Ford Ranger Full Review: Features, Price and More
When you hear the name “Ford,” a couple of ideas probably come to mind. “American automaker” is a big one; after all, they were one of the first of many competitors in the North American car market. Rugged and dependable are other words you may associate with Ford, and when you pair it together with “Ranger,” these robust, reliable, no-nonsense vibes increase.
The Ford Ranger is a well-known midsize truck. After an extended hiatus in 2011, the automaker brought this model back in 2019. When it did, truck owners and Ford fans alike took notice.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, how do you decide if this is the right option for you? What if you need to go with a competitor? Well, we’ve got the specs, and we’ll give you an answer with our in-depth Ford Ranger review.
Ford Ranger Features: What to Expect in Newer Models
The hiatus that the Ford Ranger went through was a long one. It’s not the only Ford model whose production was halted, either, with the reliable, well-regarded Ford Focus being discontinued in 2018 for North American retailers so Ford could focus more heavily on its trucks, crossovers, and SUVs.
However, the Ranger’s hiatus had a much happier ending, with the vehicle now officially back in domestic markets. With its return, you’re now greeted with several different body styles to choose from, too. These styles include the standard XL, the XLT, and the Lariat, an upgraded, fancier version of the base vehicle.
Black was the standard color for the Ford Ranger, but Ford added four additional color options, ranging from blue and orange to two shades of gray. The XL’s extended cab model is called the SuperCab, and it’s not as heavy as other cab models. That means the truck can move faster on the road thanks to its reduced size.
Newer models of the Ford Ranger also come with automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning as standard. Before this, those safety features were optional, if available. Other features that you will find familiar in the newer models are additional tech gadgets, improved fuel economy, and towing power.
Engine and Gas Mileage: Ford Ranger Specs
Suppose you're on the lookout for a reliable car or pickup truck. In that case, you're looking for a vehicle with a strong engine, something with strength and power to haul heavy loads. Decent gas mileage never hurts, too.
With the Ford Ranger, newer models come with a 2.3 liter, 4-cylinder, 270-horsepower engine as a base, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. For basic models, you can choose between rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. If you can find yourself the right vehicle, the 2021 Ford Ranger can be equipped with a towing package, allowing your car to pull a staggering 7,500 pounds with ease.
This towing capacity makes it an essential tool if you work in an industry where towing those heavy loads is standard. It's also a must-have tool if you're into the car camping lifestyle and you have a recreational trailer to pull around. After all, backcountry comfort won't carry itself.
When it comes to fuel economy, the Ford Ranger is one of the standout models in its class. That's especially true since trucks aren't known for being the most fuel-efficient on the market. According to the EPA, the 2021 Ford Ranger with all-wheel drive gets you 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highways. With rear-wheel drive, you'll clock in at 21 mpg in town, with 26 mpg at freeway speeds.
The Ford Ranger Interior: Seating, Storage, and Tech
Suppose you open up the interior of the Ford Ranger. In that case, the overwhelming verdict is that it’s roomy, especially for a pickup truck.
The SuperCab seats four people, while the SuperCrew accommodates five. There’s a lot of legroom in the front seats, and while the Ford Ranger’s cargo space is a bit on the small side, it’s still adequate for the vehicle. It’s also nothing to sneer at when paired with the Ranger’s other outstanding features.
Newer models come with a four-speaker sound system, an infotainment touchscreen, built-in wifi hotspots that can connect up to 10 devices, and a USB port. With the Lariat body, you’ll also be able to sync with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, essential for an era where almost everyone has a smartphone. The touchscreen size on your infotainment system increases, too, reaching a comfortable eight inches.
Is it Reliable? The Ford Ranger Safety Rating
Safety should always be a top concern, and part of those concerns includes the Ranger’s ability to handle itself on the road.
As mentioned earlier, the Ford Ranger base models come with a slew of new gadgets, including an automatic emergency braking system and forward-collision warning. Optional upgrades to this model include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and rear-traffic alert.
Newer models of the Ford Ranger have received an overall rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They have also received decent reviews from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — although no model has won any yearly awards just yet.
The Ford Ranger is as rugged and dependable as its name implies when it comes to its road handling. You can upgrade to an all-wheel-drive system that allows you to maintain optimal traction on the roads in bad weather and automatic high beams kick in at night, allowing you to remain safe when navigating low light.
Ford Ranger Price vs. its Competitors
With its decent pricing and many features, the Ford Ranger stacks up very well against other vehicles in its class. That includes the Chevy Colorado and the Toyota Tacoma, two equally well-known trucks. Although its competitors offer a manual transmission, which the Ranger doesn’t, its 2021 model is budget-friendly, with the most basic model starting at $25,070.
These budget-friendly prices become even friendlier if you’re looking for an earlier, well-kept used model with additional upgrades, and if you pair that low price with those upgrades, that deal becomes a steal. At Shift, you’re offered fair, no-haggle prices driven by powerful machine learning algorithms, along with tons of aggregate data. That allows you to make the right decision on your new vehicle purchase with a couple of easy, straightforward steps.
Buy a Ford Ranger for All Your Towing Needs
Now that the Ford Ranger review is out of the way, the final question remains: should you buy this vehicle? Will it suit your needs?
Our verdict is, if you live in a rural area, do a lot of towing or have a camping vehicle you need to haul around, the answer is yes. The Ford Ranger will be a perfect choice for these purposes, and overall it handles like a fair, no-nonsense ride.
If you’re not settled on this option, however, or you want to do some additional research on other Ford cars, check out this complete guide on how much a used Ford Raptor costs. If you’re looking for a vehicle that is still a Ford but not a pickup truck, read up on how much a Ford Explorer is instead.
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
September 24, 2021
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.