Ford’s midsize Ranger is flawlessly fine, no much more, no less.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

I want to really like the Ford Ranger, I really do. But I just are not able to. This just isn’t to say Dearborn’s midsize pickup is lousy. In some ways, this truck just feels a small underdone. It truly is by no indicates an EcoSport-degree hurry work, but an more 12 months or so of merchandise enhancement work could have reworked what is a fantastic car or truck into a truly great one.

Like

  • Uncomplicated and swift Sync 3 infotainment
  • Torque-loaded turbocharged motor
  • Thronelike front seats

Do not Like

  • Moody transmission
  • Stiff still sloppy journey
  • Mushy brake pedal

Fortuitously for Ford, the Ranger is a midpack presenting in a segment of instead unexceptional (although well-liked) items. The Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins are nice, but they are growing older and significantly from incredible. At this stage in its daily life, the ancient-although-quickly-to-be-redesigned Nissan Frontier is fundamentally a protected wagon that occurs to have a spiffy new powertrain and the Toyota Tacoma, while strong and massively well-liked, has hardly ever endeared by itself to me, experience both of those not comfortable and crude. With the exception of Honda’s conference-defying Ridgeline and possibly the Jeep Gladiator (which can be shockingly high-priced), I am not a big lover of any midsize truck made available today.

Somewhere in the middle of this mediocrity maelstrom is this Ranger. Supplied Ford’s extensive history of pickup excellence, you’d be expecting this merchandise to be a smash hit, still it somehow falls limited.

This truck is made available with both an prolonged-cab entire body and a six-foot mattress, or in a greater crew-cab configuration with a five-foot cargo box. Three trim amounts are offered: foundation XL, midrange XLT and vary-topping Lariat. Rear- or 4-wheel generate can be had with any entire body-and-trim combination.

My tester is an XLT crew-cab product with 4-wheel-generate and the FX4 offer. This rough-and-tumble $1,295 option group receives you monotube shocks, off-highway tires and a locking rear differential, as properly as some more skid plates. Completed in a $395 Quick Purple Metallic paint work, it can be a handsome, if to some degree generic-seeking truck.

When effectively outfitted, the Ranger’s max tow score is 7,500 kilos throughout the board, while its payload capability tops out at 1,860 kilos. These scores are better than what most rivals offer: The Jeep Gladiator and diesel-run versions of the Colorado and Canyon can tow a small much more, up to 7,seven-hundred kilos in the scenario of individuals GM twins, but none of Ford’s main rivals can out-haul it.

Capacity is one of the Ranger’s strong suits, but this is undermined by some abnormal choices. For instance, push-button begin is only made available on Lariat designs. Other trims appear with an outdated-fashioned crucial you adhere in the ignition and twist. The offered SecuriCode keypad, a Blue Oval staple for decades, looks like a comprehensive afterthought, tacked onto the driver’s facet doorway. Even standard things like regular outdated cruise control and ability-adjustable facet-view mirrors are optional on the XL product.

Inside of, this truck’s cabin is serviceable, produced of first rate-top quality hard plastics. Interior storage place is, nevertheless, to some degree limited. There is certainly a little bin beneath the heart armrest, a further cranny in advance of the shifter furthermore a tray atop the dashboard. A mechanical handbrake gobbles up place on the heart console that could have been used for anything else ditto for a row of buttons managing things like tow/haul mode and traction control. A rotary dial operating the 4-wheel-generate procedure and an unusually lanky equipment selector get up even much more treasured authentic estate in this area.

My truck’s front bucket seats are protected in a sturdy-experience fabric and are supportive in all the appropriate sites with just a hint of plushness for extensive-haul comfort and ease. The crew-cab entire body has a decently sized back seat, with a fantastic if not excellent volume of legroom. Enhancing versatility, that reduce cushion also flips up, revealing a couple of storage cubbies and opening the backseat up to keep bulkier cargo if vital

The Ranger’s seats are snug and its tech is friendly.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

Paired with an 8-inch touchscreen, Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment procedure is regular on XLT and Lariat designs. It responds swiftly to inputs and is quite uncomplicated to use. This and FCA’s Uconnect procedure are two of my most loved multimedia offerings offered today many thanks to their simplicity and velocity.

The natural way, Sync 3 consists of things like Apple CarPlay and Android Car. Navigation can also be had as portion of a $995 know-how offer that bundles other characteristics like adaptive cruise control and a forward-sensing procedure, which is useful for parking since it lets you know how close you are to road blocks in front of the truck. Fortuitously, this infotainment presenting also consists of redundant onscreen local climate controls —  significantly less difficult to use than this truck’s physical local climate control switches, which are much too small, flat and uniformly coloured to be operated without the need of creating distraction.

