Ford Ranger

Like big brother F-150, the Ranger spans a broad price and equipment range, and can be equipped for a wide range of uses. There are three different cab configurations (Regular Cab, and 2- or 4-door Super Cab), two bed lengths (6-foot or 7-foot) and two engines (2.3L 4-cylinder or 4.0L V6). 4-wheel drive is also available.

Two different engines are offered on the Ranger. A 2.3L 4-cylinder engine that makes 143 horsepower and 154 pounds-feet of torque is standard for the base XL and XLT Regular Cab and 2-door Super Cab. A 4.0L V6 engine making 207 horsepower and 238 pounds-feet of torque is also available. Both engines come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 5-speed automatic.

The base XL is modestly equipped with manual side mirrors, roll-up windows, black vinyl flooring and air conditioning. The XLT adds a more accommodating interior and improved exterior appearance with sport bucket seats, CD player and a 60/40-split bench seat. The Sport trim further improves the Ranger's appearance with mud flaps and a selection of upgraded wheels as standard. Sport Super Cab trucks offer standard step bars, while the 4-wheel drive Sport Super Cab is equipped with standard skid plates to protect major components on the truck's underbody.

Standard safety features include driver and front passenger airbags, seat-mounted side air bags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, load limiting retractors, driver-seat position sensing and crash severity sensing, side intrusion door beams, tire pressure monitoring system, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) and AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.

Editors' Review

I want to love the Ford Ranger, I really do. But I just can't. This isn't to say Dearborn's midsize pickup is bad. In some ways, this truck just feels a little underdone. It's by no means an EcoSport-level rush job, but an extra year or so of product development work could have transformed what is a good vehicle into a truly great one.

Fortunately for Ford, the Ranger is a midpack offering in a segment of rather unexceptional (though popular) products. The Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins are nice, but they're aging and far from amazing. At this point in its life, the ancient-though-soon-to-be-redesigned Nissan Frontier is basically a covered wagon that happens to have a spiffy new powertrain; and the Toyota Tacoma, while durable and massively popular, has never endeared itself to me, feeling both uncomfortable and crude. With the exception of Honda's convention-defying Ridgeline and maybe the Jeep Gladiator (which can be shockingly expensive), I'm not a huge fan of any midsize truck offered today.

Somewhere in the middle of this mediocrity maelstrom is this Ranger. Given Ford's long history of pickup excellence, you'd expect this product to be a smash hit, yet it somehow falls short.

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The Good ~ Simple and swift Sync 3 infotainment ~ Torque-rich turbocharged engine ~ Thronelike front seats

The Bad ~ Moody transmission ~ Stiff yet sloppy ride ~ Mushy brake pedal

The Bottom Line The Ford Ranger is a middle-of-the-road pickup, neither enticing nor greatly offending.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Design 8
  • Media 8

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