Ford is expanding its off-road SUV offerings with this Escape-based crossover.
We’re not ashamed to admit it — we’re excited to see the full-size Ford Bronco return. Between that and the Ranger, Ford has bought a considerable amount of good will with the folks who lamented the demise of both nameplates in this country. Ford has another card hiding up its sleeve, though. Not content to take on Jeep with just the Bronco, this “Ford Adventurer”, as it’s supposedly going to be called, will take on the Jeep Renegade when it eventually hits the market.
Ford may also call it the “Scout”, “Bronco Scout” or something similar, but for the sake of this piece we’ll stick with Ford Adventurer.
The Ford Adventurer may arrive as a 2021 model, released concurrently or shortly after the big Bronco SUV. This is the first proper look we’ve had at the Baby Bronco, apart from some cheeky shots at a dealer meeting. It’s boxy shape definitely gives away its relationship to the Bronco, and the fact we see it out testing means Ford is most likely going through with its production.
Still plenty of questions
There’s not terribly much we know, other than the Ford Adventurer will likely ride on the new Escape’s platform. That means it will likely get Escape-esque powertrains, ranging from a 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost up to a 2.0-liter. Front-wheel drive will likely be standard fare, while all-wheel drive will be an option.
I doubt Ford would consider putting the 2.3-liter EcoBoost in this car, since we have it on good authority that engine will make it into the larger Bronco. The Renegade has a smaller, turbocharged mill, so it makes sense for Ford to go the same route here.
Since it’s based on a crossover (as is the Renegade), the Ford Adventurer aka Baby Bronco won’t have the same off-road chops as its body-on-frame brother. However, the Renegade Trailhawk is a good little off-roader in its own right. We’re curious to see where this car lands in Ford’s lineup, and how truly capable it will be off the beaten track. At any rate, it has to be better than the diminutive EcoSport, both in looks and capability.