Lost in the Woods? the Ford Ranger Can Use Breadcrumbs to Find Your Way Home

Although the Ford Ranger may not offer a V6 or a manual, the mid-size truck does have other things to offer. Especially for off-roading. Overlanders can breathe easier with an ARB winch-ready bumper, for instance. And, while we can’t get the official Ranger Raptor in the US (yet), Texas tuner PaxPower can get you the next best thing. Now, Ford has introduced a new feature to let the Ranger truck offer the same tracking capabilities as D&D’s ranger, to make coming back on-road a little easier. Some Ford Ranger trims will now offer off-road navigation “breadcrumbs.”

The Ford Ranger’s navigation “breadcrumbs”

2019 Ford Ranger FX2
2019 Ford Ranger FX2 | Ford

Do you remember, how in Hansel & Gretel, the two kids used breadcrumbs to try and find their way home? Well, some GPS units can do that, too. Only instead of rye or wheat, the GPS places a marker every so often for hikers and off-roaders who are starting to think they’ve seen that rock before. Ford now offers the same for the Ranger’s built-in navigation system.

The “breadcrumbs” feature works in the background of the Ranger’s SYNC 3 satellite-based navigation. Every second the truck is out on the trail a virtual pin is dropped marking its route. So, instead of having to remember to turn left at that twisty tree (or was it that one?), drivers can simply follow the nav.

As The Drive reported, Ford will begin offering the navigation “breadcrumbs” feature on XLT and Lariat-trim Rangers.

Will other Ford trucks get the navigation “breadcrumbs”?

Ford F-150 Raptor
Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

Ford’s official press release stated that other Ford trucks equipped with both SYNC 3 and navigation will receive the “breadcrumbs” feature. It is also possible the upcoming Bronco will also offer it. However, the automaker has not revealed a timeline or a specific model/trim list at this time.

In addition, Ford did not reveal if the “breadcrumbs” feature could be added to navigation-equipped Rangers produced before now.

Do companies besides Ford offer this feature?

Although the Ranger is not the only mid-size truck that can be equipped for serious off-roading, it is one of only a few that offer a “breadcrumbs” feature.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 | Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison, despite their popularity and navigation options, don’t offer a “breadcrumbs” feature. Neither does the Silverado or GMC Sierra, according to one GM-Trucks.com forum thread. This is most likely due to GM’s Internet-based navigation system, rather than Ford’s satellite-based one. GM’s navigation may not be able to accurately map a route when going off-road.

2020 Tacoma TRD Pro off-roads through mud
The 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro off-roads through mud | Toyota

This is also the case with other manufacturers’ navigation systems. Toyota and Infiniti, for example, can drop “breadcrumbs”, but only when driving on-road. And despite Mercedes’ G-Class being an (expensive) off-roading icon, its “breadcrumb”-like feature also doesn’t work off-road.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

However, it appears that the Jeep Gladiator does offer a “breadcrumbs” navigation feature similar to the Ford Ranger’s. Unsurprising, given the Gladiator’s off-road credentials and reputation. The base Gladiator Sport cannot be equipped with Uconnect navigation, but the Sport S and higher trims can equip it.

Ford Ranger with ARB Winch-Ready Bumper
Ford Ranger with ARB Winch-ready Bumper | Ford

Hopefully, the Ford Ranger’s navigation “breadcrumbs” feature prompts similar options from other off-road truck and SUV manufacturers. Then Ford’s Ranger won’t be the only one with perception and survival proficiencies.

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