The Ford Bronco Sport is a compact version of the Bronco SUV. With a smaller car and smaller engine it has a lower towing capacity than its larger cousin.
But… can the Ford Bronco Sport tow?
Yes. It can, but you are pretty limited. Let’s dig into the numbers!
The Ford Bronco Sport can tow up to 2,200lbs for the Badlands and First Edition models, 2,000lbs for the Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks models, and 1,500lbs if you do not have the tow package. But the details count, so read on!
Main factors that impact towing
When we dive into the main table below you will see that there are a few different factors that impact how much the modern Bronco Sport can tow. The main factors are:
- Whether it has the tow package
To find out the details of your own SUV you may need to consult the window sticker, the driver’s door jamb sticker, the owner’s manual or Ford’s website.
How much can the Ford Bronco Sport tow?
Perhaps the main issue to consider is the engine, and the Ford Bronco comes in two standard engines. Note this is for model year 2022.
- 1.5L EcoBoost I3
- 2.0L EcoBoost I4
However, it’s not just the engine that’s important, you will want to consider the other factors we highlighted above.
One way to figure out the towing capacity of your SUV is to check on Ford’s PDF of towing capability. But it’s pretty complex – see below! That’s a complicated table with many footnotes.
If only there was a simpler format?
We got you bud! We’ve converted this into a much more straightforward and easily searchable table.
Table of tow ratings
The table below gives all the different Bronco configurations, with one vehicle per row. The last two columns give the GCWR and max Tow Rating of the applicable vehicle. Note there are 5 different configurations.
|Engine||Model||Tow Package (53B)||GCWR||Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight|
|1.5L EcoBoost||Big Bend||Yes||5,860||2,000|
|1.5L EcoBoost||Outer Banks||Yes||5,860||2,000|
|2.0L EcoBoost||First Edition||Yes||6,260||2,200|
Suppose you want to search for all 2.0L EcoBoost models and find their Tow Rating. In the search bar in the top right of the table simply type “2.0L”.
If you then want to refine your search to Badlands models just type “Badlands” in the search bar. That just leaves one vehicle with a tow rating of 2,200lbs and a GCWR of 6,260lbs. Note that this model needs the tow package for that tow rating.
Gross vehicle weight rating of the Ford Bronco Sport
We will come back to the trailer shortly. However one key check you need to make is that the weight of the Bronco’s cargo does not exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
When you’re towing you don’t have an empty SUV. You need to consider the weights of the;
- A tank of gas and other vehicle fluids,
- Other passengers,
- Specific vehicle options,
- Any stuff that you might have in the vehicle.
None of this is in the trailer but it’s important to note that it does count towards the GVWR.
The GVWR of a Ford Bronco is not actually specified in Ford’s technical specification however they do specify the payload.
What is the maximum payload of the Ford Bronco Sport?
The payload is the maximum weight of all the stuff we describe above. For the Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks models the payload is 1,170lbs, and for the Badlands model and First Edition the payload is 1,010lbs.
How to check your Bronco Sport is not overloaded
You need to either weigh your fully laden SUV on a CAT scale or estimate the total weight.
To estimate the laden weight you need the weight of the empty vehicle from the manufacturer (curb weight) plus an estimate the weight of the people and cargo. In addition your will have some weight from your trailer through the tongue weight (more on this below). You can assume that the tongue weight is between 10% -15% of the gross trailer weight.
What is the curb weight of a Ford Bronco?
An empty Bronco Sport is measured by the manufacturer as the curb weight.
The US EPA defines the curb weight as the weight of the vehicle with standard equipment and fluids, but not including options, driver, passengers or cargo. Your vehicle will have different options and will have a driver, passengers and cargo. So what do you do?
The curb weight of a Bronco Sport depends on the model. For the Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks models the curb weight is 3,457lbs, and for the Badlands and First Edition the curb weight is 3,713lbs. The best place to find the weight of your vehicle is to look on the sticker on the driver’s door jamb.
You can then use our calculator with the curb weight and add the weight of passengers and cargo plus the weight of your trailer to ensure it is within limits.
Are we done?
Not quite! We now need to check the combined weight of the SUV and the trailer.
Gross combined vehicle weight
There are a few constraints to consider when towing a trailer. First you need to establish whether your trailer and its contents are within limits.
What is the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of the Ford Bronco Sport?
The GCWR is the total allowable weight of the empty Bronco, its cargo and the weight of the trailer. It’s the weight of the whole kit and caboodle.
The following table details the GCWR of the Bronco in the final column.
Table of gross combined weight ratings for the Ford Bronco
|Engine||2WD/4WD||Max Trailering Package||Max Payload||Max Tow Rating|
|3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel||2WD||1625||8100|
|3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel||2WD||Yes||1625||8100|
|3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel||4WD||1539||7800|
|3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel||4WD||Yes||1539||7800|
Suppose you have the 1.5L EcoBoost Big Bend model. In the search bar at the top of the table type “1.5L Big Bend”. You will see one vehicle option with a GCWR of 5,860lbs.
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What is included the Ford Bronco Sport trailer tow package?
The Bronco Sport only has one choice of trailer tow package – the Class II Trailer Tow Package (53B).
This contains; 4-pin trailer wiring harness, hitch receiver, trailer sway control and full-size spare tire.
What is the maximum tongue weight of a Ford Bronco Sport?
When you are towing a trailer the weight of that trailer gets transmitted down through two places – the axle and wheels of the trailer and the hitch between the trailer and your Bronco.
You need to ensure that there is not too much weight being transmitted through the hitch. Ford’s factory installed hitch with the Bronco Sport towing package (53B) recommends a maximum tow weight of 220lbs.
