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The Quiet Interior of The 2024 Ford Bronco Sport Helped Me and My Son To Bond Together and Catch Up During The Trip

A father and son take us along as they make the seven hour drive between the Denver metro area to the Texas panhandle in a brand-new Ford Bronco Sport.

When it came time for my niece’s family to pick up their son after his first year of college, they had quite a surprise for him. While River was 400-plus miles away from his Texas home during his second semester, studying at the Colorado School of Mines, his parents bought a brand new 2024 Ford Bronco Sport. While her job prevented Bridget from making the trip, her husband Bill set out to pack up son River. The trip put over 900 miles on the new Bronco Sport.

Bill Johnson PhotoRiver Couldn’t Believe His Eyes

Bill arrived three days before his son’s final exam so that they could enjoy the Denver/Golden area before making the trip back to the panhandle. Also, the duo had plenty of sorting and packing to do after River’s first year in a dorm room. River told me that he was confused when his dad texted that he had arrived outside the dormitory. River said “I looked out the window and I couldn’t see our car. The only vehicle out there was this Bronco. When I went outside to find him, I couldn’t believe it!”

River was thrilled. He has always been intrigued by vehicles and because I love the automotive business, we have always talked about cars. When River was in middle school, he was fascinated by the Toyota FJ Cruiser. When he was learning to drive, River really liked the Jeep Wrangler but ended up driving a Chevrolet pickup. It took River a while to realize the new Bronco Sport was part of the family. He even let me drive it before he did.


I took the Bronco Sport out for a drive and was immediately impressed by the small SUV’s acceleration. The 1.5 Liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine kicks out 181-horsepower. The Heritage Edition has a white roof and gives the 4x4 a retro look. I was also impressed with how large the Bronco Sport is in the interior. There is seating for five and it offers plenty of leg and headroom. That interior space ended up being crucial for a dad packing up his son’s dorm room.

Packing Up a Dorm Room and Heading for Home

Thankfully, Bill had taken the extra time to come get River, so they had plenty of time to pack up. Plus, Bill was able to stay at our house and park in the garage so there was no concern about break-ins. Still, any time you need to fit in that much cargo, packing is a game of Tetris. Bill was surprised at how much the sub-compact SUV, with a length of just over 14 feet, could hold comfortably. “We fit the contents of an entire dorm room into the Bronco Sport! There is far more room in the vehicle than what you would think based on its small appearance from the outside.”

Bill Johnson Photo

Bill seemed very happy with the Bronco Sport’s gas mileage on the trip. The vehicle performed efficiently, even with a large bike rack on the back. It is rated at 25 city/28 highway mpg. The SUV had no trouble handling the Raton Pass on I-25, which can often be dicey.

Bill was relieved that he and River could have a good talk while on the way home. Bill told me that was the best part of the trip. “There is absolutely no tire/road noise in this vehicle. This made conversations easy. I was able to catch up on my son’s first year of college during the seven-hour drive home without having to talk over road noise. If the trip had been shorter, I would have probably said the best part of about the Bronco Sport is its acceleration; there is no lag in power!”

Bronco Sport’s Technology Made the Trip Easier

The family loves to listen to music and found that the infotainment system in the Bronco Sport made that easy during the trip from Colorado to Texas. Bill says, “I’m typically not a gadget person, but all audio related apps in the Bronco Sport are very easy to use. It didn’t matter if it was Sirius XM, Apple CarPlay, or toggling between the two; the system is straightforward and no hassle. It was easy to toggle between music and maps without ever having to pick up the phone.”

River really likes the new safety features. River says “This was my first time driving a vehicle with a lane-keeping system (one of the Co-Pilot 360 features). I didn’t think I would like it, but by the end of the trip I was not only used to it, I liked lane-assist a lot.”

The only bad part of the trip was that Bridget wasn’t able to join them. A fourteen-hour round trip journey seems like a great way to test out a new vehicle. Luckily, the 2024 Bronco Sport passed with flying colors!

Photos by Bill Johnson

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @MaryConwayMedia and send her car news tips for future stories.