A late 2020 off-road test drive of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4x4 demonstrated this small SUVís off-highway prowess. (Read the January 2021 report at www.kjbsyndicate.com.) But a recent week-long Bronco Sport Badlands test drive proved this all-new SUV is also an outstanding performer on paved roads. Bronco Sport isnít a one-trick horse. Ride and handling characteristics are superb during wicked off-road challenges as well as the tamer trials of city and highway travels. Bronco Sportís Badlandsí cabin has easy-to-reach interface points, including silicone-sealed control switches. The 8-inch dashboard touchscreen (compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and the 4.2-inch gauge cluster screen have immense clarity in harsh sunlight and nighttime darkness.

Bronco Sport Badlands (and First Edition models) are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine producing 245 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 275 lbs-ft of torque at 3000 rpm. (The base, Big ŚBend and OuterBanks models are powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine releasing 181 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 190 lbs-ft of torque at 3000 rpm.) Both engines feature auto start-stop technology and mate to an 8-speed automatic transmission. During the test drive, the SUVís highway mileage hovered between 25 and 28 mpg. MSRP of the 105.1-inch wheelbase Bronco Sport Badlands starts at $32,820.