In 1966, Ford amazed the world when it released the original Bronco. It was the first official Sport Utility Vehicle and was the beginning of a legacy of off-road-ready SUVs for the great manufacturer. After vanishing from the market in 1996, the Ford Bronco would return in 2021, along with a little sibling––the Ford Bronco Sport. This shrunken-down version of the Bronco was a welcome addition to the lineup, boasting an easy-to-love boxy design and rugged features. The Bronco Sport’s interior is famously roomy for a vehicle of its size. It can comfortably accommodate tall passengers and even a couple of dirt bikes.
For many drivers, the Bronco Sport is everything they’d been waiting for. Those with an active lifestyle who also needed to roam city streets finally had a vehicle that could transition from everyday life to weekend adventures. It’s a “responsible” choice, but its off-road-ready features and cavernous cargo hold, ready for your gear and cooler, make it clearly equipped for weekend shenanigans. The 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend trim is a terrific option for those who don’t want or need the features found in the higher-end Heritage or Badlands trims but would appreciate a handful of upgrades beyond what the base model offers. The Big Bend delivers some fun perks in the areas of convenience, cargo, and infotainment not found in the Base trim for only a marginally higher price tag. Let’s take a look.
Seeing as the Ford Bronco Sport is designed to help city dwellers and suburban residents break away and find some fun, performance features are obviously one of the first things people look at in this vehicle. That’s why we love that four-wheel drive comes standard across the lineup, giving you the best possible traction when you’re exploring new roads.
Across the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport trim lineup, you’ll also find five standard GOAT (Goes Over Any Terrain) modes. These are Sand, Slippery, Sport, Eco and Normal. Activate any of these modes, and your vehicle will make the appropriate adjustments to traction and other factors to improve your control on the given terrain or give you the behind-the-wheel experience you want (like in the spirited Sport Mode). Normal Mode is ready for your everyday driving around town, and Eco Mode will make adjustments to boost the vehicle’s fuel economy.
On the topic of fuel economy, the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend gets the 1.5L EcoBoost engine, which earns it an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 26 MPG combined. When you don’t want gas stops to slow down the fun, you’ll love the fuel efficiency of this subcompact SUV. If you plan on taking a small camper, boat, or other trailer on your adventures, you’ll like the 2,000 lb towing capacity of the Big Bend. It’s just enough power to drag that compact camping pod out to the lake.
Safety is always important, whether you’re sticking to paved roads or getting as far away from them as possible. That’s why the standard driver-assist features of the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend are a nice value add. You’ll get standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, which will alert you if a crash is imminent and take over braking to avoid a collision if necessary. You’ll also get a Lane-Keeping System that will alert you when you’re drifting from your lane. A Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert lets you know when vehicles are approaching in hard-to-see areas.
The Ford Bronco Sport was made to make those excursions to a beautiful hiking trail or remote campsite more enjoyable, and that’s why the Big Bend trim is so special. It adds some fun-enhancing features that are just right for those who go off the grid.
One of these is the set of liftgate floodlights. These strong lights will illuminate the area behind your vehicle when you open up the rear liftgate. When you want to set up some chairs around a campfire at night or need to hitch your tent in the dark, these can provide the extra light you need once the sun goes down.
Another perfect camping perk is the bottle opener built into the liftgate. You have so many things to remember to pack for a wilderness excursion. Don’t fret if you forgot the one thing you needed to crack open those refreshing beverages at the end of your hike––there’s a tool for that built into the vehicle.
One awesome feature unique to the Big Bend trim and perfect for long, active days is the MOLLE strap system. This handy grouping of straps behind the front seats means that all of those odds and ends you need on a road trip are never far away. You can clip your flashlight or canteen to the system and secure that tool you need to repair your bike seat. Zippered pockets on the backs of the front seats are also standard on this trim, giving you a safe place to stash valuables out of sight.
Moving back to the trunk area, you’ll find cargo tie-down carabiner hooks and loops. These are also perfect for securing your pack and stashing other adventure gear. If you’re worried about your gear making a mess of your trunk, you can add the optional rubberized cargo floor mat. It’s easy to rinse down after you’ve tossed your muddy dirt bikes back there. You can even add optional second-row rubberized seat backs to protect the cargo area from top to bottom.
You need good connectivity and infotainment when you’re constantly exploring new destinations and traveling far from home in your Bronco Sport Big Bend. These systems help you navigate your way to that next great hiking trail, look up travel tips, and listen to those essential tunes that pump you and your crew up for the big adventure.
The SYNC 3 infotainment system with Enhanced Voice Recognition Communications comes standard in the Big Bend trim. This means you can do things like make calls, change music, and look up directions using just your voice. Your request will populate on the eight-inch LCD touchscreen. Add the optional voice-activated touchscreen navigation system, and you can even pinch and zoom on the screen, getting a closer look at that location pin your friend dropped or zooming out to get a bigger picture of the terrain around you.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility also come standard, allowing you to connect your smartphone to the touchscreen. From there, you’ll see your favorite apps populate on the screen, meaning you can use your preferred navigation app, listen to your favorite music streaming platform, see text messages, and more.
FordPass Connect comes standard, giving you and your passengers access to a Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect to up to 10 devices. That means nobody has to argue over who can answer last-minute emails on their laptop or stream a show on their tablet. Everyone can use the Internet on the go. If you’re worried about your devices running out of juice on the road, there is an available wireless charging pad as well as a 12V outlet and multiple USB ports, so you can leave the tangled-up cords at home.