What Makes the Ford Bronco Sport the GOAT?

September 24th, 2021 by

A red 2021 Ford Bronco Sport ids shown off-roading in a desert after leaving a Ford Bronco Sport dealer.

It takes years of hard work, sacrifice, and proving yourself day after day, year after year, to be named the Greatest of All Time (GOAT). As your Ford Bronco Sport dealer, we might be a bit biased, but we really believe the Bronco Sport has what it takes to earn that title one day. Since this is a brand-new model, however, it would probably be a bit premature to declare that it is the greatest SUV or off-road vehicle of all time. And yet, you’ve probably heard or read the term GOAT used in connection to this model – so what’s that all about?

In this case, people aren’t necessarily saying the Ford Bronco Sport is the greatest of all time (though if they are, we’re not about to argue). Instead, people are probably referring to one of its incredible new off-road features: the Goes Over Any Type of Terrain (G.O.A.T.) Modes functionality. This, combined with its High-Performance, Off-Road, Stability, Suspension (H.O.S.S.) system, has resulted in the Bronco Sport being a top pick for a lot of people looking for their next off-road machine. But does it really live up to all of this hype? Let’s take a look at these incredible, trail-ready features and see for ourselves.

Behold the G.O.A.T.

So what, exactly, is this “G.O.A.T.” thing you’ve been hearing so much about in relation to the Ford Bronco Sport? They’re essentially the Bronco Sport’s drive modes, which Ford refers to as a Terrain Management System. If you’re just driving around town, running errands, or getting to and from work, then you probably won’t need to use this very much. You’ll keep your vehicle in Normal mode most of the time to enjoy its excellent combination of great handling and responsive control and traction.

But when you decide to get the most out of your Bronco Sport by taking it off-road, then you’ll get to see everything the G.O.A.T. Modes have to offer. You get the ability to easily switch between the modes to adjust to whatever kind of road conditions or terrain you’re about to deal with. Doing this will cause your Bronco Sport to automatically make a number of adjustments in order to optimize its steering, handling, and overall performance-based on those conditions.

There are seven different G.O.A.T. Modes available on the Ford Bronco Sport – five of them come standard on every model, with two offered on the impressive Badlands trim (there’s actually an eighth Mode available on the standard Bronco, but not on the Bronco Sport). These seven modes are as follows:

  • Normal – This is the standard mode for everyday driving. It offers a balance of great handling, good fuel economy, and it’s a solid overall mode – this is the default setting when you start the Bronco Sport.
  • Eco – As the name might suggest, this is the fuel-efficient setting. You can use this mode to boost fuel economy and help increase range without stopping for gas.
  • Sport – This setting is for when you want to boost performance. It increases accelerator pedal response and helps you accelerate faster, offering excellent handling and a great driving experience.
  • Slippery – This mode is ideal in all kinds of slippery road conditions. Whether you are dealing with rain, slush, ice, or loose sand and gravel, this model lowers throttle response and optimizes shifting to boost traction.
  • Sand/Snow – Rather than for slippery conditions, this mode is for deeper snow or sand that is soft. It engages four-wheel drive lock and helps with maintaining control on such soft terrain.
  • Mud/Ruts – This available mode is perfect for off-road driving. It enhances performance in mud or uneven terrain and engages four-wheel drive lock like the Sand/Snow mode.
  • Rock Crawl – This available mode is for optimal rock-climbing and crawling. It engages the four-wheel drive lock and the rear differential lock, plus it activates the front trail camera at low speeds to give you a superior view of rocks ahead of you.

As you can see, these seven modes give you a tremendous amount of flexibility for how your Bronco Sport tackles just about anything. Of course, this isn’t the only thing that has a lot of people excited about this vehicle’s off-road capability. It’s important to also take a look at the H.O.S.S. system and get a sense of what it brings to the table.

The front grille of a silver 2021 Ford Bronco Sport shows the Bronco logo.

The H.O.S.S. Is the Boss

For many drivers, their suspension is something they probably don’t think about very much. But anyone who loves to go off-road is acutely aware of the importance of a great suspension that is designed to handle the rough and uneven terrain routinely encountered on the trail. To address this, Ford has designed their new H.O.S.S. Suspension system to offer its most innovative and articulated off-road experience ever.

The first thing you should know is this: the H.O.S.S. system is standard on every Bronco Sport model regardless of which trim you choose. It includes uniquely tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound stops. In other words, the front-end is designed to provide you with a smoother off-road experience. So as you’re going over rough terrain, you’re going to feel less of it in terms of big drops and bumps, so the whole experience is more enjoyable.

You also get ultra-responsive 46mm monotube rear shocks with the H.O.S.S. Suspension system, which also helps deliver a more comfortable experience off-road. So while the front struts ensure the front half of your vehicle isn’t bouncing around too wildly, these rear shocks help absorb the extra movement and keep the back half more stable. They work together along with softer springs to help with excellent articulation as you climb over obstacles on the trail, without you feeling like your stomach is about to hit the roof of your mouth, and anti-roll bars bring it all together for a smooth and responsive driving experience while off-road.

Other Off-Road Features

The G.O.A.T. Modes and H.O.S.S. Suspension system are certainly impressive, but they’re not all the Ford Bronco Sport has going for it in terms of off-road capability. For starters, every model comes with 4×4 standard, so you don’t have to pick a certain trim or package for great four-wheel drive functionality. If you expect to encounter some really rough conditions, then the Badlands trim features an Advanced 4×4 system with a twin-clutch rear drive unit that can divert virtually all rear axle torque to either rear wheel, giving you total control to handle any situation.

Available steel bash plates offer incredible protection for the underside of the Bronco Sport, so no matter what you encounter, your vehicle will keep on rolling. The Bronco Sport can tackle incredibly difficult trails thanks to up to 8.8 inches of ground clearance, excellent approach and departure angles, and more than 23 inches of water fording capability. Everything just comes together to make this one of the best off-road SUVs we’ve ever seen.

The grey and orange interior of 2021 Ford Bronco Sport shows two people in the front seats.

Will the Bronco Sport Be the GOAT?

So with all of this in mind, does the Bronco Sport have what it takes to eventually be named among those considered the greatest of all time? We definitely think it does – after all, this is a compact SUV with the kind of off-road capability and attitude you usually find only in larger models. When joined by its larger sibling, the all-new Ford Bronco, it’s clear to see why so many people are excited about what Ford is doing right now. Come visit us at DePaula Ford to learn more and see the potential of the Bronco Sport GOAT for yourself.