5 reasons the 2022 Bronco Sport is better than the 2022 Ford Escape

When you’re looking for a smart, capable, and fuel-efficient small SUV, it’s hard to beat the 2022 Ford Escape and Ford Bronco Sport. Both can be had with all-wheel drive, can tackle rough roads and hold over 65 cubic feet of stuff. But, the similarly priced, sized and equipped Bronco Sport SUV has some advantages over the Escape that may make you want to think twice about the baby Bronco.

Consumer Reports recommends the Bronco Sport, not the 2022 Ford Escape

Three 2022 Ford Bronco Sports | Ford

Consumer Reports likes the Escape a lot, but not enough for the SUV recommendation. But the magazine recommends the Ford Bronco Sport and praises its roomy interior and stable handling thanks to a few suspension tweaks. All Bronco Sports and Escapes come standard with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine. In both SUVs, the three-cylinder is rated at 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. Both SUVs weigh about 25 pounds apart with all-wheel drive.

Owners report to J.D. Power that the Bronco Sport also has better reliability ratings

The 2022 Ford Escape lacks the beauty of the baby Bronco

A 2023 Ford Bonco Sport Heritage Edition shows off its two-tone paint job.
2023 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

When it first came out in late 2020 as a 2021 model, many people saw the Bronco badge on the front and thought it was the new Bronco. The large non-Sport Bronco is a different model that is much larger, designed to tackle tough off-road trails, and can be ordered with either two or four doors. The Sport, however, was designed to be more of an urban SUV with some off-road pretension, a sort of stylish all-rounder.

The Escape has been redesigned for 2020 and it looks more anonymous than the Bronco Sport. But, there is soon a new Ford Escape 2023.

The Bronco Sport has standard all-wheel drive

All Bronco Sports come standard with heavy-duty all-wheel drive. Although cheaper in base trim, the Escape’s all-wheel drive is a $1,500 option. The Bronco Sport also gets the GOAT, or Goes Over Any Terrain, mode selector. Both SUVs also get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Ford’s easy-to-use Sync 3 with an 8-inch touchscreen.

The Bronco Sport can be configured for off-roading

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All Bronco Sports have standard all-wheel drive and plenty of ground clearance for a smooth ride. But upgrade to the top version, the Badlands, and you’ve got a full suite of off-road goodies. The Badlands come with metal skid plates, off-road tires, selectable terrain modes and an off-road suspension package. But more importantly, it comes with the 250-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and a different four-wheel-drive system that includes a rear differential lock.

But you pay more for style and capacity

A blue Ford Escape at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Ford Escape Titanium at | Greg Baker, AFP via Getty Images

The 2022 Ford Escape is less expensive. The base Escape S starts at $27,185, while the base Bronco Sport starts at $28,815, and they’re similarly equipped. Other Ford Escape trim levels include the $28,520 SE and $30,895 SEL. The Titanium top line brings leather, a hands-free tailgate, 10-way power driver’s seat and more for the big step up to $37,305. A hybrid version is a $1,655 option. A plug-in hybrid option is also available for $3,395.

The Bronco Sport starts at $28,815. The slightly upgraded Big Bend starts at $30,530, the Outer Banks adds remote start and leather-trimmed front seats for $34,450, and the Badlands starts at $36,590.

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