Trucks & SUVs

CNET Struggled to Come to a Conclusion On the 2020 Ford Ranger

It’s not as popular or powerful as its F-150 cousin, but the Ford Ranger is still a highly capable truck. It has high towing and hauling capabilities, plus great gas mileage for a midsize truck. The upcoming Raptor version is also expected to have some great off-roading chops. The 2020 Ford Ranger model received a few new standard features but largely remains unchanged.

Still, it has gotten favorable reviews from critics so far, even winning a Best-in-Class award from one organization. However, CNET found the Ford Ranger to be somewhat lacking in a few critical areas.

The 2020 Ford Ranger’s interior features

The Ford Ranger’s cabin doesn’t look the most majestic, filled with many hard plastics. CNET’s tester writes that the interior also feels somewhat cramped, partially because of the large center stack and mechanical handbrake. They also felt that there aren’t enough storage cubbies inside the cab, and the available options aren’t very accommodating.

However, CNET’s tester did report that the front seats were exceptionally comfortable. It’s made from cloth upholstery and is very supportive during extended trips. CNET’s tester was also impressed at the amount of legroom in the second row of the crew cab configuration.

Aesthetically pleasing design

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The Ford Ranger also got a few new paint options for 2020, including a shiny silver hue and two shades of red. CNET’s tester chose the Rapid Red Metallic option, which they thought lent a unique flair to the Ranger. Still, they felt that the truck looks pretty average overall.

The crew cab Ford Ranger has a five-foot cargo box, while the extended-cab model has a six-foot bed. Depending on the trim and engine, the Ranger could potentially haul up to 1,860 pounds in the cargo box. It can also tow up to 7,500 pounds when fully loaded.

Sleek infotainment presentation

The XLT trim used for the review comes with a standard SYNC3 infotainment system, equipped with smartphone integration and satellite radio. Two USB ports are also included, and you can get built-in navigation with the available technology package. This package also includes a forward-sensing system, which is useful for parking a big truck in a small space.

Overall, the tester found this system to be very intuitive and responsive to user inputs. They also appreciated the fact that you can configure climate controls through the 8-inch touchscreen. The tester also felt that they received an adequate amount of well-functioning safety features for the price.

Annoying powertrain issues

Performance-wise, things get a little dicey for the Ford Ranger. The sole engine option is a 2.3-liter turbo-four capable of 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. While the engine is very quick to accelerate and has smooth power delivery, it’s also very noisy.

CNET’s tester was also not very impressed with the Ranger’s 10-speed automatic transmission. They found it to be very unpredictable, especially during the beginning of a trip. The tester also didn’t like the Ranger’s ride quality, finding that the suspension couldn’t absorb larger bumps in the road. The brakes also felt too spongy and didn’t inspire much confidence.

Final verdict on the 2020 Ford Ranger

Despite its flaws, CNET’s tester still gave the Ford Ranger a high score overall. While it’s not the flashiest midsize truck on the market, it can still excel at daily driving and some towing jobs. Another detriment to the Ford Ranger is its high price tag.

CNET’s tester mentioned multiple times that Ford F-150 would be a better value over the Ford Ranger. It can tow more and it has better road manners. The 2020 Ford Ranger is a good truck for what it is, but there are certainly better options.