The 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder is the base engine under the hood of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and similarly Ford Escape from 2020 forward and is code named “Dragon”.
It comes comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission and it’s rated at 181 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque. In the 2021 Ford Bronco we tested it has an EPA rating of 25 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
The engine employs almost every tool available to be fuel efficient. It has both port fuel injection and direct injection, twin variable cam timing and cylinder deactivation which shuts one of its three cylinders off and allows it run on two when full power isn’t needed. Additionally it has an auto-start-stop system.
Following the airflow, the intake charge begins through a tube running transversely along the top of the radiator to the air filter box on the driver side. From there it travels to the rear of the engine and down into the turbocharger.
As the all-aluminum engine features an exhaust manifold cast into the head, the turbocharger is bolted directly to it for compact packaging and thermal efficiency.
From there the intake charge travels down to the front to an air-to-air intercooler and then back up to a throttle body and composite intake manifold at the front of the engine.
There you can see the fuel rail for the three port injectors, the direct fuel injectors and most of their hardware is hidden below the valve cover. If you look hard enough through all the components you can see the three coil-packs on top for its spark plugs.
Because the engine is compact, room to work around it is relatively generous when it comes to maintenance. In such, you will find the oil filler cap and dipstick on top of the engine accessible with the foam sound cover in place.
According to the owners manual, a 5W-20 synthetic blend oil is recommended and total capacity is 5.3 quarts including a full oil filter. The oil filter itself is accessible from underneath only.
Coolant and windshield washer reservoirs are located at the passenger side of the engine compartment in plain sight. Also easily found and accessed is the brake fluid reservoir at the rear driver side. Below it is a contemporary electric motor booster master cylinder ABS combination unit.
The 12-volt battery is easily accessed at the driver side of the engine compartment and jumping can be done at that point. The main fuse panel for vehicle accessories is located under the glove compartment, not in the engine bay.
The air filter box is located just ahead of the battery and is easily accessed for filter changes without the use of tools.