Is the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited worth its price Tag?

Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited (

Exploring Ford’s Retro Crossover in a Competitive Segment

The Ford Bronco Sport made its debut three years ago, strategically leveraging the legendary Bronco name to create a compact crossover based on the Escape platform. It turned out to be a successful move, with nearly 100,000 Bronco Sports sold in 2022 alone, approaching the numbers of its larger sibling, the full-size Bronco. Despite its initial success, Ford hasn’t made substantial updates to the Bronco Sport, relying instead on special editions to keep buyers interested. The 2023 model year introduced the Heritage Edition, a throwback to the 1960s, while the 2024 model brings the Free Wheeling Edition, channeling the 1970s. CarBuzz had the opportunity to review the 2023 Bronco Sport Heritage Limited to see if Ford’s retro-inspired crossover is still a competitive option in a crowded segment.

Exterior: Heritage Style
The Heritage Edition’s exterior draws inspiration from the 1966 original Bronco, featuring ’60s-inspired pastel colors and white wheels. The Heritage Limited variant, exclusive to the 2023 model year with only 1,966 units produced, offers a limited color palette, including Robin’s Egg Blue, Yellowstone Metallic, and Peak Blue. The standard Heritage model provides more color options, with Robin’s Egg Blue available for an additional $995. Despite personal taste, the Heritage’s cutesy design paired with the retro colors is quite appealing. The Robin’s Egg Blue, in particular, complements the Oxford white grille, wheels, and roof. A side note about those wheels – they may look like steelies, but they are actually 17-inch Oxford White-painted alloys.

Interior: Throwback Tech?
While the Heritage Edition boasts a retro-inspired exterior, its interior is less impressive. All Bronco Sports come equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen running the previous-generation Sync 3 infotainment software. Not only does this screen look small compared to rivals, but it also lacks features like wireless Apple CarPlay found in Sync 4. Moreover, a 360-degree camera is notably absent, and our review noted issues with the buggy nature of Sync 3. Despite these drawbacks, the cabin does offer high-quality leather seats with a neat plaid pattern in the perforation.

Practicality: Cargo Management
The Bronco Sport excels in practicality, with a well-sized cargo area providing up to 32.5 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 65.2 cubic feet with the seats folded. The cargo area features rubberized material that is easy to clean. Ford offers a Cargo Management System for just $195, which includes a configurable shelf that can transform into a table or trunk divider. Additionally, the rear glass can be opened independently of the trunk, allowing for easy access to the cargo shelf, making it suitable for tailgate parties or camping. The rear seat also features pockets and Molle strap points for added convenience.

Performance: Baby Off-Roader
The Bronco Sport, while sharing a platform with the Escape, isn’t merely a mall crawler with the Bronco name. It offers off-road capabilities, thanks to an eight-speed automatic transmission with G.O.A.T (Goes Over Any Terrain) drive modes that provide surprising capability when venturing off the beaten path. The Bronco Sport Heritage Limited, powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque, may not deliver exhilarating performance, but it holds its own. The Bronco Sport Badlands, equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine producing 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, offers better acceleration, reaching 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. However, fuel economy isn’t its strong suit, with the three-cylinder managing 25/28/26 mpg city/highway/combined and the four-cylinder performing worse at 21/26/23 mpg.

Pricing: Nostalgia Comes at a Cost
The 2024 Bronco Sport Heritage Limited starts at $44,655, which our review considers a high price given the limited features and luxury inside. For those interested in the larger four-cylinder engine, the 2024 Badlands model is priced at $38,390 but lacks the retro touches. The 2024 Heritage Edition, powered by the three-cylinder engine, is more affordable at $33,700, making it a more appealing choice. The base Bronco Sport starts at $31,230 for the 2024 model year, marking a slight increase from previous years. While the Bronco Sport offers off-road capabilities, competitors in the same price range, such as the Mazda CX-50, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4, may provide more tech features and electrified options, making the Bronco Sport a choice for those prioritizing off-road performance over on-road technology.