Subaru Forester vs. Ford Bronco Sport: Which Is Better?

The Subaru Forester costs less than the Ford Bronco Sport—but which is better for both family hauling and adventuring? Read on to find out.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2022 Subaru Forester is a more affordable and practical SUV, but the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport offers surprising fuel efficiency and the option for a more powerful engine.
The Forester perfectly embodies Subaru’s well-known identity—practical, rugged, and safe. But the Bronco Sport boasts the same traits, along with off-roading prowess. It comes at a cost, though, as the Bronco Sport is a fair bit more expensive.
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shopping easy, is here to help you determine which is best for you: the Subaru Forester or the Ford Bronco Sport. Read on for an in-depth comparison of the specs, plus tips to save on
Ford insurance costs
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Forester vs. Bronco Sport: which is more expensive?

Starting MSRP
Starting MSRP
Forester Base
Bronco Sport Base
Forester Wilderness
The bottom line: the Ford Bronco Sport is more expensive than the Forester by more than $3,000 when comparing both base trims. 

Ownership costs

Of course, the MSRP isn’t all you need to know about how much either the Forester or Bronco Sport will cost. You’ll want to look at the true cost of ownership, which includes long-term average maintenance costs, insurance costs, fuel costs, and more to get a fuller picture.
According to Edmunds, the 2022 Subaru Forester carries a true cost to own of $36,830 for the base model, tacking on an additional $5,700 to the sticker price.By comparison, the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport has a true cost of ownership of $39,019, meaning you’ll spend roughly $8,600 over five years—much more than the Forester.
Why the discrepancy? While RepairPal rates both the Forester and the Bronco Sport as relatively reliable (both get a 3.5/5 reliability score), the Forester has a cheaper average maintenance rate of $632 per year, while the Bronco Sport’s average annual maintenance rate is higher at $976 per year.

Insurance costs

Another issue affecting the true cost of ownership for both vehicles is car insurance. To note,
Subaru Forester insurance costs
are cheaper than
Bronco Sport insurance costs
The Forester costs an average of $2,072 per year to insure. The Bronco Sport, by comparison, costs an average of $2,444 per year to insure—over $300 more. That said, you can always use
to land cheaper insurance costs for either SUV, but do know that the Forester’s premiums will likely always be cheaper.

Winner: Subaru Forester

In terms of affordability, the Subaru Forester is the easy winner. Not only is it cheaper than the Bronco Sport in a trim-to-trim comparison, but its average maintenance and insurance costs are also lower.
Of course, the bottom line isn’t always the most important consideration when buying a vehicle. That’s why we compared a slew of other factors below.
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Subaru Forester vs. Outback: in-depth comparison

Body style and size

The Forester is a bit of an outlier for Subaru in terms of exterior design, with its boxy, truck-like frame. Still, it oozes practicality and is a magnet for families. 
The Bronco Sport, meanwhile, also has a truck-like body and an arguably more rugged look—much like its “big brother,” the full-size
Ford Bronco
Both the Forester and the Bronco Sport offer plenty of room, but the Forester can’t be beaten when it comes to total passenger volume. Here’s how both models compare in terms of measurements.
2022 Subaru Forester
2022 Ford Bronco Sport
105.1 inches
105.1 inches
Passenger volume
111.6 cubic feet
102.3 cubic feet
Headroom (front/rear)
41.2/39.6 inches
41.5/41.7 inches
Legroom (front/rear)
43.3/39.4 inches
42.4/36.9 inches
Cargo volume w/ seats up
28.9 cubic feet
32.5 cubic feet
Cargo volume w/ seats down
74.2 cubic feet
65.2 cubic feet
Ground clearance
8.7 to 9.2 inches
8.8 inches
Base curb weight
3,454 lbs
3,467 lbs