How should I measure trailer tongue weight on the Tongue Weight?
You have three options to measure the tongue weight from your trailer.
- Use a specialized tongue weight scale such as a Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale
- Weigh your vehicle and trailer on a CAT scale
- Estimate the tongue weight
Option 1 is best, followed by 2. However let’s look at option 3.
Your trailer’s manufacturer will usually provide an indication of the tongue weight. For a travel trailer with batteries and propane you may need to add that weight if the manufacturer has not included it. In addition you need to add the weight of the hitch. Note that this is an estimate since not all the weight of these objects will be transmitted through the hitch, so adding 100% of the weight to your tongue weight will over-estimate it. Also some of the weight of the trailer cargo will get transmitted through the hitch.
Tongue weight rule of thumb
It’s recommended that the tongue weight is between 10%-15% of the gross trailer weight (dry weight plus the weight of the cargo). If the tongue weight is below 10% then that will cause towing instability and the trailer may porpoise, and if the tongue weight is too high then the trailer will be pitched forward and put too much load on the hitch. You want a level trailer and ideally the tongue load will be 12% of the gross trailer weight.
So one check you need to do is to take the gross trailer weight you calculated above and check that 10%-15% is within the maximum tongue weight given in the table above.
Suppose you have calculated your gross trailer weight as 2,000lb. The ideal tongue load is between 10% and 15% of this amount. That would be between 200lb – 250lb. Ford recommends a Bronco Sport tongue weight of not more than 250lbs so in this case you could not go as high as 15% of the trailer weight on the tongue.
Adjusting tongue weight
You have two main methods to adjust tongue weight;
- Either add or remove load from the trailer. Adding weight to the trailer will increase the tongue weight, and removing weight will reduce the tongue weight.
- Moving weight around the trailer. You can increase tongue weight by moving existing load to the front of the trailer. Similarly, you can reduce tongue weight by moving existing load to the rear of the trailer.
However, you do not want your trailer very unbalanced, and you want a level trailer while towing.
Check the rear axle weight rating
The rear axle weight rating is similar to the tongue weight. All vehicles have a weight limit that they can take on the rear and front axles. Usually the best place to find this information is on the driver’s door jamb sticker. The best way to check you are not exceeding this amount is to weigh your trailer and towing vehicle at a CAT scale.
Or you can just weigh your fully-laden SUV and make an allowance for trailer weight that is transmitted to the rear axle – namely the tongue weight.
However, if you’re within the tongue weight guidance, then in all likelihood your rear axle will be within limit but it’s very dependent on the load you are carrying in your SUV.
Note that Ford’s technical specification provides gross axle weight ratings.
What is the maximum trailer frontal area?
If your trailer and Bronco have passed all the previous tests then you are probably good-to-go. However the manufacturer does give a restriction on the trailer frontal area. This is area of the front of the trailer that creates drag. You can have a very light trailer that is within the weight restrictions described above, but if it’s a huge sail that blocks airflow then it’s a no-no.
Trailers with a more aerodynamic profile, such as a teardrop, are clearly better in this respect. So for completeness let’s summarize the maximum frontal area measured in square feet.
For the Bronco the maximum fontal area is 20 sq ft without towing package 53B, and 30 sq ft with towing package 53B.
Putting it all together!
Have you been following everything upto now?
There are a number of checks you need to make to ensure that you have a safe towing experience with your SUV.
- Check that the gross trailer weight is within the tow rating of the SUV
- Check that the SUV is not overloaded and the gross weight of the SUV plus the tongue weight does not exceed the GVWR
- Check that the combined weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer does not exceed the GCWR
- Check that the tongue weight is between 10% -15% of the gross trailer weight and within 350lbs
In theory you also need to check the rear-axle load, front-axle load and trailer frontal area. However if you have passed all the above tests and are within 10% on all of them then you are probably fine.
I’m confused and I have questions!
There is a lot to keep straight here.
However we have now provided you with all the information on the Ford Bronco Sport to enable you to input all the key data into our towing calculator. This is the easiest way to check that you have completed all the steps.
Our tool is simple but comprehensive. You won’t miss anything is you follow all the steps, but drop us a note if you are struggling! Stay safe!
What can a Ford Bronco Sport tow?
Given the above numbers, you might be asking – What kind of trailers can a Bronco Sport tow? Let’s dig into it now!
As we saw above the maximum tow rating a Bronco was 2,200lbs. A Class II Hitch can handle upto 3,500 lb, so this would be fine for all Bronco Sport models.
A Class II hitch can typically tow small boats, snowmobiles, motorcycle trailers and small campers. However the rating of 2,200lbs is quite low and when you factor in the weight of the trailer plus its contents then you won’t have as much choice as the larger Bronco model.
|Class||Maximum Trailer Weight|
|Class I - Light Duty||2,000 lb|
|Class II - Medium Duty||3,500 lb|
|Class III - Heavy Duty||6,000 lb|
|Class IV - Extra Heavy Duty||10,000 lb|
Frequently asked questions
Can the Ford Bronco Sport tow a boat? Yes, as long as it is within the tow rating of 2,200 lbs (depending on vehicle). This would have to be a small boat since that tow rating needs to allow for the weight of the trailer and the boat.
Does the Bronco Sport have a trailer hitch? Only if the Class II Trailer Tow Package (53B) is installed.
The Ford Bronco Sport can tow up to 2,200lbs for the Badlands and First Edition models, 2,000lbs for the Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks models, and 1,500lbs if you do not have the tow package. You can use all the details on this page and feed them into our tow calculator.
If you have remaining questions please contact us.
Please refer to the disclaimer for important notes and limitations on this article