Not everyone needs the capacity of a large truck; enter the mid-size truck segment. Many of these intermediate trucks are about as large as the full-size truck of around a decade ago, but they are a better, more flexible, and economical option. The Ford Ranger, which launched a couple of years ago, is one of the newer mid-size pick-ups in the US. Unfortunately, Ford has been offering a Ranger design on other markets for over a decade rather than using an all-new vehicle. The Ranger was therefore not as convincing as competitors that had been redesigned more recently.
How about Driving?
For a wide pickup truck, the Ford Ranger is impressively simple to drive and absorbs big bumps, but rear visibility is poor.
From the start-up 130HP to more efficient 170HP, 200HP, and 213HP, the Ford Ranger offers four diesel engines for your pick. Any Ranger comes with a manual six-speed gearbox, and four-wheel drive is provided for all but the entrance trucks.
The cheapest 130HP motor is not incredibly efficient and can only be seen in the cheapest Single Cab XL vehicles. The 170HP motor is punchier and more widely accessible in the Ranger range, but it’s a little quieter than the VW Amarok’s still powerful but remarkably smoother diesel motors.
The 213HP engine is stronger than the old 200HP motor and can also be fitted with a much simpler 10-speed automatic gearbox instead of the lethargical six-speed automatic unit of the 200HP motor.
The gross towing limit of the Ford Ranger is 3,500kg for a braked trailer.
High riding levels and big windscreens of the Ford Ranger render driving pretty straightforward, but parking can be a concern due to the pillars next to the back windscreen. The long cap will also mask smaller barriers – such as bollards – in parking lots, so you might want to pay additional charges for optional front parking sensors.
The Ford Ranger does well controlling its big body over bumps and potholes. It absorbs more sudden jolts than other firmer trucks and copes with narrow twisty roads without a lot of leaning.
The primary four-wheel drive is available for all but the most inexpensive entrance versions. This allows you to drive on the road with two-wheel drive (to conserve fuel and improve maneuverability) and turn to a four-wheel-drive for large trailers or off-road driving.
When it comes to off-road travel, the Raptor style is the Ford Ranger you should invest in. It is fitted with safety panels, a reinforced chassis, specialized off-road pneumatics, and improved suspension, which handles big bumps impressively well at high speeds.
Capacity Towing and Payload
The 2021 Ford Ranger can tow up to 7500 pounds when equipped with the optional towing pack, and the power delivery remains smooth and consistent when towed. The Ranger is suitable with payloads of up to 1860 pounds.
Real-World MPG Fuel Economy
The EPA estimates that the 2021 rear-wheel drive Ranger will achieve 21 mpg in urban areas and 26 mpg on motorways. The all-wheel-drive variant has an estimated 20 mpg city and 24 roads, but both levels have fallen to 19 mpg in the latest Tremor model.
Three Rangers have been exposed to our fuel efficiency route at 75 mph, which is part of our comprehensive evaluation scheme. Two of these were four-wheel-drive crew-cab versions and, after very rough driving, they reached 16 mpg and 15 mpg together. The third release was the rear-wheel drive, and in highway trials, it reached 25 mpg.
Indoor, Comfort, and Cargo Rods
Indoor, Comfort, and cargo rods are either available as an extended cab (SuperCab) or crew cab (SuperCrew) model. The SuperCrew Roomier can accommodate up to five people and has four full doors, while the SuperCab can accommodate four people and has two tiny, half-doors. As with other Ford items, the Ranger booth’s architecture and content are inconsistent—mostly bland and riddled with low-cost plastics but often equipped with small trims that sound and appear remarkably elegant. However, both SuperCab and SuperCrew cabins are spacious and user-friendly.