CarSmart: Truck king Ford delivers with revived Ranger | Local News


It’s back and better than ever.

Ford Motor Co. — known for outstanding truck quality and huge F-series pickup truck sales — had a large gap in its lineup that had to be filled.

In 2019, Chevrolet and Toyota had the small truck market cornered with the Colorado and Tacoma, until of course Ford came marching back in and revived its ever-popular Ranger. The small pickup market is a nice numbers game for manufacturers as profits are grandish while popularity with the consumer is significant, all while maintaining a low to medium price range. Seems like a win-win for everyone.

Now in 2020, the Ranger is dominating the market and everyone is wondering why. The conclusion is simple: it’s all in the powertrain.

The 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine in the Ranger is the same engine as found in the Mustang. Ford engineers were geniuses powering a small pickup truck with this motor.

Next is Ford’s 10-speed transmission. Put it this way, you don’t even feel that it is shifting whether under engine stress or cruising at normal speeds. Throw on some all-terrain/mud Hankook tires, suspension package options, and leather seats, and a dream-maker was born.

Everyone needs a pickup truck in their fleet at some point, whether it’s to complete the honey-do list or just to move things or kids’ stuff from place to place. Ranger solves all of those problems.

Yes, the packages, appearance, ratings and size do all matter, but at the end of the day Ford rises to the top. We can talk about the numbers all day and compare them to every small truck in lineups across the world, but that isn’t necessary — Ford has the winning combination locked up.

The revived Ranger seems monster-truck-like in its appearance. If Ford’s hope was to be different, be noticed and be usable, the Ranger checks all of those boxes.

On the inside, the newly designed SYNC3 infotainment system is present with GPS. It was super-easy to use and navigate and features a nice large legible font. Leather seats are roomy and plush, and rear seating is larger than expected.

Now Chevrolet and Toyota are back to the drawing board.

Ford Ranger

MSRP: $24,110

As tested: 44,595

MPG: 21 city, 26 highway, 25.9 as tested

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