Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Editions Play the Retro Card

Ford continues the rich history of its legendary Bronco 4×4 with the introduction of two new retro-inspired special editions of its compact Bronco Sport SUV.

The 2023 Bronco Sport Heritage Edition and Bronco Sport Heritage Limited Edition celebrate the birth of the Bronco brand with a classic appearance package that takes styling cues from the original 1966 truck. Both variants feature a white roof, white rear badge, white 17-inch aluminum wheels and a white grille with red BRONCO lettering.

The Bronco Sport Heritage Edition, based on the Big Bend trim level, uses Ford’s 181 hp 1.5-liter turbocharged inline three-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Suspension features include hydraulic front bumpers and custom-tuned springs included in Ford’s High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) system package, as well as five user-selectable “GOAT” off-road modes for off-road driving.

The interior design of the Heritage Edition includes white trim accents, checkered cloth seats, blue and red accent stitching, a microsuede center console armrest and Navy Pier Blue accents on the door panels and dashboard. Buyers have a choice of seven color options, including Robin’s Egg Blue, a throwback color based on a color that was available for the original Bronco.

The more expensive Heritage Limited Edition derives from the Bronco Sport line’s off-road-oriented Badlands package, which includes the larger turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, two additional GOAT modes, a torque-vectored rear differential and a lockable center clutch Package for the all-wheel drive system. Our Peak Blue pattern is one of three shades available, the others being the lighter Robin’s Egg Blue and the intense Yellowstone Metallic.

Specific features of the Heritage Limited Edition include larger 29-inch off-road tires, leather-trimmed seats and white door inserts. A retro-style plaque adorns the center console, while the metal Bronco door emblem with classic ’60s lettering is a pleasant eye-catcher.

2023 ford bronco sport heritage

James Lipman|car and driver

Despite being based on the humble C2 unibody platform used in the Escape SUV and Maverick pickup, the Bronco Sport proves unexpectedly off-road capable, with the 250 hp and 277 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0-liter engine easy work of steep canyons, embedded boulders and deep sands that make up the Johnson Valley area of ​​the Mojave Desert. (So ​​much of the model’s off-road development was done here that Ford decided to include a geographic coordinate from the area as an Easter egg in the tailgate molding.)

An aluminum skid plate, part of the standard Badlands trim package, alleviates concerns about piercing the Bronco Sport’s underbody with spikey terrain elements. Despite the Sport’s modest ride height, its 8.8-inch ground clearance (on 235/65R-17 tires, the model’s largest available) proves perfectly adequate for comfortable, brisk desert cruising as we follow the dusty wake of our guide, Melissa . She is well acquainted with the capabilities of the Bronco Sport, having driven a Bronco Sport Badlands to first place in the 1500 mile off-road Rebel Rally in both 2021 and 2022.

It’s the suspension that defines the Bronco Sport, and despite the plethora of off-road drive modes available, this SUV easily handles even soft trail running in its default drive mode. Locking the four-wheel drive system and rear differential is more than enough to confidently hit deeper sand.

However, all of that would also apply to the less retro-tastic Badlands model. For $46,250, the Heritage Limited Edition comes fully equipped with nearly $5,000 worth of features that are optional on the Badlands. Filter that out and you see that the retro look comes with a premium of around $2000. One step down, the $34,245 Heritage Edition is about $1,500 more than the corresponding Big Bend model.

2023 ford bronco sport heritage

James Lipman|car and driver

Is it worth it? Well, a few miles east of where we rode this Bronco Sport, classic Broncos, stock and modified, swarm the viewing areas of this year’s King of the Hammers desert road racing competition. For off-road enthusiasts, the appeal of these classic Broncos, the Bronco reborn, and this Bronco Sport spin-off lies in the combination of performance and aesthetics. The Bronco Sport Heritage Editions lean more heavily on the latter without detracting from the former.



2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Edition
Vehicle Type: Front Engine, 4WD, 5 Passenger, 4 Door Wagon

Base: Heritage, $34,245; Heritage Limited, $46,250

Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 12-valve 1.5-liter inline-3, 181 hp, 190 lb-ft; Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter Inine-4, 250 hp, 277 lb-ft

8-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
Length: 172.7 inches
Width: 74.3 inches
Height: 70.2-71.4 inches
Passenger volume, F/R: 53-56/50 ft3
curb weight (CD est): 3600-3800lb

60mph: 5.9-8.2s
1/4 mile: 14.5-16.3 sec
Top speed: 125 km/h

Combined/City/Highway: 23-26/21-25/26-28 mpg

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