The Ford Ranger is back and in some ways it is better than ever. Indeed, the current model, which was released in 2019, is now a midsize pickup truck. This means it is better suited to take on the likes of the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, Jeep Gladiator, and GMC Canyon.
Joining the F-150 and Super Duty, the Ranger gives Ford a wider breadth in the pickup truck segment, which has been steadily growing over the past few years. We’ll look at the new pickup truck, including where it all began and up to today’s model.
Ford’s Ranger Pickup Truck
1. The original Ranger debuts.
Ford rolled out the original Ranger in 1983, its first home-grown compact pickup truck. That original model replaced the Courier, itself a compact truck built and supplied by Mazda for the previous 11 model years.
2. Three generations, then a long break.
Ford built the original Ranger from 1983 to 2011, covering three generations. The first generation was built until 1992, then followed by the second-generation Ranger (1993-1997). From 1988 to 2011, the third-generation Ranger held sway. Interestingly, Ford supplied Mazda with a variant beginning in 1993. Ford also built a small number of Ranger electric vehicles beginning in 1998.
3. The long hiatus.
Canceled following the 2011 model year, an all-new Ranger debuted for global markets, but North America was kept from having one. Ford vowed that the Ranger would not return stateside, instead deciding to serve the new model abroad while investing in the larger F-Series to serve the domestic market. However, once GM brought back its twin Chevrolet and GMC models to great fanfare, Ford rethought its position and decided to supply a Ranger to the U.S. market once again.
4. The Ranger returns.
Ford’s promised Ranger returned in 2019 following an 8-year absence. The new model features Crew Cab and Super Cab four-door choices with six- and five-foot beds, respectively. Only one powertrain combination is offered: a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford markets the Ranger in XL, XLT, and Lariat trims. Rear-wheel drive is standard; four-wheel drive is available.
5. Light changes for its second year.
Following the successful launch of its new pickup truck, the second-year model is virtually unchanged. Among the changes are a new FX-2 off-road package and small changes to standard feature availability. As for the FX-2 package, it’s designed for two-wheel-drive models, bundling such features as an electronic-locking rear differential, off-road tires, an off-road-tuned suspension, a front underbody guard, and Ford’s off-road cluster screen.
6. Payload and towing capabilities.
The all-new Ranger has a 7,500-pound tow rating along with a 1,860-pound payload capacity. Only the Jeep Gladiator at 7,700 pounds tops the Ranger in towing, while no other model matches the Ranger’s payload prowess.
2020 Ford Ranger
Costing from $24,410 to $32,500, the 2020 Ranger is in the middle of the pickup truck pack price-wise. Fully loaded, your price will approach $45,000 and that’s several thousand dollars less than the top end for such models as the Jeep Gladiator and GMC Canyon. However, both competing models offer multiple powertrain choices, including a diesel engine, something the Ranger lacks.
2020 Ford Ranger Specifications
|Segment||Midsize Pickup Truck|
|Price Range||$24,410 to $32,500|
|Standard Engine||2.3-liter, turbo I4|
|Horsepower||270 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||310 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm|
|Seating||4 or 5|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||4,145 to 4,441|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||39.8, 38.3|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||43.1, 34.5|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||56.7, 56.3|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||55.8, 53.5|
|Storage (cubic feet)||43.3|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||NR|
|Payload (pounds)||1,560 to 1,860|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||18|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||21/26/23 (2WD)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Wayne, Michigan|
Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.
See Also — Ford Ranger Fun Facts
Photos copyright the Ford Motor Company.