Only 1 Pickup Truck Managed to Fail the Road Test and Still Impress Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports offers unwaveringly objective reviews of many consumer products, including vehicles. No matter what the segment, CR grades everything on the same scale. This makes sense in certain ways, but it has some obvious pitfalls for purpose-built vehicles like pickup trucks. With that in mind, The 2022 Ford Ranger is the only pickup truck that managed to fail the road test and still get the CR seal of approval.

A blue 2022 Ford Ranger shows off its capability as a mid-size truck.
Ford Ranger | Ford

Is the 2022 Ford Ranger a good pickup truck? 

The 2022 Ranger is the only one of two Ford pickup trucks that Consumer Reports recommends, but they don’t seem to love it all that much. 

The new Ford Ranger scored a 62/100 on the overall score but only a 55/100 on the road test. While it’s not uncommon for Consumer Reports to get grumpy about the stiffness and lack of handling from pickup trucks, it’s pretty rare for them to recommend something that didn’t pass the road test. 

CR still thinks the 2022 Ford Ranger is worthwhile regardless of the inconsistent scoring. Let’s see why. 

Why did the Ford Ranger fail the road test? 

Many customers were excited to see the little Ford pickup truck come back after eight years. The initial concern was that the Ford would only have a four-cylinder engine option. However, Ford’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-pot makes an impressive 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. CR says this is one of the few aspects that make the Ford Ranger a worthwhile pickup truck. Its small-displacement means one of the best for fuel economy for its class at 20 mpg combined. 

Things head south from there. Before the digital ink could dry on the screen, the CR reviewer tears into its driving profile, saying it “handles like a typical pickup truck. It has mushy, imprecise steering and feels clumsy through corners. The greatest shortcoming is its stiff, jumpy ride. And the suspension lets sharp motions transmit through the cabin, tossing passengers around.” 

Continuing the critique, the reviewer also complained, calling the interior “plain” and having a “low-end feel.” 

While great for off-roading, the Ranger’s high ride height makes getting in and out more difficult for drivers and passengers. 

Consumer Reports says you should buy the F-150 instead

Blue 2022 Ford Ranger, which was donated to Ukraine for humanitarian use, driving on a mountain road
2022 Ford Ranger | Ford

How Did the 2022 Ford Ranger Break Ford Pickup Truck Losing Streak on Consumer Reports?

Interestingly, the 2022 Ford F-150 isn’t ranked higher than the Ranger; In fact, it scored lower. However, Consumer Reports nearly contradicts itself by saying, “For those seeking more rear passenger space, bed size, and tow capacity, the Ford F-150 is a better choice—and it gets 19 mpg overall.” This feels close to a contradiction because this recommendation comes on the heels of this zinger: “The Ranger doesn’t advance the cause for compact pickup trucks.” 

Does Consumer Reports recommend the 2022 Ford Ranger? 

Despite the many overwhelmingly negative chunks of the review, CR still believes that the Ranger is worth customers’ attention because of its strong motor, fuel economy, standard safety features, and a strong predicted reliability score.