Will the Ford Bronco Sport Kill the Escape?

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I was running an errand earlier this week and spotted a Ford Bronco Sport street parked on Chicago’s famed State Street. Coincidentally, I had just tested one off-road a bit over a week prior.

The baby Bronco impressed me on our first drive, despite some flaws. And our own Adam Tonge has argued that the Escape-based Bronco Sport may spell the end of the line for the venerable crossover that lends it its platform.

The argument goes like this — the Bronco Sport looks cooler (indeed, the boxy styling reminds some of the first Escape, in a good way), has the same engines, has four-wheel drive, isn’t significantly more expensive, and offers as much or more utility.

Unless you want a hybrid powertrain or want front-wheel drive, there seems to be no reason for the Escape.

I am not sure I totally agree. While the Escape’s looks are polarizing, and I prefer the Bronco Sport’s style, there will be people out there who think the Escape looks good. Lower-trim Escapes are also a tad cheaper, at least to start.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think the Bronco Sport will be popular. I think it will do quite well for Ford. It has a cool factor about it that isn’t often present in the segment, it offers off-road capability (at least in Badlands trim), it’s new and has that novelty going for it, it bears the Bronco name, and Ford has marketed the hell out of it.

Certainly, Ford thinks the two can co-exist in its lineup without cannibalizing sales from one another. Ford reps told me as much last fall during the drive event.

What say you?

[Image © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]





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