Ford’s venerable compact Ranger pickup went away for a while.
But it has returned as a mid-size truck, ready for adventure and packed with driver-assist techologies to enable easier driving both on and off-road.
My tester was the top-of-the-line 2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat 4×4 with FX4 Off-Road Package. But the Ranger also comes in XL and XLT trims, 4×2 and 4×4, SuperCab and SuperCrew configuraions, and two bed lengths, making it a versatile choice for customers not needing F150 size and power.
SuperCrew seats up to six people, with two full-size doors opening on both sides to make ingress and egress cake, but shaves a foot of length from the rear bed. SuperCab features two mini-doors that open backward. Then you need to open the front door for bakseat passengers to board. But you save an extra foot (6.5 feet) of bed length.
Anchored by a high-strength steel frame and powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost boasting 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque paired to an efficient 10-speed automatic transmission. Either way, you can carry gear – and lots of it. Ranger carries a best-in class tow rating of up to 7,500 pounds, and best-in-class payload rating of 1,860 pounds.
Technology comes built-in, starting with an eight-inch touch screen for available SYNC®3, while a single or dual LCD productivity screen is available for real-time vehicle, navigation and audio information. Ranger comes with standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking.
A Lane-Keeping System that includes lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, reverse sensing and class-exclusive Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage is standard on XLT and Lariat. Adaptive Cruise Control is also standard on Lariat.
When it comes to creature comforts, the deluxe Lariat trim makes it feel like you’re driving an upscale car. Front leather and heated buckets seats with eight-way power settings and lumbar support, ambient lighting, leather trimmed rear bench seat, single zone air conditioning, 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices, sliding rear window, navigation, cruise control, satellite radio and more.
Ranger’s muscular body features a high beltline and raked grille which lcreate an athletic appearance and aid in aerodynamics and reduced wind noise. Short overhangs mean better approach and departure angles off-road. Mine came with a snazzy bright blue metallic coat of enamel and fancy wheels that stole more than its fair share of looks.
The FX4 Off-Road Package features off-road-tuned suspension, all-terrain tires, frame mounted steel front bash plate and skid plates, rear locking differential, innovative Terrain Management System with four distinct drive modes and Trail Control. Its rugged steel bumper with available integrated trailer hitch receiver means towing campers, ATVs or watercraft is a breeze.
Demand for Ranger personalization options continues to increase.
“We’re seeing sales trends that tell us to grow Ranger’s capability and appearance options even further,” said Chad Callander, Ford Ranger consumer marketing manager. “The FX2 Package is a result of us listening to our customers and what they’re demanding from their trucks.”
Ranger offers a wide variety of packages and options, including the new Black Appearance Package with black accents and high-gloss black wheels, the Sport Appearance Package with Magnetic Gray-painted accents and unique wheels and the Chrome Appearance Package with chrome body accents and bright chrome wheels.
Ford Ranger answers the call of truck customers looking for an affordable, rugged and maneuverable mid-size pickup that’s “Built Ford Tough”. Surviving torture-tested alongside Ford F-150 trucks, Ranger quality starts with a high-strength steel frame backbone that is guaranteed to last.
Base Price: $37,128
Price As Driven: $38,675
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufactuer and list prie may vary at local dealerships.
Contact writer Larry Lark: email@example.com