2020 Ford Ranger Road Test and Review

Americans love big pickup trucks. A great full-size pickup combines the heavy-duty utility of the truck using the stretch-out spaciousness and-finish amenities of a big luxury vehicle, together with more and more impressive fuel useage. Comfortable yet incredibly helpful, full-size pickups typically dominate U.S. sales charts.

Although not everybody needs or uses a full-size pickup, preferring a less bulky, less costly model. As the U.S. doesn’t have truly small pickups, there exists a strong type of “mid-size” mixers slot underneath the full-size trucks. They range from the 2020 Ford Ranger, which sits underneath the best-selling F-150 within the brand’s selection. Calculating nearly 2 ft shorter compared to F-150 nose to tail, and costing roughly $10,000 less when comparably outfitted, the Ranger also brings a feisty turbocharged engine, best-in-class payload capacity, along with a strong suite of advanced safety gear. Let’s review the facts.

Turbo Power

The 2020 Ford Ranger may be the only pickup in the usa which comes just with a four-cylinder engine. But it’s from Ford’s mighty EcoBoost type of turbocharged engines, getting a hearty 270 horsepower and 310 lb-foot of torque. That’s very good for that mid-size pickup class, especially when compared with base types of competing vehicles. The engine also offers an in-depth, strong voice for any four-cylinder, and it’s nothing beats the rough, farming-grade base four-containers on other pickups.

The Ranger’s four-cylinder engine — plus its advanced 10-speed automatic transmission — helps it get impressive fuel useage despite its strong acceleration. The Environmental protection agency pegs it at 21 mpg within the city, 26 mpg on the road, and 23 mpg overall with rear-wheel drive and 20 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 22 mpg coupled with four-wheel-drive. That’s 2 to 3 mpg much better than similarly effective Chevrolet and Toyota mid-size pickups. We averaged about 23 mpg throughout a weeklong test of the 4WD Ranger.

Mighty Capacity

The Ranger are designed for a finest-in-class payload as high as 1,860 pounds and tow as much as 7,500 pounds when correctly outfitted. It’s also capable off-road, particularly with the tested FX4 package. Available just with four-wheel drive, it brings dedicated driving modes for grass/gravel/snow, dirt/ruts, and sand a “Trail Control” off-road cruise control system an digitally locking rear differential an off-road suspension and tires skid plates and feedback around the truck’s pitch, roll, and steering position shown on an inside screen. For buyers searching for sturdy toughness with no extra cost of four-wheel drive, this season brings a brand new FX2 package for Rangers with two-wheel drive. It shares all FX4 features except the driving modes and Trail Control.

The Ranger’s capacity faces a tradeoff in everyday driving, though. While it’s decently quiet, the Ranger includes a bouncy on-road ride when compared with today’s best mid-size pickups. Additionally, it doesn’t handle with great agility or precision, and it is 42-feet turning circle is around the wide side. In another negative, every Ranger crew cab includes a 5-feet-lengthy bed, with no longer bed option like on some rivals. (The extended cab has a 6-feet bed.)

Relatively Gentle Style

Many leading mid-size pickup trucks are made to look butch and hard, for clients who love the feel of a truck around its actual utility. As the Ranger is definitely an impressively capable vehicle with regards to the styling — using the stiff ride to complement it — it’s milder-searching compared to best-selling Toyota Tacoma or even the recently introduced Jeep Gladiator.

That’s because even though the Ranger is rather a new comer to the U.S. market, this Ranger generation continues to be on purchase worldwide for pretty much ten years. This age, as well as the curvier truck styling that’s favored abroad, means the Ranger doesn’t create a bold styling statement. The large rounded taillights give Ranger a dated beauty when seen from behind. Overall, the Ranger’s exterior design is nearest towards the Chevrolet Colorado, another worldwide-market vehicle adapted for U.S. sales. Some buyers will appreciate the Ranger doesn’t attempt to visually telegraph its abilities, but others would appreciate a far more extroverted design.

