2020 Ranger New Car Test Drive
The 2020 Ford Ranger serves as a good example of midsize truck capability, far removed from the big pickups that unspool diesel power or barely fit in a garage. Absent from Ford's lineup since 2011, the Ranger nameplate was revived for the 2019 model year.
Though not flawless, the current Ranger conveys a sense of honesty and authenticity. Ride quality and safety data warrant little praise, but plenty of trucks have demerits in those areas. Truck purists need not fret. These aren't the budget-level Rangers Ford used to produce, they're better trucks this time around.
A new FX2 option for rear-wheel-drive Rangers is available for the 2020 model year, providing the electronically-locking rear differential used in the FX4 option.
Beneath all Ranger hoods is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque ? stout ratings for a comparatively small pickup. The motor is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Rear-wheel drive is standard. Optional four-wheel drive is a part-time system, not intended for use on dry pavement. The four-wheel-drive system can help the Ranger crawl up nearly any rural trail. When equipped with the FX4 off-road package, an electronically-controlled rear differential enhances traction.
Mid-size pickups aren't much more fuel-efficient than their full-size counterparts, but the Ranger tops its category. The Ranger earns an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city, 26 highway, and 23 combined, or 20/24/22 mpg with 4WD.
Crash-test scores are troubling. The NHTSA gave the Ranger just four stars overall and for frontal impact, but five stars for side impact. Rollover prevention earned only three stars ? a subpar rating that isn't issued often.
The IIHS yielded more positive results. While it failed to earn a designation from the institute, it earned 'Good'? rating (the highest possible) on all crash tests, except for the passenger's side small overlap front, which was deemed only 'Acceptable,'? and the headlights that were ranked 'Marginal.'?
The Ranger comes standard with automatic emergency braking. On the XLT and Lariat models, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights are standard. These features are available on the base XL model for $625. Adaptive cruise control is also available on the XLT and Lariat.
Outward vision is good for a midsize pickup.
The 2020 Ford Ranger comes in XL, XLT, and Lariat trim levels. The standard SuperCab (extended cab) configuration comes with a 6-foot bed, while the available SuperCrew (four regular doors) get a 5-foot bed. The SuperCrew costs $2,400 more on the XL and $2,175 extra on the XLT and Lariat.
The base XL model starts at $26,250 and aims at work tasks. It's equipped with automatic emergency braking, cloth upholstery, air conditioning, one USB port, a 4.2-inch display screen, automatic headlights, and 16-inch steel wheels.
The $30,300 XLT adds an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Sync 3 infotainment, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry, fog lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights also are standard.
The Lariat is priced from $34,340 and gets leather upholstery, LED headlights and taillights, front parking sensors, push-button start, and 18-inch wheels.