The 2020 Ford Ranger is getting a new offroad package for the new model year, and curiously, it’s for the 4x2 rear-wheel-drive configuration of the midsize truck. Ford is calling it FX2, clearly deriving its name from the FX4 package available on four-wheel-drive models. If you’re familiar with the FX4 package, then consider yourself almost up to speed with the FX2.
Selecting it will add the electronic locking rear differential, offroad-tuned suspension, offroad tires, front underbody guard, front air dam delete and the offroad screen in the cluster. Ford’s Terrain Management System and Trail Control are not along for the ride here. You don’t get every last thing from the FX4 package, but it’s a hell of a bargain at $595. Good luck purchasing all that equipment and installing it for less than Ford’s price — the offroad tires would have you over budget before they’re even mounted on the wheels.
What’s the point of a two-wheel-drive offroad truck anyway, though? Ford leads with saying this package is directed at more urban markets. Detroit has bad roads, but they’re not that bad. Here’s what Brian Bell, the Ford Ranger marketing manager, said: “FX2 expands Ranger’s options for customers who want tough, offroad style with the functionality of a locking differential but don’t need four-wheel drive.” Ford’s consumer marketing manager Chad Callender continues. “We’re seeing sales trends that tell us to grow Ranger’s capability and appearance options even further. The FX2 package is a result of us listening to our customers and what they’re demanding from their trucks.”
Is this what all of you were demanding? We actually, sort-of buy it. So long as you’re not traversing some seriously intense trails, two-wheel drive is plenty. Obviously, four-wheel drive is better, but this is a nice in-between if you want the fuel economy benefit of two-wheel drive. By opting for a four-wheel-drive Ranger you lose 2 mpg on the highway and 1 mpg in the city, according to official EPA ratings. If you live out west, do a ton light offroading, desert running and never experience a heavy snowstorm, this seems like a reasonable box to check. Others might just like the way the offroad package transforms the appearance into something a bit tougher. For those of us in the snowy Midwest, it’s a little less savory when the 4x4 is sitting right there.
You’ll be able to get the FX2 package on any trim (XL, XLT and Lariat) of the 2020 Ranger. Ford says folks are able to order a truck equipped with the package now, with deliveries starting late in 2019.