All Bronco Sport models run a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, eight-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive. Standard is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. The available 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turns in 250 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: The Toyota RAV4 TRD comes with a proven 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 203 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic comes standard, as does an intelligent AWD system with Dynamic Torque Vectoring for enhanced control and response in a wide range of driving conditions.

Bottom Line: Toyota’s highly-proven 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is a time-tested performer with strong output figures—though the Bronco Sport’s 1.5-liter engine is quieter, and more responsive at low revs. Looking for a power upgrade? The Bronco’s 2.0-liter turbo engine might just be the ticket, and there’s no up-level engine available with the RAV4 TRD.

Fuel Economy

Ford Bronco Sport: With the 1.5-liter turbo engine, the Bronco sport comes in at 25 mpg in the city, and 28 on the highway. With the more powerful 2.0-liter engine, it’s 21 mpg in the city, and 26 on the highway, and premium fuel is recommended.

Note that your results may vary depending on numerous factors, including equipped tires, wheels, and other accessories.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: The Toyota RAV4 TRD gets 25 mpg in the city, and 32 mpg on the highway.

Bottom Line: There’s no fuel economy difference between the Bronco Sport and RAV4 TRD where base engine fuel mileage in the city is concerned—though the RAV4 TRD’s engine squeezes four more miles out of every gallon during highway driving. Comparing base engines, the RAV4 TRD makes notably better use of the driver’s fuel dollars in highway driving.


Ford Bronco Sport: The Bronco Sport comes standard with Co-Pilot360, a networked array of safety features including automatic high beams, blind spot information system, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping alert with assist, and a pre-collision assist system with emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

Enhancing this standard list of safety functions are available features like lane centering, speed sign recognition and evasive steering assist.

A comprehensive array of occupant airbags, including knee airbags, helps round out the package. The Bronco Sport is an IIHS Top Safety Pick +, making it one of the safest vehicles in its segment.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Toyota has a strong reputation for safety and peace of mind, and the 2022 RAV4 TRD backs it up. A 2022 Top Safety Pick, it’s also highly-rated by industry experts.

Like the Bronco Sport, the RAV4 TRD ships with a standard array of safety kit– including Smart Stop Technology, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a multi-angle camera system, parking radar, advanced airbags, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

An anti-theft alarm with engine immobilizer is also included on the RAV4 TRD.

Bottom Line: With strong safety scores and little less than the very latest in outward-looking hazard-detection tech, both the Bronco Sport and RAV4 TRD should satisfy even the most safety-minded shoppers. The Bronco Sport does hold a small advantage in IIHS scoring.


Ford Bronco Sport: The Bronco Sport’s expressive color options and unique graphics convey plenty of energy, while integrated roof rails and lifted rear roof segment leave little to guesswork about its intentions as a fun-loving adventure-seeker.

The Bronco Sport’s prominent fascias grab attention effortlessly, with the BRONCO logo displayed big and proud across the grille. The Bronco Sport looks ready for action, and proud to be one of the segment’s go-to off-roaders.

Tough, unpainted surfaces and flat body-sides help add a distinctive flair.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: The RAV4 TRD’s designers looked to the power of octagons to create a shape that conveys adventure and refinement, while applying signature Toyota SUV touches like a prominent and sculpted grille, swept headlight housings, and an angular, expressive rear fascia.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Review

Ground clearance is higher than suggested by the RAV4 TRD’s low-slung looks—a careful illusion pulled off using proportion and aerodynamic elements to create a head-turning stance. With the goal of enticing its driver into regular adventures, the Toyota RAV4 TRD has a look that makes you want to get out exploring.

Bottom Line: If the Bronco Sport’s tall and boxy shape isn’t your bag of chips, the chiseled, proud and rugged-sleek Toyota RAV4 TRD may be just what the doctor ordered. Don’t miss signature Toyota truck touches, applied to the RAV4’s angular and alert-looking new body.

Pricing / Value

2022 Ford Bronco Sport: The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport comes in four models—the Base ($28,265), the Big Bend ($29,980), the Outer Banks ($33,900), and the Badlands, complete with off-road and rough-terrain enhancements, from $36,590.

These models form a base upon which shoppers can tweak, add, customize and tailor—adding further accessories, packages and hardware options for further fine-tuning.

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: The 2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD starts at $36,915—or about the same as the Bronco Sport’s range-topping Badlands grade. Six option packages are available, ranging from the $1,015 Grade Weather Package to the $4,985 Premium Audio With Dynamic Navigation package.

Bottom Line; While the RAV4 TRD starts in a fairly loaded configuration that leaves shoppers space to add even more features, the Bronco Sport’s significantly lower starting price puts plenty of off-road capability within easier reach of a wider range of budgets.

Ford Bronco Sport vs Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Conclusion

In the battle of the Ford Bronco Sport versus Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, both choices give shoppers plenty of capability and kit to grow into for years of adventuring—though the RAV4 TRD’s higher cargo volume and towing capacity may be more tempting for shoppers with growing families in the long term.

The Bronco Sport offers more selection and a lower entry point to off-road fun, while the RAV4 TRD provides the purchase-decision confidence and peace of mind that Toyota shoppers enjoy.

Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard

Justin Pritchard, an award-winning automotive journalist based in Sudbury, Ontario, is known for his comprehensive automotive reviews and discoveries. As a presenter, photographer, videographer, and technical writer, Justin shares his insights weekly through various Canadian television programs, print, and online publications. In 2023, Justin celebrated a significant milestone, airing the 600th episode of his TV program, AutoPilot. Currently, he contributes to, Sharp Magazine, and MoneySense Magazine. His work as a technical writer, videographer, presenter, and producer has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2019 AJAC Video Journalism Award and the 2018 AJAC Journalist of the Year. Justin holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Laurentian University, which he earned in 2005. His career in automotive journalism began that same year at Since then, he has written one of the largest collections of used car buyer guides on the internet. His passion for photography, nurtured from a young age, is evident in his work, capturing the scenic beauty of Northern Ontario. Living in a region with a particularly harsh winter climate has made Justin an expert on winter driving, winter tires, and extreme-weather safety. Justin’s significant achievements include: 2019 AJAC Video Journalism Award (Winner) 2019 AJAC Road Safety Journalism Award (Runner-Up) 2019 AJAC Automotive Writing (vehicle review topics) (Winner) 2019 AJAC Automotive Writing (technical topics) (Winner) 2018 AJAC Journalist of the Year You can follow Justin’s work on Instagram @mr2pritch and YouTube @JustinPritchard.

More by Justin Pritchard

Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Willie Austin Willie Austin on Aug 04, 2022

    I actually like the Bronco Sport more than the Rav4. It looks so much more unique and sporty. But from a reliability perspective, the Toyota has the Ford beat. Bronco has every single thing I'm finding. I LOVE the heated seats when it's cold.