Ford Yanking Features From Ranger Pickup to Save a Buck

It’s called “decontenting.” Companies do this to take certain features or components out of a vehicle after it has been in production for a year or three to make more money. Ford started doing this to Ranger pickups in Australia, and buyers have noticed and are not happy. 

The Ford Ranger is Australia’s best-selling 4×4

A white-with-red-and-black-stripes 2021 Ford Ranger XLT Tremor on a dusty trail
2021 Ford Ranger XLT Tremor | Ford

While we in the US think of Ford’s Ranger as a fairly recent entry into the pickup market, in Australia it’s been around since 2011. It is the country’s best-selling 4×4, but it is soon to be replaced with a new global Ranger due out soon. Since its introduction, Ford has made yearly improvements. That is, until now.

From CarAdvice comes word that the Aussie’s Ranger is “under attack by the beancounters.” The site has received complaints from new Ranger owners about its lack of simple features that have been standard equipment forever. Things like sun visors with extendable arms, illuminated vanity mirrors, no storage pocket under the rear seat which is now just exposed metal. And even premium sound-deadening glass has been substituted for regular, cheaper glass. 

2021 Ford Ranger owners are not happy with their discoveries

A red 2021 Ford Ranger parked a top lots of rocks
2021 Ford Ranger | Ford

When perusing 2021 Ranger brochures the changes are duly noted. And it is probably not a make-or-break deal breaker. But owners have expressed dissatisfaction once they discover cheaper alternatives. 

Now owners warn not to get fooled again. For those looking at any vehicle from Ford, they say do your research. Ford must know what it is doing, but decontenting Rangers in their last year of production is going over poorly. Buyers should study brochures and ask questions at the dealer to make sure they’re getting what they expect. 

US Ford Rangers and those in Australia are built in different plants

A Blue Ford Ranger Driving Down Desert Roat
Ford Ranger | Ford

The Ranger Ford sells in the US may not display the same subtractions as those in Australia. That’s because the pickup down under is built in Thailand. The US version is assembled in Michigan and uses some components unique to it. So maybe the Michigan Ranger plant never got the memo-or maybe it did. 

Whatever the case, it’s a friendly reminder to study up on your purchase before you buy, not after it is sitting in your garage. As for Ford, if it thought buyers would not notice the simple feature changes, it was wrong.

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