New Ford Rangers Are Less Popular, but Used Models Might Be a Different Story
The 2023 Ford Ranger has seen a drop in popularity since last year. Though declining Ford Ranger sales might indicate slowing consumer demand, used models retain their resale value. Is the Ranger still relevant in the midsize truck segment, or should shoppers avoid it?
The numbers show declining Ford Ranger sales
U.S. Ford Ranger sales through the first 10 months of 2023 total nearly 32,000. That figure is down 36.5% compared to the over 50,300 Rangers sold during the same period in 2022.
Ford introduced the redesigned 2019 Ranger after a six-year absence, and sales climbed to 101,485 for the 2020 model. However, since then, Ranger sales continually dropped, selling only 56,987 units last year.
But the Ford Ranger enjoys high resale scores
The 2023 Ford Ranger tied with the Nissan Frontier on J.D. Power’s list of midsize trucks. Though the Ranger received only average dealership and driving experience scores, it scored well for quality, reliability, and resale. In fact, few vehicles have topped the resale scores the Ranger has earned from J.D. Power in recent years.
Resale value retention is an important consideration when buying a new vehicle. New car depreciation is difficult to overcome if you plan to, or need to, replace the vehicle within the first couple of years. A car that holds its value, like the Ford Ranger, makes negotiating the purchase of its successor much easier.
Is the Ranger still relevant in the midsize pickup segment?
Declining year-over-year Ford Ranger sales figures indicate consumers are buying other pickup trucks. Sales data shows some buyers are choosing the Ford Maverick and Honda Ridgeline instead.
Those options provide a comfortable car-like ride and more familiar handling characteristics. However, they don’t have the same payload and towing capacity as the Ranger, boasting body-on-frame construction.
Is the 2023 Ranger a good truck?
The 2023 Ford Ranger offers two configurations: a Super Cab with a six-foot truck bed and a SuperCrew with a five-foot bed. The SuperCrew has four full-size doors, whereas the SuperCab has two, with smaller rear-hinged doors for rear seat access.
Additionally, the 2023 Ranger packs a 270-hp 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. It also offers a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drivetrain.
Though the Ranger gets only 23 mpg combined fuel economy, it provides up to 7,500 pounds of towing capacity. That’s 2,500 pounds more than the Honda Ridgeline’s 5,000-pound tow rating. Likewise, the Ranger touts up to 1,905 pounds of payload capacity, compared with the Ridgeline’s 1,583-pound maximum.
Furthermore, Ford Ranger owners enjoy higher resale value than almost any other vehicle. They also get more payload and towing capacity than owners of rival trucks riding on car platforms.
On the other hand, the 2023 Ranger’s fuel economy can’t compete with rivals. Also, the Ranger’s rigid frame doesn’t provide the smooth ride and handling of midsize trucks based on unibody platforms.