Ford has re-entered the small pickup scene with the all-new Ranger after dropping the popular pickup in 2011 to concentrate on building and selling its F-150.
The Ranger’s styling is unique, as it does not look like a scaled-down F-Series truck, but there is a family resemblance. It is available in either two or four-wheel drive in three trim series all with four-door cabs.
Lots of cabin space, engine power is adequate, and 10-speed automatic shifts well and at the right times. Engine provides lots of torque but delivers great fuel mileage.
Interior layout provides thoughtful use for storage of small items, shifting from two to four-wheel drive is easy, ride is a little choppy but solid and comfortable.
Engine is noisier at times than expected, at certain angles the seat heating light is reflected in the rear cab window. A basic two-door version for commercial and tradesman use should be considered by Ford.
The new Ranger should fill the needs for someone who wants a pickup but feels apprehensive over the size of the larger F-Series. The new Ranger does not have the basic, down-to-earth persona of its predecessors, as Ford has brought the small pickup concept into the 21st century. If the Ranger comes anywhere close to the popularity of the F-Series, GM, Toyota, and Nissan better take heed. And Ford should look at offering a Raptor version of the Ranger.
Base price: $42,289
Price as tested: $51,859
Engine: 2.3-liter inline four, turbocharged
Power/Torque: 270 horsepower, 310-lb-ft torque
Fuel mileage: 11.2L/100 km city, 9.0L/100 km highway
Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive standard, four-wheel drive optional, traditional body-on-frame platform with A-frame front and live axle rear suspension, 10-speed automatic, 265/60R/18 tires
Specifications: Wheelbase 3220 mm (126.8 inches), weight 1919 – 1974 kg (4232-4354 pounds), payload 802 – 843 kg (1770-1860 pounds), towing capacity 3401 kg (7500 pounds), box width 155 cm (61.4 inches), box length 155 cm (61 inches) for SuperCrew, or 185 cm (72.8 inches) for SuperCab. Fuel capacity 68 liters.