Trying to keep everyone’s cellular products entirely juiced, my XLT-trim Ranger has two USB ports up front and a further pair serving rear-seat passengers. Wireless charging is, regrettably, not offered.

Ford CoPilot-360 is also regular on XLT and Lariat trims, but it is made available as an option on the entry-degree product as a $625 upcharge in addition to the $1,135 101A offer. This suite of driver aids consists of lane-retaining aid, automatic substantial beams and even blind-place checking with rear cross-visitors alert that handles both of those the truck and any trailer you could possibly be towing.

Ranger looks nice from approximately every single angle, particularly in burly FX4 trim.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

Most of that know-how will work properly, as does the Ranger’s offered adaptive cruise control. It truly is sleek to accelerate and decelerate, maintaining a secure adhering to distance from the car or truck in advance.

The Ranger’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder motor is smoother than rival trucks’ V6s and a lot much more responsive. With the exception of its massive, mechanically driven cooling lover, which would make pretty a ruckus at startup, it can be fairly quiet, much too. The gasoline-saving stop/begin procedure is seamless, restarting the motor without the need of any shaking or judders, usually prior to your foot is all the way off the brake pedal. It will work so properly I have no motivation to disable it.

1 point I really like is this powerplant’s torque curve, which is specifically like most Individuals: thick in the middle. Ford’s drive-fed 4-pot is strongest from 2,500 rpm to around five grand, specifically exactly where you want loads of grunt in a truck. Potent seat-of-the-pants overall performance is backed up by the numbers. This motor delivers 270 horsepower, which is, in some scenarios, a fantastic bit less than V6-run competition brandish — for instance, the Frontier has forty much more ponies — but the Ranger delivers considerably much more torque, 310 pound-ft in complete. Definitely, only diesel-run versions of the Colorado and Canyon are endowed with much more twist.

Underneath all individuals hoses and plastic is a turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder motor.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

The other fifty percent of the Ranger’s powertrain is a ten-velocity automatic transmission. Sad to say, in this application it can be quite moody. From time to time equipment modifications are flawlessly sleek, other moments they are lumpier than a bag of potatoes. In simple fact, for about the initially forty miles I drove this truck, the transmission’s change top quality was awful. It juddered, surged and was very inconsistent from one instant to the future. Soon after that distance, things calmed down noticeably and the transmission’s overall performance turned livable, if not pretty best. I ponder if anyone disconnected the battery or if the truck had a software update and it was relearning its adaptive-change method, exactly where the gearbox adjusts its overall performance just after learning how a unique individual drives.

In mixed driving and without the need of a lot work, I normal 21.9 miles per gallon in my test Ranger, a figure that’s all over this truck’s mixed gasoline-overall economy score of 22 mpg like sprinkles on an ice product sundae. In metropolis driving it can be rated at 20 mpg and on the freeway you must be expecting 24 mpg.

The Ranger’s powertrain is surely a mixed bag, but the relaxation of its highway manners are not. At minimum with FX4 upgrades, this truck is a driving disappointment. Somehow, the journey is both of those much too smooth and severe at the identical time. Enlargement joints and little highway imperfections experience sharp, transmitted in substantial fidelity, still, paradoxically, greater inputs bring about the entire body to bob around in an practically nautical fashion.

Ford’s latest Ranger pickup is stable, but there is certainly loads of area for enhancement.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

Thies brake pedal is laughably smooth, with what feels like six inches of journey prior to pads begin clamping down on rotors. It truly is form of like stepping on a soaked sponge. Clearly, this is not self esteem-inspiring, particularly if you are towing in the vicinity of or at the limit.

As for the steering, it can be fairly quick and has a fantastic bit of heft to it, but in some situations the larger F-150 drives like a scaled-down car or truck. You could argue Ford’s whole-sizing truck is the Ranger’s strongest competitor. 

The F-150 is a greater, much more snug and capable rig that can be similarly economical and not automatically a ton much more high-priced. My Ranger overview unit checks out for around $forty two,805, a sum that consists of just shy of $7,000 in possibilities and $1,195 in place costs. You can get a crew-cab, 4-wheel-generate F-150 with an optional EcoBoost V6 for about that a lot, which would make the Ranger a tough sell. As it stands, this is a fantastic midsize truck, but, regrettably, it falls limited of greatness.