In the compact crossover segment, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and Jeep Cherokee offer best-in-class off-road performance. You’ll also love both models’ comfortable cabins and street-smart tech features. When you’re shopping these models, narrowing down your options is only the hard part. But our comparison guide has everything you need to make an informed decision.
Power and Efficiency: It’s a Tie!
Both the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and Jeep Cherokee offer a few engine options, so you can upgrade your performance accordingly. The Bronco Sport’s base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine (181 hp, 190 lb-ft), but shoppers can choose a more robust turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 hp, 277 lb-ft).
The 2021 Jeep Cherokee comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (180 hp, 171 lb-ft). Shoppers can choose from two more powerful options, a 3.2-liter V6 (271 hp, 239 lb-ft) and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (270 hp, 295 lb-ft).
Off-Road Capabilities: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport
The Jeep Cherokee was once the only major off-road player in the compact crossover segment. But, with the arrival of the all-new Bronco Sport, that’s changed.
Ford’s sporty new compact crossover comes standard with trail-ready four-wheel drive. As you climb the trim levels, you’ll find more and more in rugged equipment. To maximize the Bronco Sport’s trail-blazing capabilities, check out the Badlands trim model. With its all-terrain tires, off-road suspension, and upgraded four-wheel drive, the Badlands will take you even further into the wild.
The Jeep Cherokee doesn’t come standard with four-wheel drive, but you can add all-wheel drive to any trim model. The Cherokee also offers an off-road-friendly trim model, the Trailhawk. It’s also pretty rugged, with all-terrain tires and an upgraded all-wheel-drive system.
Roomy Comfort: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport
These small crossovers both provide plenty of room for up to five passengers, but it’s the Bronco Sport that comes out on top. You’ll love its wide, adjustable front seats. And both rows of Bronco Sport seating make sure you have enough support for hours of on-road comfort.
In addition to being spacious, the Jeep Cherokee is big on ride comfort, keeping bumps in the road from intruding on passengers. The Cherokee’s climate control system does a good job of maintaining your desired temperature. We do wish, however, that the seats offered a bit more lateral support, especially in the front row.
Smart Features: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport
Once again, these crossover SUVs actually have a lot in common. For example, both comes standard with touch-screen infotainment systems and complete smartphone integration (via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay).
However, the Bronco Sport does come standard with a slightly bigger touch screen (8 inches to Jeep’s 7 inches). And the Bronco Sport also includes FordPass technology, which ultimately gives it the edge. Use the FordPass smartphone app to access your Bronco Sport remotely, with features like remote lock and engine start. Add a data subscription to use the FordPass Wi-Fi hotspot, which lets you connect up to 10 devices at a time.
In the end, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is our first choice. Ford’s all-new compact crossover is equally ready to tackle your daily drive and your favorite off-road trail.