2023 Ford Bronco Sport tailored for off-roading enthusiasts

By Paul Borden

(November 8, 2023) The Ford Bronco Sport debuted as a 2021 model to give buyers a more affordable and compact option than its larger Bronco sibling that revived the nameplate the same year to end a 15-year production hiatus. Initially offered in five trims including a First Edition model, the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport also gets a new trim level with Heritage and Heritage Limited models joining Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Badlands in the portfolio. It is especially targeted for off-roading ventures but is comfortable in city environs as well.

Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Heritage models get a turbocharged 3-cylinder engine while the Heritage Limited, which this review is base on, and Badland versions get the optional 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine.

The larger engine boosts horsepower and torque to 250 hp and 275 pound-feet over the smaller’s 181/190 numbers so it’s worthwhile stretching your budget if you are able.

Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard.

The government puts fuel mileage at 21 miles-per-gallon city, 26 highway, and 23 combined for the 4-cylinder, which makes it only slightly thirstier than the smaller 3-banger (25/28/26).

The 2023 Ford Bronc Sport Heritage Limited has a nicely designed interior  with leather/synthetic leather upholstery and lots of standard convenience features. These include Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of features like navigation, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot alert and lane-keeping assist, and the FordPass Connect system that adds remote start and recall notifications among other alerts.

Interior features include rubberized flooring and cargo floor (handy after adventures on muddy trails), cruise and audio controls, a 110-volt outlet, under-seat storage, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an 8-inch display screen with app links,, an illuminated entry system, and USB ports.

An easy fill capless fuel filler, LED foglights, rear liftgate glass with wiper, LED headlights and taillamps, unique side badging, bash plates and tow hooks, and a unique white front grille with distinctive red “Bronco” lettering are among other standard features. Keyless entry and push-button start gets you under way quickly and smoothly, and paddle shifters give you the option of manual gear selection

Among “no charge” offerings on my test 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited were the Robin’s Egg Blue paint scheme, rear parking sensors, wireless charging pad, dual zone climate control, HD radio with 10 speakers, remote start, power and a power moonroof.

All told that rang the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited in at $46,400 including the $1,595 destination and delivery charge. That’s a pretty good jump from the under $30,000 starting price for the base trim.

What I liked about the 2023 Fort Bronco Sport Heritage Limited: The 4-cylinder engine has plenty of pep for daily driving. The interior is roomy, and the infotainment functions are user-friendly. Overall, the vehicle is well-equipped, making it easy to avoid options that add to an already hefty starting MSRP. There is plenty of room for storage behind the backseat (32.5 cubic feet) and it more than doubles (65.2) with the second-row folded.

What I didn’t like about the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited: Fuel economy trails that of most of its competitors. The front seat offers plenty of legroom (42.4 inches) but the back is a bit snug (36.9 inches). It may have been the shoes I was wearing that caused it, but my foot had a tendency to slip off the accelerator pedal, which is on the small side.

Would I buy the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited? I’m not fond of the Robin’s Egg Blue exterior but North Carolina Tar Heels fans no doubt would love it. The off-road capability is wasted on me not because I don’t get little opportunity to hit the trail. This and the Everglades edition deserve a look if you are seeking off-pavement adventures. Production lives up to its “limited” moniker with under 2,000 in production so the Badlands model likely works out as the default model if off-roading is your primary desire.