The 2020 Ford Ranger Is the Cheapest New Truck for a Reason

“Cheap” doesn’t always mean “worst.” Some things are simple and honest and thusly, cheap. Often, what makes a vehicle expensive is a long list of options, expensive materials, and piles of performance or engineering feats. The 2020 Ford Ranger doesn’t have any of these things. 

Kelly Blue Book made a list of the cheapest pickup trucks, and the lightweight Ford Ranger topped that list. This isn’t because the Ranger isn’t a good truck. On the contrary, it is a great small truck, but it is simple and free options, keeping the cost down. 

The Ford Ranger engine 

One of the most notable lack of features for the 2020 Ford Ranger is that it only has one motor. Many trucks these days have a wide variety of engine options with a myriad of power and towing capacities to appeal to as wide a market as possible. The Ranger is not doing that. It only offers one engine and transmission, and the engine it does offer is quite small. 

A Ford Ranger is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview at Messe Wien, as part of Vienna Holiday Fair, on January 15, 2020 in Vienna, Austria.
2020 Ford Ranger | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

The 2020 Ford Ranger comes with the Mustang’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Yep. That’s it. No more. No less. Though the ranger’s engine is rather small for the sector, it is actually a strong little thing. According to Kelly Blue Book, it makes 270 hp and 310 1b-ft of torque. The Ranger also only has one transmission option, which is the 10-speed automatic. 

Interior features of the Ford Ranger

Yes, the 2020 Ford Ranger is a simple and small truck, but it does have some patented Ford features that raise it from the trucks of the old days and helps it compete with the big boys.

Ford outfitted the Ranger with the Tow-Optimized Blind Spot Monitor. You may be thinking, “why does the tiny truck with the smallest motor need serious towing features?” Even though the Ranger has a sedan motor, Ford worked it out to allow up to 7,500 lbs of towing. The Ranger’s towing along with payload numbers earned a best in class award.

RELATED: Ford Ranger Named Top Pick for Families But Consumer Reports Ratings Say Otherwise

For the purposes of the “cheapest truck,” the standard model comes with simple, four-way adjustable cloth seats. It also still comes with manual windows as standard. There are better-equipped models like the Lariat and the XLT for power windows and leather seats with more adjustability and legroom.

Ford Ranger cab

Speaking of legroom, KBB reports that the rear seats have a comically small space barely suitable for humans. Unlike the SuperCab, the Ranger SuperCrew model has the extended cab offering legroom to friends and family riding in the back. 

The Ranger exterior 

Unlike the heavyweight F- series trucks, the 2020 Ford Ranger has its own distinct look. It’s not the clumsy boxy shape we have come to expect; it has a low also most sporty or athletic stance. It really seems like it’s ready to get down. 

The SuperCab, which has a smaller cabin, has a 6-foot bed, while the SuperCrew that has more seating has a 5-foot bed. 

K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid)

The 2020 Ford Ranger has wisely snagged an open spot in the market by keeping things simple and not over offering. Ford not only brought back the smaller truck to the US market but gave it enough new design elements and space to truly be its own thing. The base model SuperCab XL starts at $25,605. “Cheap” doesn’t always mean “bad.”