The fire behind the Ford is far from being put out, and with its various trim lines, the question all on the mind of all enthusiasts is, ‘How good is its new model for off-roading?’

In this guide, we’re focusing on the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and its performance off- and on-road. Not just this, but we will explore it in comparison with a smaller SUV featuring different terrain pretensions – the 2021 Subaru Forester.

The two have a wide range of similarities and differences, so it all depends on which meets your needs. Rather than just stating their differences, our focus is on their ability off-road.

This consists how well they perform when going uphill and downhill, their strength outside rough-trailing and the exterior and interior design.

Off-road Performance

The Bronco is accompanied by the GOAT mode feature, and this stands for Goes Over Any Terrain. You can select different settings like Normal, Eco, Sand and Rock Crawl, increasing its capability even more.

The auto does not incorporate a low-ratio gearbox, and this requires users to be gentle on its throttle. Combining the impressive GOAT settings with its high torque set at 275 lb.-ft, it presents an impressive uphill capacity. It also has 245 horsepower and a 2.0-litre base engine size.

As for the Forester, it features a simpler format. It comes with an X Mode System which boosts its capability on rough trails and allows you to set your automobile for snow and dirt or deep snow and mud, depending on where you are. It incorporates a 2.5-litre base engine, 176 lb.-ft of torque and 182 horsepower.

Of course, there is the normal setting underneath. Its automatic variable transmission is an additional function, with a lower ratio as you move.

The main difference between these two is their tires. While the Subaru incorporates something similar to season style, the Ford uses terrain style, causing the former to get stuck more often than the latter. The Subaru also has a reversing camera but not a forward-facing camera which is included in the Sports vehicle. When comparing the ground clearance, the Ford is only 0.1 inches ahead.

When driving uphill with the Bronco, benefit from smooth manoeuvring and gripping wheels, regardless of how bumpy the place is. This is when you don’t turn on any of the extra settings. But if you do the same with the Forester, the tires might fail you and it’ll be a struggle to get up.

But when you activate the special options, which is the X Mode and GOAT settings in Forester and Sport, they both offer seamless off-roading. The Ford glides across the bumpy streets and hills, while the Subaru is pretty impressive considering its unfitting tires.

If you’re moving downhill, you have to consider the approach and departure angles. With the Subaru, you’re more likely to hit the front or back against the floor or rock, than the Ford. Ford also includes a trail control feature that makes it easier to drive downhill.

Both cars are great for bumpy areas, although Ford has an edge.

Exterior Design

There is nothing explicitly noteworthy about the exterior of the Bronco and Forester. The structure of the former is inspired by the Ford Escape SUV but has been modified and bulked up in the technological and aesthetical characteristics. Its format is pleasing to outdoor lovers and enthusiasts.

Compared to others, the Forester has a more modest style. It does not give a statement or stand out and is a perfect fit for anyone who likes simple and classic rough path styles.

Although they are opposites from this category’s perspective, there’s a virtual tie between them when looking at the tech characteristics.

Interior Design and Technology Perks

For anyone familiar with Ford automobiles, the interior of the Bronco Sport is based on the Escape SUV.

It isn’t as fashionable as the larger Ford models, and drivers might notice signs of cost-cutting in the format. The rear of the Sport isn’t spacious enough for tall people and feels crowded when all the seats are taken.

Even with this, it consists of a pleasantly simple interior that surpasses what the Subaru has to provide. It is also filled with a wide range of tech controls and offers a detail-oriented approach to its structure with zipper pockets behind the seats, storage space under the seats, power outlets and more.

As for the Forester, it does not make any effort to spice up its design in any way. The fabrics and patterns are plain, but the backseats have way more room than the Bronco. It is ideal for taller people to enjoy the experience from the back.

The two provide similar space in terms of cargo, but when you place the rear seats down to create room for more, the Subaru is leading with over 10 cubic feet of extra space. The Bronco has an extra feature in terms of its cargo area, allowing you to either open the entire tailgate or just the glass.

If you have teenage kids or tall people in your family, or you are focusing on a more family-friendly auto for camping and other outdoorsy activities, the Subaru might be a better choice. Although it’s inferior, it gives more space in the backseats and cargo section for many people or load. It also features a larger tank size and better fuel economy. Despite this, the Sport is leading in terms of towing capacity and is good with carrying a heavy load. It’s design also has an edge over the Forester.

On-Road Capacity

Even if you love off-roading more than anyone else and enjoy adventures with your automobile, there’s no way you won’t spend most of your time on the path with your Bronco Sport or Forester.

The Bronco has proved itself to be better on the road than many dedicated vehicles. But, don’t expect it to be as graceful as those that were created to be used on the highways and normal streets. It still has that rugged feeling when you drive it off the road.

As for the Forester, you enjoy an excellent ride quality and smoothly precise steering but includes a significant downside which is its motor. Although the boxy unit has a size of 2.5-litre, it develops a low torque and horsepower, looking extremely meagre when compared to what the other one offers. The Bronco Sport’s steering lacks precision on-road, while the Forester feels sluggish. Comparing their different flaws, we agree that the Bronco is taking the lead in terms of speed, convenience and smooth-riding quality.


Any off-roader will be super impressed by what the Bronco Sport brings to the table, as it met the standards expected of any Bronco model. Although it has some downsides that make it unfit for family utilization, it’s excellent.

As for the Subaru Forester, it’s not as new or fresh as the Ford, and its motor is pretty discouraging. But its off-road ability gets a thumbs up and it’s superior in the aspect of family-friendliness.

If you want a high-tech car that’ll take you on an exciting adventure and comes at a great price, the Bronco Sport is the best choice. But, if you want a spacious and family SUV and you don’t off-road too often, the Subaru Forester is what you need.

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Pavlo Prannyk
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