Steel wheels are often the wheel of choice for automakers looking to cut the costs of their entry-level models. The utilitarian look and oval cutouts are iconic, and while they don’t win any design awards, there is little argument against their durability. This is what made it surprising to see them on the Ford Bronco Sport 2021, as they weren’t on the entry-level version.
Now thanks to a new report from Ford Authority, we know that the steelies of the Bronco Sport are not made of steel. Ford’s consumer site has the Bronco Sport 2021 configurator up and running where you can choose the Badlands version. There, Ford offers its customers the option of choosing 17-inch charred gray painted low-gloss aluminum rims that look like steelies. It’s a $ 300 upgrade, but adds a fair amount of ruggedness to the crossover’s otherwise understated boxy style – well, moderate compared to the regular Bronco.
Ford showcased the Bronco Sport alongside the bigger Bronco, which has garnered a ton of press in recent months. However, early indicators show the Bronco Sport isn’t afraid to get dirty and show just how capable it is. Ford gave the smaller off-roader 8.8 inches of ground clearance and over 30 degrees for its departure and approach angles. Ford also offered the Bronco Sport two powertrain choices: a 1.5-liter turbocharged 181 horsepower (135 kilowatt) or a larger 2.0-liter turbo engine with 245 horsepower (183 kW). All-wheel drive is standard.
The Bronco Sport’s steel wheels are a neat visual trick that works well on Badlands trims. The rugged-looking wheels match the overall tougher look of the trim thanks to the raised ride height and other off-road perks Ford has added to the package. So if you see a Bronco Sport with steel wheels, be aware that this is not the base model, but the upgraded offering from the Badlands.