Are Ford Rangers Good Trucks? [An In-Depth Analysis of Ford Ranger Trucks]

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

Overall, the Ford Ranger is a capable pick-up vehicle proven dependable over time. It’s earned an excellent reputation as a good choice for individuals looking for a compact vehicle. The most recent models are the most popular and, as a result, the most costly.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ford Ranger offers two engine options: a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine
  • One key feature of Ford Rangers is, it has a 10-speed automatic transmission
  • The Ford Ranger comes with rear-wheel drive but it is also available with four-wheel drive
  • The Ford Ranger has a maximum tow rating of up to 7,500 pounds and a maximum payload capacity of up to 1,860 pounds

What is a Ford Ranger Truck?

The Ford Ranger is a pick-up truck made and sold by Ford in North and South America under the Ranger brand. The Ranger was first introduced in early 1982 for the 1983 model year and is now in its fourth version.

The Ford Ranger is ideal for individuals who lead an active lifestyle regardless of the model. It demonstrates its four-wheel-drive prowess when asked to cover rugged terrain, tow a big trailer, or deal with extreme weather. With pick-up trucks being more popular than ever, the Ranger confronts stiff competition from other retailers.

The Ranger has a rugged appearance that reflects its toughness. Its huge bumpers, broad wheel arches, and high suspension may seem a little harsh for some tastes, but that’s expected in this class; most trucks look hefty. The entry-level LX trim, which comes with steel wheels and minimum equipment, is ideal for those seeking the utmost practicality. At the same time, the wolf track variant is ideal for those seeking intimidating off-road flair.

The Ford Ranger is well-suited to lifting huge loads, as one might assume. The XL version of the Double Cab has a 1.5-meter-long load bed and can carry just over one truckload of maximum gross cargo.

The four-wheel-drive Normal Cab in XL snip – with its 2.3-meter-long bay – has the highest maximum of all, with a gross figure of around 1,200kg – but the downside is that it is a strict two-seater.

The more you diverge from simple advert variants, the more the maximum payload is reduced, as is generally the case with pick-ups of this sort. With the probable exception of the Raptor, all Ranger models remain viable options in this sense.

Ford Ranger Specs

A boosted 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque in the Ranger. A 10-speed automatic powertrain is used as standard equipment.

Engine type2.2-liter TDCi 130 Ps/96 kW2.2-liter TDCI 160 Ps/118kW3.2-liter TDCI 200 Ps/147kW
Capacity (cc)219821983198
Bore (mm)
Stroke (mm)94.694.6100.8
Max power (kW/PS)96/130118/160147/200
Max torque (Nm)330385470
Comp. ratio15.7:115.7:115.8:1

About Ford Ranger Truck

The Ranger is gratifying to drive in a solid, substantial sense — it’s responsive and grippy in bends, but its size and weight prevent it from having sports-car reflexes. It also lacks the ride quality you’d expect from a traditional SUV.

From 0 to 62 mph, the top-of-the-line models take 10 seconds. It’s not quite as sharp to drive as the Volkswagen, but most truck drivers aren’t looking for outright performance and thrills. The Ford isn’t as comfy on the highway as these competitors, but it is calmer than the VW.

Safety and Reliability

The Ford Ranger has always been towards the top of the pick-up class in safety matters. In 2012, this model received a complete five-star Euro NCAP certification when first tested. The facelift has improved things by adding an arsenal of electronic driving aids.

Driver, passenger, thorax, and driver’s knee airbags are standard on all Rangers, and a collapsible steering column and a sophisticated ESC stability control system. Road Ride Assist, Hill Gradient Control, Load Adaptive Control, Roll-over Prevention, and Axle Sway Handle are all part of the package, ensuring that the truck stays straight and narrow.

Miles Per Gallon, CO2 Emissions, and Operating Price

The Ford Ranger isn’t the most fuel-efficient pick-up truck, but upgrades to the current model have increased fuel efficiency by 17%. Ford added auto Start-Stop and electric power-assisted steering to the manual (but not the automatic) Ranger and various final drive ratios to complement the engine upgrades.

The Ranger features a 210bhp version of the 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engine, which, combined with 500Nm of torque, gives it a 0-62mph speed of 10.0 seconds. That isn’t lightning-fast, but it does seem brisk. In addition, the Ranger features a 10-speed automatic transmission identical to that used in the Ford Mustang and Transit.

The 2.0 EcoBlue 130PS and 170PS manual variants in Regular or Super Cab configuration get the most excellent combined fuel economy of 40.9mpg. These models make CO2 emissions of up to 188g/km possible. The most cost-effective Ranger to tow is a 2.0 EcoBlue Regular Cab vehicle with a 3.55 final drive ratio, including 179g/km of CO2.

Performance and Driving

From a driver’s standpoint, the Ranger is a good bet. The electric power steering is impressive for a pick-up in weight and quickness, albeit it slightly bounces. Of course, this is all relative, and anyone switching from a huge SUV to the Ranger would notice the bumpy ride in even modest conditions.

The 2.0-liter EcoBlue engine produces up to 210bhp and can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 9.0 seconds in automatic mode; however, the slightly slower manual (10.1s) is likely to account for 70% of sales.

It produces a lot of noise when initially turned on, but it’s much more pleasant once warmed up and up to temperature.

Which Ford Ranger Model Should You Buy?

When looking for a Ford Ranger, there are a few things to consider. To begin, select a body form and bed length appropriate for your needs. The 2022 Ranger is available in two versions: a four-seat SuperCab with rear-hinged rear doors and a 6-foot bed, and a five-seat SuperCrew cab with conventional rear doors and a 5-foot bed.

Next, choose between rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. It guarantees that all variants will have the same 270-horsepower turbocharged engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Finally, select one of the three Ranger trim levels: XL, XLT, or Lariat.

Which Model of Ranger is Best for Towing and Pulling?

When outfitted with the optional tow package, all Ford Ranger models can tow up to 7,500 pounds, unusual among tiny pick-up trucks. For cars lacking the tow package, this rating reduces to 3,500 pounds. Only a few competitors can match or exceed this maximum towing capacity, and doing so frequently necessitates selecting a highly specialized engine, transmission, and drivetrain arrangement.

The Ranger’s payload capacity is also more variable. The rear-wheel-drive SuperCab variant has a maximum payload capacity of 1,860 pounds. The four-wheel-drive SuperCab has a lower weight rating of 1,650 pounds. In rear-wheel-drive variants, the Ranger SuperCrew can tow up to 1,770 pounds, and 1,560 pounds in four-wheel-drive vehicles.