Sales and demand have never been stronger.
Ford recently released its sales figures for September, and for the first time, the Bronco Sport outsold the Escape. The Escape is still in the lead in the year-to-date category, with 111,791 units sold while the Bronco Sport is currently standing at 81,204.
But in September, Ford sold 11,686 Bronco Sports and 11,462 Escapes. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a few months to see whether the Bronco Sport wins in the end. This is the first year Bronco Sport will have sales figures from January straight through to December. October, November, and December still have to be counted, but is there a possibility the Bronco Sport can make it?
The difference is just 224 models, but there are a few things worth remembering. Ford had supply issues with the Bronco Sport earlier this year. It also appears that Ford can't build them fast enough, as some dealers started selling demo models.
Looking at it, you might not expect the Bronco Sport to be a rival to the Escape. The Baby Bronco is essentially a style statement. A less capable version of the full-fat Bronco, but still good enough off-road to conquer the infamous Hell's Gate. The Escape is more of an anonymous SUV, designed to blend into the background of the Walmart parking lot. It's 180.5 inches of excellent generic SUV.
That's likely why more customers will end up going the Bronco Sport route. There is some overlap in pricing, but the high-end Bronco Sport Badlands is only around $3,000 more than the equivalent gas-powered Escape. The two cars are also similar in size, and the Bronco Sport is officially safer for families. The IIHS gave the 2021 model a Top Safety Pick + award, the highest accolade a car can get. There are also no limitations, which means this safety rating applies to the entire range.
The 2021 Escape received a Top Safety Pick award, but only for models equipped with specific headlights. It's also a good rating, but any logical person shopping for a family car would almost always go for the safest possible option.
We also can't deny the insane demand for SUVs and crossovers at the moment. The world has an insatiable appetite for these things, and the Bronco Sport happens to be one of the best examples of dragging old-school looks into the modern world. It's not as handsome and rugged as the Bronco, but it looks sensational in the right color and alloy combination.
For these reasons, it's not hard to imagine a person interested in an Escape emerging from the dealership in a new Bronco Sport instead. The only reason left to buy an Escape is that you don't want to stand out in a Walmart parking lot.