2022 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands Review: Quick Take

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick
2022 ford bronco sport badlands review quick take

FAST FACTS

Engine: 2.0L I4 Turbo
Output: 250 hp, 275 lb-ft
Transmission: 8AT, 4WD
US fuel economy (MPG): 21/26/23
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 11.1/9.0/10.2
As-Tested Price (USD): $41,295 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $52,194 (inc. dest.)

Recently, we held a massive 2022 AutoGuide Compact SUV Comparison test presented by NRS Brakes. We’re now going to take a closer look at one of the entries in that battle royale, the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport.

The Bronco Sport is the perfect illustration of the flexibility in this class. Slightly smaller than the Escape with which it shares its platform, the BroSpo is a boxier, more rugged entry in the compact SUV segment. Ironically, it reverses course for car-bases SUVs, offering some of the compromises of old-school SUVs, with an extra dash of cool.

Get a Quote on a New Ford Bronco Sport

2022 Ford Bronco Sport Review: What’s new?

The Bronco Sport sauntered into its second model year with minimal changes. There were a handful of new exterior paint choices and slight price increases, but otherwise it’s the same little cute-ute we liked when it launched in 2021. Next year sees a nostalgia-tinged Heritage Edition launch in bright colors with white grilles, too.

Okay, the big Bronco is cooler, especially in two-door trim. But park the Bronco Sport alongside just about anything else in this segment, and it draws attention. Ford did a good job transferring those retro looks to this smaller platform. Boxy is in, and this two-pronged attack from the Blue Oval gives buyers the choice of the car-like Escape and friendly-faced baby Bronco.

Quick and fun off-road

2022 ford bronco sport badlands review quick take

Don’t let that happy face fool you: the Bronco Sport is a genuinely quick little SUV. Ford’s torquey 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is exclusive to this top Badlands trim. Here it puts down big numbers, to the tune of 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet, all funnelled through standard 4WD and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

That mission of recreating the old-school SUV experience does present some challenges. The wide-angle view out over the hood, and the clean sightlines? All good. The noticeable body lean in corners, constant hum from the tires, and somewhat vague steering? Less so. Sacrifices you’ll have to make for the off-road life.

That’s really where the Bronco Sport comes into its own. On loose surfaces, the light steering feels relaxed, better matched to the constant slight adjustments required on dirt. The short wheelbase makes it a good bit of fun to throw around too, and that heartier 4WD system gives it legitimate off-road chops. There’s not much else this size and price that will go further from the tarmac.

Rugged inside, too

2022 ford bronco sport badlands review quick take

True to its name, the BroSpo interior is hardly fancy. The optional soft-touch seats in the Badlands are great, but the rest of the cabin is more tough plastics than anything else. That feels appropriate given the Sport’s mission statement, however. It might lack the techy futurism of the Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage, but the straightforward layout of the center console makes it silly easy to operate.

Front-seat space is right there with the rest of the class, and the boxy shape make for excellent sight lines. Second-row riders won’t find a surplus of legroom, but that safari-style two-step roof does give them plenty of headroom. Camping out for the night? Take advantage of the tailgate’s built-in spotlights—not to mention the bottle opener.

Pricey for what you get

2022 ford bronco sport badlands review quick take

Be prepared to pay a cool tax for the Bronco Sport. Even as one of the priciest vehicles in the class, it misses out on a lot of tech, like Ford’s newer Sync 4 infotainment or even a powered rear tailgate. At least it has a front-facing camera, which sure enough has its uses off-road.

The starting price for 2022 is $30,410 ($38,094 CAD), including destination. To unlock the muscular 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine we tested here means stretching to the top Badlands trim, however. This range-topper rings in at $38,185 ($48,244 CAD), and this tester sees a few extra thousand ladled on top for things like the pretty brown leather-trimmed interior.

Verdict: 2022 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands Review

2022 ford bronco sport badlands review quick take

If you find yourself off the tarmac more often than the typical compact SUV buyer, then there’s a lot to like about the 2022 Bronco Sport Badlands. Its lack of cutting-edge technology feels appropriate, and it has buckets of style. It really is a baby Bronco, one that can provide plenty of smiles when the road runs out.


FAQs

How much does the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport cost?

The entry point for the Bronco Sport is $30,410 ($38,094 CAD).


What is the Badlands package on a Ford Bronco Sport?

The Badlands is the top Bronco Sport trim, which unlocks the larger engine, a more advanced 4WD system, and other trim goodies.


Does the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport have a hybrid option?

Currently no. If you want a hybrid (or PHEV) version of a Ford crossover, look at the Escape, which shares its platform with the Bronco Sport.

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