Give a big round of applause to the Ford Ranger. It just won another midsize truck of the year award. The revamped Ford Ranger is really holding its own against rivals like the Chevy Colorado and Nissan Frontier.
The Ford Ranger Won Best in Class
The experts at the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) declared the Ford Ranger to be the best midsize pickup truck to tackle winter. When judging vehicles, the results are based on real team members who test drive the vehicles in a variety of categories. The results are also based on real-world driving.
The 2020 Ford Ranger won the Best in Class recognition, while the Jeep Gladiator won overall. John Paul, the President of NEMPA, shared that the Ford Ranger was extremely comfortable to drive because it’s easier to park and maneuver than a full-sized truck. He also shared that it’s 80% of the Ford F-150 and can truck hard if needed.
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Although being exclusively provided access to the ice-covered skidpad used by the Team O’Nally Rally School isn’t usually part of the NEMPA testing regiment, the Ford Ranger performed exceptionally well in winter conditions. The Ford Ranger was tested in each driving mode and was found to be an excellent truck for tackling winter conditions.
The skidpad and course had a layer of gravel under a thick layer of ice and crystalized snow on it for the Ford Ranger to tackle. During the test, it was about 5 degrees Fahrenheit out.
The truck showed great stability with traction control, and AdvanceTrac turned off. The Ford Ranger did have trouble going uphill in two-wheel-drive, but once kicked into 4×4, it handled steep inclines just fine.
Is the Ford Ranger A Good Truck?
The Ford Ranger Lariat was the model used for winter testing, which is the highest trim level available. It starts around $33k, while the base model begins around $24k.
The drivers were at least warm during the test because this is the only model with standard heated leather seats in the front and rear. We bet the dual-zone automatic climate control kept drivers and passengers nice and toasty as well.
With the 2.3-liter Ti-VCT I-4 engine, the Ford Ranger Lariat provides 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat can tow up to 7,500 lb and carry a maximum payload of 1,860 lb.
Ford Ranger Lariat Off-Roading Features
For off-roading, the Ford Ranger has a ground clearance height of 8.9”. It also has a 28.7-degree approach angle, a 22.7-degree break-over angle, and a departure angle of 25.7-degrees. The front suspension is an independent short-long arm suspension with a stabilizer bar.
In the rear, you’ll find a Hotchkiss non-live suspension with leaf-springs and outboard shock absorbers. The shocks are gas pressurized. The Ford Ranger Lariat also has four-wheel power disc brakes with a four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system and AdvanceTrac stability control.
The engine block heater, electronic-locking rear differential, terrain management system, and trail control, which contains hill descent control, are all optional features that you can have added on. Overall, the Ford Ranger is one beefy midsize truck for handling snow and other slippery conditions.