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Let’s talk about small pickups. The 2023 roster of capable yet smaller players is impressive, especially if you’re considering the Ford Ranger. It’s an excellent little truck for towing with a peppy turbocharged engine and above-average fuel economy. Not much is new on the Ford Ranger for 2023. And at first glance, not much is needed in the way of improvement. 

But before you rush out to buy one for yourself, you might want to take a look at the U.S. News review. While the 2023 Ford Ranger seems to excel in most categories, there’s one big grip the critics have. Whether or not it’s a deal-breaker for your will depend on what you value most in a pickup truck ownership experience. 

Where the 2023 Ford Ranger does well

The 2023 Ford Ranger, not available in some areas, scores well in most critic reviews and evaluations. For example, Edmunds gives it a 6.8 out of 10, saying it’s a “competitive truck” in terms of specs, features, and capabilities. And U.S. News rates the Ranger at 7.3 out of 10, placing it eighth in its segment. 

When it comes to performance, the Ranger excels, earning a 7.8 from U.S. News. And reliability may be its second strong suit, earning an 86 out of the possible 100 score with J.D. Power. The 2023 Ranger is a “good compact pickup” with its 207-hp engine, smooth-shifting transmission, and more than capable of hauling and towing. But the Ranger is not perfect. And the team had one significant gripe to report.

The one less-stellar category

Despite all its rave reviews and above-average scores, there’s one problem area that the new Ford Ranger has less-than-stellar ratings. U.S. News says the interior is “reasonably spacious,” but that’s the extent of their praise.

Unfortunately, the 2023 Ford Ranger suffers from a “cheap-feeling interior.” Interior scores for the Ranger are only 5.7 out of 10. Nothing about the Ranger is going to inspire feelings of overwhelming comfort, upscale touchpoints, or intuitive technology.

Compared to other trucks on the market, most of which are stacked with high-quality materials and upscale comfort-based amenities, the Ranger falls short with interior scoring.

Car and Driver says the “interior feels old,” sharing similar sentiments with other industry critics. And you might agree with the layout and materials in the cab. Not that it’s not a terrible interior. But you’ll certainly get nostalgic vibes from the Ranger interior of years ago when you climb in for yourself.

Moreover, you’ll find more critiques about the Ford Ranger’s interior, like the vents that can’t be closed individually, the controls that are hard to use, or the tough proposition it might be to find a comfortable driver’s seat position. Tech seems cumbersome, and even climate control requires some practice to understand and master. 

Why the 2023 Ford Ranger interior might not be a problem for you

Here’s the thing. If you’re looking for a non-nonsense pickup with great fuel economy, a potent engine, and serious hauling chops, the 2023 Ford Ranger is a great fit. And if you’re not concerned about the 2023 Ford Ranger’s interior touch points or aesthetics, you won’t care too much about the critical reviews regarding the Ranger’s lackluster interior. Overall, it’s a great truck for anyone who isn’t focused on interior truck comforts or tech. 

So, you won’t be disappointed if you’re test-driving 2023 pickups and the Ford Ranger is on your list. There are plenty of above-average and great features to appreciate. But if interior aesthetics and comforts are high up on your list of must-haves, you may instead be disappointed. It’s the one big gripe that U.S. News and other industry critics have about this otherwise incredible little pickup.


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