This summer I wrote about the Hoss suspension system on the newest models of the Ford Bronco 4×4 SUV lineup. We got the chance to drive a Bronco Sport for a week. We decided to drive up to visit the kids’ grandparents. On the way, we took the Sport off-roading and ran it through creek beds and across open land.

I was impressed with how easily this utility vehicle managed a range of rugged terrain.

Here is what I learned about the Bronco Sport beyond the suspension system. This car did inspire some confidence when I got behind the wheel. In addition to the optional alloy wheels wrapped in 29.5-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, it has tow hooks, bash plates, and short overhangs to provide decent approach and departure angles.

The Bronco Sport uses a Focus RS-style twin-clutch rear-drive unit to send more power to the back wheels. It also has two driving modes that I liked: Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl.

The Bronco Sport is a surprisingly impressive crossover SUV. In a day of driving through mud, water, hills, over rocks, and yes on the highway, nothing gave this car or me anxiety. It was up for the challenge.

The Sport has simple engineering going for it with the 30.4-degree approach and 33.1-degree departure angles.

There is also the 20.4-degree breakover angle. What we needed was the 8.8-inches of ground clearance and nearly two feet of wading depth for our recent day trip.

It was incredibly easy to transition from road to open land in the Bronco Sport. I just put it in whatever mode I thought would be best and the car did the rest of the work. On the road in normal driving mode, the all-wheel-drive system sends most of its power back to the front. While in off-road mode, it splits the torque around 50:50. And, you can manually turn on the simulated rear-differential lock to automatically “lock” into Rock Crawl mode.

Once I figured out the right modes, I just pointed the car where it needed to go. The front-facing camera helps to make correct wheel placement.

The Bronco Sport isn’t a big SUV, but it is a 4-door with pretty good interior space. The cockpit has form-fitting bucket seats and the second row can accommodate 3 passengers.

The smaller size is a real advantage for maneuvering trails, creeks, and open lands. The Bronco was also super easy to clean after our adventure because the seats are vinyl, the floors are rubberized, and there are integrated drains. You basically just hose it out.

You can visit the Ford website to review the various packages for the Bronco Sport and customize your own vehicle.