Ford Ranger: Solid and Capable

The Ford Ranger gets the job done but lacks pizzazz

Ford Ranger XLT Supercab 4x2

Vehicle Layout: Midsize extended-cab pickup truck, 2.3-liter turbocharged inline 4 (270 hp), 10-speed automatic, RWD 

MSRP, Base Model: $25,495; (as tested: $35,635)

MPG, City/Hwy/Combined: 21/26/23

Crash-Test Ratings: NHTSA, IIHS: not yet rated

Basic Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles

Final Assembly: United States

Spare Tire: Full-size spare

The midsize Ford Ranger, a rugged-looking pickup with lots of the right stuff, is back in dealer showrooms after an eight-year hiatus. Its 2.3-liter turbocharged inline 4 provides plenty of acceleration and torque, and its 10-speed automatic shifts smoothly. The ride is comfortable—well damped and relatively quiet over broken pavement—although the steering feels heavy and a bit sluggish. Gas mileage, at 21 city/26 highway/23 combined, is best in class.

The Ranger’s roomy cab is best described as utilitarian, with comfortable seats, legible instruments, and a good deal of hard plastic. Both crew-cab and extended-cab versions are available, but forking over the extra $2,220 for the crew-cab version is definitely the way to go, because the extended cab’s backseat is suitable only for cargo and children. An off-road package, a towing package (7,500 pounds max), and 4-wheel drive are options. Forward-collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking are standard, and other advanced safety features are available.

The Ranger is a solid, capable truck that can handle pickup duties and serve as a capable daily driver, and it will probably run forever. Its biggest shortcoming? Nothing about it feels novel or surprising or exciting. After an eight-year layoff, Ford could have swung for the fences but settled for a line-drive double instead.

Photos courtesy of Ford

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