What is the Ford Bronco Sport Ground Clearance

Last Updated on February 26, 2023 by Paul S.

The Bronco is the revamped line of Ford off road vehicles that got its start in 1966.  They brought it back in 2021 and are looking to challenge the Jeep Wrangler for trail superiority. The Ford Bronco Sport is the smaller brother of the Ford Bronco so it cannot keep up on the trail but it’s trail capable. One of the big questions is what is the Ford Bronco Sport ground clearance.

The clearance of the Bronco Sport can vary.  See below for the clearances for the various models.

Ford Bronco Sport Ground Clearance

  • Ford Bronco Sport 4×4: 7.8 inches
  • Ford Bronco Big Bend Sport 4×4: 7.8 inches
  • Ford Bronco Big Bend Sport 4×4: 7.8 inches
  • Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4×4: 8.8 inches

As seen above the Badlands gets you the highest ground clearance!

If you are comparing this between the Ford Wrangler and Bronco, here is the comparison:

  • Ford Bronco: 11.6 inches
  • Jeep Wrangler JL Sport:  9.7 Inches
  • Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara: 10 inches
  • Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon: 10.8 inches

So in comparison, you can see that the Ford Bronco Sport Badlands is not too far from the Jeep Wrangler sport but is a lot further away than the Bronco.

This brings up the next question.

What is the minimum ground clearance needed?

Most people would say that 8 inches is a great starting point if you want to take your rig off roading.  This will definitely restrict you on the trails you can go on and how fast you will be able to go.  So if your heart was set on the Bronco Sport then I would recommend the Badlands to get that extra inch of clearance. 

It can make all the difference on the trail especially when you start hearing scraping sounds.  It is not a pleasant sound! 

Here are some examples of some other vehicle’s ground clearances so you can get a mental picture of the ground clearance:

  • Toyota Rav4: 8.1 Inches
  • Subaru Outback: 9.5 Inches!
  • Honda Civic:  6.7 inches

When you compare the Civic to the Bronco Sport base model it’s almost an inch off.  Now picture the Civic out on the trail.  Is that something you want to take out in the mud, rocks, rivers, and sand? NOPE!

Other Considerations To Look Out For When Looking For An Offroad Vehicle

Approach Angle, Departure Angle, Breakover Angle

While ground clearance is definitely an important factor driving the trails it is not the only factor that needs to be considered.  Another important factor of a vehicle to understand is the approach, departure, and break-over angles. 

These angles are important to understand for the trail because they allow you to understand what obstacles will hit your front bumper (approach angle), hit your rear bumper(departure angle), and what rocks or bumps in the road will scrape the bottom of your vehicle.

The break-over angle is an angle at which your vehicle can drive over without the point of that angle touching the bottom of your vehicle at any point. Think about cresting over a speed bump, if you hit the bottom of your vehicle on the highest point of the speed bump then you would need to lift your vehicle to avoid the scrap the next time.
A good example of this is to think about a limousine and how difficult of a time they have going up driveways. If the driveway goes up and immediately slopes down the limousine will have a big chance of scraping or even getting stuck at the peak of the driveway because it has a long wheelbase which creates a small break-over angle.
Here are the angles measurements for the Bronco Sports (approach, departure, breakover):

  • Ford Bronco Sport 4×4: 18.2 degrees, 21.7 degrees, 18.2 degrees
  • Ford Bronco Big Bend Sport 4×4: 18.2 degrees, 21.7 degrees, 18.2 degrees
  • Ford Bronco Big Bend Sport 4×4: 18.2 degrees, 21.7 degrees, 18.2 degrees
  • Ford Bronco Sport Badlands 4×4 : 30.4 degrees, 33.1 degrees, 20.4 degrees

For comparison, the Jeep Wrangler JL sport is:   41.4 degrees, 35.9 degrees, and 25 degrees.   The Bronco (big one) is 43.2 degrees, 37.2 degrees, and a 29 degree break over.

Break Over Angle, Departure Angle, Approach Angle
The Important Angles of your 4×4

Engine Size for the Bronco Sport

One of the negatives of off-roading in the Bronco Sport is the size of the engine.  It is a turbo four cylinder as an upgrade, or the base comes with a turbocharged three cylinder.  They will still deliver power to all four wheels but in comparison to the Jeep Wrangler Sport, it falls short of its typical V-6 (six-cylinder). 

In short, the Bronco will have less power to get you up the hill compared to the Jeep Wrangler.

Conclusion – Ford Bronco Sport Ground Clearance

This article may sound like a knock against the Bronco Sport, but it is not.  We tried to provide a comparison between the Jeep Wrangler and the bigger Ford Bronco to let everyone know what the typical specs are for these types of vehicles. 

The Bronco Sport is not similar to the Jeep Wrangler Sport but it is still trail capable especially the Badlands.  The badlands has the best clearance for the sport so if you need it to get into the backcountry then it is definitely capable.  Just understand that it won’t be able to follow its big brother Bronco everywhere and will most likely be restrained to a two track.

Of course, sometimes you see sedans in parts of the trails you would never think you would see them, so anything is possible if you take your time and you are a patient driver!

Here is a link to the Ford website where you can get some more info on the Sport and great photos: Ford.com

If you want to take a look at the Wrangler Clearances available check out this article we wrote: Jeep Wrangler Ground Clearance

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