Ford has struggled over the last little while to impress Consumer Reports until the 2022 Ford Ranger. Of the three Ford pickup trucks that Consumer reports have reviewed and rated for the 2022 model year, the Ranger is the only pickup truck that has passed into the recommended category. Why? What makes the Ford Ranger better than the most popular Ford pickup truck of all time – the Ford F-150?
What makes the 2022 Ford Ranger special among Ford pickup trucks?
The new Ford Ranger fills a much-needed gap in the Ford lineup, a small pickup truck. Consumer Reports had a laundry list of things they didn’t love about the Ranger, but a few things pushed it across the line.
First and foremost, CR really liked the strong powertrain in the Ford Ranger. The new Ranger only comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder making an impressive 270 hp. This little four-banger yields an average of 20 mpg while still being able to pull 7,500 lbs.
Not only does this engine impress CR by being strong and fuel-efficient, but it also offers an exciting amount of get-up and go. The testers mention that the power is direct and snappy and that CR clocked the Ranger’s 0-6 mph time at 7.4 seconds.
How does the Ford Ranger handle?
Consumer Reports was a little less impressed with the handling than it was with the powertrain. They say that despite its smaller size, it still handles nearly the same as the big boys. The Ranger is plagued by the same squishy steering and rock-hard suspension that have come to define the pickup truck segment.
On the track, the 2022 Ford Ranger showed even more exaggerated understeer and a heavy reliance on the stability control system. This isn’t to say that the truck is unsafe; it just fell short of CR’s testing standards.
And with poor handling often comes poor ride comfort. CR describes bumps and road imperfections as “hard rubbery shots,” making the truck’s body movements sharp and jumpy.
Is the 2022 Ford Ranger a good truck?
The testers almost seemed confused by the new Ford Ranger. Most of the review is pretty negative. The ride sucks, the interior is plain, the handling is cumbersome and dicey, but the engine is good. This is the same review for most pickup trucks on CR. So, what makes the Ranger get a passing score why so many others, like the Ford F-150, fail?
I think it is a matter of necessity. CR knows the market is hungry for a smaller pickup, and the old Ford Ranger is one of the best from the days of the pickups. Because the Ranger scored well in the predicted reliability, has an impressive engine and transmission combo, and yields good fuel economy, CR allowed the 2022 Ford Ranger to break the Ford losing streak. As more small, hybrid, or electric pickup trucks hit Consumer Reports, we’ll likely see CR allowing more trucks into the recommended group.