Trucks & SUVs

Don’t Count on the 2021 Ford Ranger Being Reliable

Have you ever walked into a car dealership and asked the salesperson to show you the least reliable pickup on the lot? Probably not. And why would you? No one wants to buy a pickup only to find out that it’s not at all reliable. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Ford Ranger, it’s not all that reliable. Consider even the 2021 Ford Ranger, and you’ll find that its predicted reliability ratings are pretty dismal. So dismal, in fact, that you should probably consider choosing another pickup altogether.

The 2021 Ford Ranger on the trails
The 2021 Ford Ranger hits the trails. | Ford

Reliability has always been a struggle for the Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger isn’t known for being the most reliable pickup out there. When it was first introduced as a 2000 model, Consumer Reports gave it a two out of five reliability rating. In 2001, the Ranger’s reliability rating plummeted to a one out of five. Though some older Ford Ranger models were able to manage a four out of five reliability rating, Consumer Reports’ data shows that, more often than not, the Ford Ranger struggled with reliability.

The Ranger’s reliability ratings didn’t change all that much when Ford reintroduced it in 2019 either. In fact, Consumer Reports gave the 2019 Ford Ranger a one out of five reliability rating. Fortunately, the 2020 model was able to earn a four out of five reliability rating.

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The 2021 Ford Ranger continues to struggle with reliability

Unfortunately for the 2021 Ford Ranger, it was unable to score what we would call an impressive reliability rating. Instead, Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a two out of five predicted reliability rating, which is pretty disappointing. Though, it does fall in line with what you would expect from the Ranger.

The good news is that Consumer Reports was careful to highlight the Ford Ranger’s most common trouble spots. So, if you decide to stick it out with this year’s Ranger, you’ll know what problems to look out for. 

As for those trouble spots? Consumer Reports notes that the 2020 Ford Ranger had issues with its climate system. Its in-car electronics also turned out to be pretty problematic. As for the 2019 Ford Ranger? Owners reported issues with its drive system, body paint and hardware, power equipment, and its in-car electronics. 

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor rock crawling
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor | Ford

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You should probably consider one of these alternatives instead

The 2021 Ford Ranger isn’t the only pickup out there. So if you’d rather avoid it for a more reliable truck, that’s totally possible to do. Both the 2021 Honda Ridgeline and the Jeep Gladiator earned high marks from Consumer Reports. If you’re interested in upgrading to a full-size pickup, the 2021 Toyota Tundra also earned a four out of five predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports.  

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The importance of choosing a reliable pickup truck

For new pickup shoppers, reliability ratings are key. After all, are you really the kind of car shopper that longs for a pickup that you can’t actually count on? Probably not. So, if you’re in the market for a reliable pickup, you may want to reconsider the 2021 Ford Ranger. Fortunately, there are plenty of other pickups out there, many of which have earned far better reliability ratings than the new Ford Ranger.