Engine and performance

The Forester sports a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque, mated to a smooth-shifting continuously variable transmission (CVT). This engine is a perfectly capable one, but you won’t win any street races against your Mercedes SUV-driving fellow parents. Its 0-to-60 time is 8 seconds.
The 2.5L is the sole engine option across the entire Forester lineup—no upgrade is available on a ‘22 Forester. That said, all-wheel drive is standard, the brakes are strong, the steering is responsive, and the handling is solid. 
By comparison, the Bronco Sport offers a fair bit more pep in its performance, with its turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, which boasts 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet oftorque. It is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Bronco Sport zips from 0 to 60 in just 5.9 seconds.
Unlike the Forester, the Bronco Sport offers a more powerful engine on the top Badlands trim in the form of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 277 pound-feet oftorque. This stronger engine is ideal for off-roading. 
As such, the Badlands trim comes with 17-inch all-terrain tires, a one-inch suspension lift, and stronger shock absorbers for all-terrain glory. Still, the Bronco Sport’s chassis actually works better for off-road driving than on. Its handling and ride are both firm—but stiff. The brakes aren’t as strong as the Forester, and the transmission can feel jerky and unrefined.
So, if you want more power and off-roading prowess, the Ford Bronco Sport is your choice, but you’ll pay more for it. But if everyday commuting and kid-hauling is your thing, the Subaru Forester is what you want, even if its engine isn’t as spritely as the Bronco Sport.

Fuel economy

The Forester again outdoes the Bronco Sport in terms of fuel economy, sporting a fuel efficiency rating of 29 miles per gallon combined city and highway driving.
By comparison, the Bronco Sport three-cylinder base engine is no slouch, with a rating of 26 miles per gallon combined city and highway driving. Upgrade to the more powerful four-cylinder Bronco Sport, and your fuel efficiency will drop to 23 miles per gallon combined.


Both the Forester and Bronco Sport have sterling safety ratings—both scored 5 stars from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and both were tapped a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 


The Forester sports Subaru EyeSight, the Japanese automaker’s suite of driver-assist technology. This includes standard adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and forward-collision mitigation. 
The Forester also boasts an easy-to-use and intuitive 6.5-inch touchscreen, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, built-in navigation, USB ports in both front and back, and an onboard WiFi hotspot.
By comparison, the Bronco Sport comes standard with Ford’s intuitive Sync 3 infotainment system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. Sirius Satellite Radio and a Bang & Olufson audio system are both optional.

Interior and comfort

The Forester’s interior can feel a bit utilitarian on the base trim, as it's a vehicle built for practicality above all else. Still, move up a trim and you’ll get heated seats and leather upholstery to go along with the Forester’s standard automatic climate control system. 
You’ll also get more total room in the Forester, which sports solid passenger volume and cargo ratings. The Ford Bronco offers plenty of headroom in both the front and rear seats, but your passengers won’t get nearly as much legroom in the rear as they would in the Forester. 
While the Bronco Sport doesn’t offer as much interior space as the Forester, it does offer some nifty storage options inside, including a clever storage unit under the rear seats, as well as the ability to turn the cargo hold into a slide-out work table. A 400-watt power inverter is standard, as is a glass hatch and built-in bottle opener.

Winner: Subaru Forester

While the Ford Bronco Sport might offer more power and speed, not to mention better off-roading prowess, the Subaru Forester is the better choice for most drivers based on capabilities, passenger and cargo space, and of course, affordability—both MSRP and long-term cost to own.
Sure, the Ford Bronco Sport has that new-kid-on-the-block appeal, offering cache and serious off-roading capabilities. But the extra cost just isn’t worth it unless you hit the trails frequently and with abandon. As well, the Forester, even with its poky engine, offers a smoother and more refined ride on pavement, which is where most drivers spend their time.

How to save on Subaru insurance costs

Whether you’re looking to add a Forester or a Bronco Sport to your garage, you’ll be able to find a robust
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policy at a great rate for any vehicle when using
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“After signing up with
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