Trucks & SUVs

Why the Ford Ranger Is on Its Way to Being the Best Midsize Truck

There’s something special about a comeback story. People love to rally behind an old favorite returning to the stage, to the sound of a roaring crowd. Some might say that’s the Ford Ranger’s story.

A once-popular little pickup, briefly retired, only to return as a powerhouse truck contender. The Ranger is on its way to becoming the best midsize truck in its class, at least according to the latest ratings from Consumer Reports.

What’s new for the 2020 Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger may already have everything you want in a small pickup. But for 2020, Ford is offering a new FX2 package for off-road enthusiasts. There are some beefy, off-road tires, an electronic-locking rear differential, and a suspension designed for trail adventuring.

Also new this year, the Ranger is offering a box extender accessory, due to popular demand. Considering its humble beginnings back in 1982, through its retirement in 2012, the Ranger has certainly come a long way.

Consumer Reports weighs in on overall ratings

When CR evaluates vehicles, the experts calculate feedback and data from owners of each model and ultimately assign a points rating for a variety of categories. When it came to the midsize truck class, there were top-ranking performers in each vertical. But, the Ford Ranger impressed in many.

Driving experience, comfort, value, and styling are a few of the pivotal categories in which each pickup is assessed. The 2020 Ford Ranger earns high marks in each, meaning it has the formula for a fan-favorite performer.

The Ford Ranger is all work and all play

You only get on engine configuration, but it’s plenty for both work and play. The 2.3L four-cylinder engine kicks out 270 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque. Married to the ten-speed automatic transmission means you’ll have quick acceleration and seamlessly smooth shifting on the highway and pulling a trailer.

The rear-wheel models lift you 8.4 inches off the ground, and the four-wheel varieties offer a ground clearance of 8.9 inches. Take advantage of the optional Terrain Management System, designed to tweak engine performance based on different terrains at hand.

Having the option to turn a knob and optimize output based on normal driving, gravel/snow, mud/ruts, and sand, means there’s not a job site you can’t get to or a trail you can’t blaze.

Towing, payload, and hauling

This little, yet not-so-little pickup has some serious capacity for its class. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers and can tow with some of the highest ratings in this segment. You’ll have a max towing capacity of 3,500 pounds with a payload of 2,080 pounds.

When outfitted with the optional tow package, you can tow up to 7,500 pounds. This means the Ranger is perfectly suited to pull the flatbed trailer of equipment and the family four-wheelers.

Trimmed and priced for everyone

You might not have a choice for powertrain, but you can doctor up your 2020 Ford Ranger with trim levels and packages. Add in the extras you need, without the accessories you don’t.

The base model XL is nicely equipped and ready for work, with an MSRP of $25,305. The XLT trim level comes in at $28,460, and the luxuriously loaded Lariat starts at $32,500. Choose an extended cab with a six-foot bed or crew cab with a five-foot bed.

Ford brought the Ranger back to life last year. Already, it’s positioned to be a powerhouse midsize truck option for anyone looking for everyday driving, weekend warrior playing, or weekday workload hauling. It’s the comeback kid of pickups, and fans are excited. Based on the Consumer Reports recent rating evaluations, the Ranger might just be on its way to becoming the best midsize truck in the country.