Truck fans and Ford enthusiasts alike were very excited about the return of the Ford Ranger last year. The return of the popular midsize truck had been long-awaited. The Ranger had been one of the most popular trucks on the road from 1983 to 2011 when oversized trucks’ demand prompted Ford to discontinue it.
With the success of Chevy’s Colorado, Ford decided to give the midsize truck market another try and revive the Ranger. The team at Edmunds took a look at the new 2020 Ford Ranger. Is it a solid competitor for Chevy’s Colorado?
New but dated
While the crew at Edmunds was excited about the Ford Ranger’s revival, they were far from impressed when they tested the new midsize truck. They found less than user-friendly controls, limited cargo and storage space, and an uncomfortable ride. While the Ranger was a new truck, it felt outdated and unable to compete with others in its class.
The Edmunds crew explains the new Ranger generation dates back a decade on outside markets. Sure, it has a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for good acceleration and boasts one of the best tow ratings in the class. It also has a few new features that Ford threw into the mix. But outside that, it feels like an older truck lacking all the comforts and features expected of trucks today.
A lack of features and refinement
What makes it feel old? A lack of standard features and today’s level of comfort and style. The interior of the 2020 Ford Ranger looks and feels like something from the past. The styling seems dated, and the use of low-quality materials does nothing to elevate it.
The lack of standard tech features is another problem. For standard features in the new Ford Ranger, you get a USB port, four speakers, Bluetooth, and a WiFi hotspot. There are upgrades available like the SYNC 3 with an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
The Ranger offers some driver-assist features standard that are optional with some of its rivals. The single engine choice is good and offers adequate power with 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. According to Car and Driver, the suspension can “feel underdamped,” and they feel that many of the new Ranger’s peers turn in much stronger braking performance.
Other trucks do it better
If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup truck, there are other trucks in the class that may offer better choices depending on what you need.
When matched against the Toyota Tacoma, the Ranger can’t match its standard touch-screen infotainment system or its nicer, well-constructed interior. While you can get either the FX2 or FX4 off-road packages from Ford, Toyota’s Tacoma has two trim levels crafted specifically for off-roading. The TRD Pro line offers some of the best off-roading trucks in the class.
Against the Honda Ridgeline, the Ranger can get to 60 mph a little faster. Both trucks only offer one engine option. The Ridgeline comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that gets 280 horsepower. While it can get to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds versus 6.8 seconds for Ranger, it directs power to the front wheels standard or all wheels. It drives and handles better than the Ford Ranger which has a good amount of body lean requiring you to be careful when navigating corners.
When you match the Ford Ranger against the Chevy Colorado, you find that Colorado has the best tow rating in its segment. If that’s not enough for you, the Chevy offers an engine lineup that has everything from a base four-cylinder to the V6 to turbodiesel options. Its interior has an upscale refinement that the Ranger lacks. It also has an available full-size bed that Ranger only has with its SuperCrew configuration.