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The 2023 Ford Ranger is the latest iteration of the popular midsize pickup truck from the Blue Oval. The Ranger is competitive, but is it the best new midsize truck for the money? Here’s why there are better options on the market.

The 2023 Ford Ranger doesn’t have the smoothest ride

A red 2023 Ford Ranger is driving off-road.
The 2023 Ford Ranger | Ford

The 2023 Ford Ranger is a typical midsize pickup. It can tow and has decent payload capacity, but its ride quality leaves much to be desired for many drivers. Edmunds claims that the new Ranger has an “unsettling ride” on certain types of pavement. The Ford Ranger isn’t refined or rugged. The midsize pickup exists somewhere in between refined and rugged.

The Toyota Tacoma is a popular midsize pickup truck that is often praised for its off-roading capability. It may handle better off-road than a Ford Ranger, but it doesn’t make the better daily driver. The Honda Ridgeline is the polar opposite of the Toyota Tacoma. It’s a refined midsize pickup known for its smooth ride quality.

So if you’re looking for off-road capability or a smooth ride, there are better options on the market than the 2023 Ford Ranger. Having a decent ride quality is important to many truck buyers, especially for those who intend on using a new pickup as a daily driver. The Honda Ridgeline is one of the few trucks in its class that has a unibody design, so its ride is much smoother than its competitors.

The Ford Ranger’s infotainment system could be better

The 2023 Ford Ranger infotainment system.
The 2023 Ford Ranger infotainment system | Ford

Infotainment systems have become the focal point of cabins because of advancements in technology such as touchscreens, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and new features that are selected via the screen. As a result, some automakers pay special attention the developing exciting easy-to-use infotainment systems.

Brands compete to create the most engaging, advanced systems and some fall short compared to competitors. The Blue Oval may produce great workhorses, but infotainment systems aren’t necessarily a strong suit for some of the automaker’s most popular nameplates.

The 2023 Ford Ranger’s infotainment system isn’t the most simplistic of its segment. Since this system is a part of the vehicle that thousands of drivers will interact with daily, the Ranger loses some cool points for its difficulty to use. Ford has clearly been improving its infotainment systems on newer nameplates like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150 Lightning.

That being said, the new Ford Maverick small pickup truck nameplate also includes an infotainment system that seems lackluster, even for such an affordable truck.

There are midsize trucks that outlast the Ford Ranger

An orange 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck is parked off-road.
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The 2023 Nissan Frontier Just Outranked the Ford Ranger

The 2023 Ford Ranger should be able to last for 200,000 miles. That works out to about 14 years of ownership based on the average annual driving range. The average new vehicle is only kept for about 8.4 years, so the Ranger is more than reliable enough for most drivers.

That being said, there are other midsize pickup trucks on the market that are known for their longevity. The Toyota Tacoma is capable of lasting for 17 to 21 years when well-maintained. In fact, one Tacoma owner managed to rack up over 1,000,000 miles.

Getting a 2023 Toyota Tacoma doesn’t guarantee a long period of ownership, but Toyota’s midsize pickup truck has a long history of dependability. It’s one of the few midsize pickup trucks that can appreciate over time because of the value it provides. The 2023 Ford Ranger is a competitive midsize pickup truck, but it isn’t the best in its vehicle segment.