Comfortable, Functional Cabin

Like its exterior, the Ranger’s interior doesn’t stick out for style. It’s easy and functional, with no extra-tough vibe from the Tacoma or Gladiator, or even the more luxe management of the GMC Gorge. The dashboard is really a ocean of grey by having an inoffensive although not overtly truck-like design, by having an upright shape but curved details. And also the hands-operated parking brake recalls a vehicle greater than a truck.

The Ranger’s interior feels safe, a minimum of, with increased space compared to Tacoma both in the front and back seats. Four adults can fit with little squeezing within the tested crew cab model, featuring four full-size doorways. We appreciated the way in which Ford carefully formed the leading seatbacks to maximise rear knee space. Just like your competition, the extended cab’s rear seat area was created just for emergency seating or a little bit of cargo.

Up-to-Date Infotainment

An area in which the Ford is solely modern is its Sync 3 infotainment system, that is standard around the XLT and Lariat trim levels. It provides a generously sized 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, pinch-to-zoom abilities, obvious displays, and quick responses. Ford also enables you to use physical buttons and knobs for everyday functions, which we appreciate some cars bury certain functions within the touchscreen’s submenus.

Two competitors just swept up using the Ranger’s infotainment, though this season, Toyota added a likewise large screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay towards the Tacoma, and also the Honda Ridgeline made these functions more broadly available rather of restricting these to high-finish trim levels. However the Nissan Frontier continues to have a smaller sized screen without advanced smartphone integration.

Standout Safety

The Ranger is among the leading mid-size pickups for safety, because of its advanced technology and powerful crash performance. It earned top ratings in almost all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations crash tests, using the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline towards the top of the category.

The Toyota and Honda will also be Ford’s top rivals for safety technology. A forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking is standard equipment on every 2020 Ranger, while a far more complete suite that contributes blind-place monitoring, a rear cross-traffic alert, a lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping steering corrections is optional around the base XL and standard on other trim levels. Adaptive cruise control is optional around the Ranger but standard around the Ridgeline and Tacoma. Innovative driver-assistance systems remain optional around the Jeep Gladiator and unavailable around the Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Gorge.

Competitors to think about

The Ranger’s nearest competition is the Chevrolet Colorado and also the Toyota Tacoma, however it isn’t that can compare with either of these. It requires an identical stylistic vibe towards the Colorado, and such as the Chevrolet, it’s roomier compared to Toyota. However the Ranger offers quite a bit more safety technology and crash-test scores, as the Colorado rides more easily and has a tendency to are less expensive. From the Tacoma, the Ranger includes a similarly bouncy ride and other alike safety, however the Tacoma looks a lot more like a difficult truck inside and outside. The Ranger’s EcoBoost four-cylinder engine delivers superior gas mileage to both, together with speedier acceleration compared to Toyota.

Elsewhere within the mid-size pickup field, the GMC Gorge is really a Chevrolet Colorado with boxier styling and a few extra optional equipment. The Honda Ridgeline provides an extra-smooth ride and additional-spacious interior, though its lighter-duty unibody structure isn’t made to take because a beating as body-on-frame pickups. The Jeep Gladiator has distinctively retro styling and enables you to remove the rooftop and doorways, but it’s costly. And also the Nissan Frontier offers solid utility at budget prices but feels more fundamental than its fresher competitors.

A Worthy Contender

The 2020 Ford Ranger can be a worthy entrant to the mid-size pickup segment. Particularly, its outstanding powertrain — that literally brings smooth, lively power along with impressive fuel consumption — makes a benefit inside the competition. Its usefully spacious interior and top-tier hauling and off-road abilities maintain it useful, which is high-finish security measures and effective crash-test scores complete an interesting overall package.

The Ranger’s bouncy ride will limit its appeal among buyers just seeking a useful everyday pickup, while individuals seeking a difficult-and-tumble lifestyle vehicle may want more interesting styling. But thinking about that no competitor is good either, the Ranger’s strengths will over-shadow its downsides to find the best buyer. We’ll just highlight again that today’s Ranger is certainly a sophisticated, spacious, and highly capable mid-size pickup — and never the little, fundamental, bargain-priced truck it absolutely was about 10 years ago.