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Given the success of the Ford F-150, one would suspect that the Ford Ranger might be just as popular in its respective segment. Like its full-size sibling, it offers competitive towing and hauling capabilities. It will also be available as a ferocious Raptor variant soon.

Even so, the Ford Ranger’s sales trend below those of rivals like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Less than 60,000 units were sold last year, and it tends to garner mixed reviews from automotive experts. Here’s why Edmunds believes that the Ford Ranger is the least popular truck.

The Ford Ranger can’t compare to the competition

A tan 2022 Ford Ranger Splash Sand Edition midsize pickup truck model driving on a sandy beach
2022 Ford Ranger Splash Sand Edition | Ford Motor Company

According to Edmunds, every other truck in the midsize category is better than the Ford Ranger. The Nissan Frontier is one spot ahead in the rankings by a considerable margin, while the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon tied for fourth place.

Surprisingly, the Jeep Gladiator and the Honda Ridgeline beat the consumer-beloved Toyota Tacoma. Even the Ford Maverick and Nissan Titan, the lowest-ranking trucks in the small and large truck categories, have higher overall scores than the Ranger.

What’s wrong with the Ford Ranger?

Edmunds says that the Ford Ranger’s lack of interior storage solutions is one of its biggest annoyances. It has a tiny center storage console and insufficient room to fit smaller items under the rear seat. 

Additionally, testers also weren’t pleased with the Ranger’s bumpy ride quality. Even the smallest pavement imperfections cause the Ranger to wobble, especially when rounding a corner. This truck also tends to nose dive while braking and doesn’t offer the most responsive steering.

The infotainment interface is intuitive overall, and all of its functions operate smoothly, but it has too many menus with no physical shortcut functions. Test drivers also had problems making sense of the Ford Ranger’s climate control layout.

The Ranger is still a decent truck

The Ford Ranger clearly has room for improvement, but Edmunds still had some kind words about this truck’s performance. Every Ford Ranger has a turbo-four engine capable of 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

In Sport mode, Edmunds’s Ranger test truck was able to hit 60 mph in brisk 6.8 seconds. It also offers competitive fuel economy for its class, rated for up to 21/26 mpg city/highway with a rear-wheel-drive build.

Every Ranger trim can be optioned with the Trailer Tow package, allowing you to lug up to 7,500 lbs. Payload specs depend on your cab and drivetrain configuration, but it has a maximum capacity of 1,905 lbs. The Ranger also offers a choice between a 5-ft or 6-ft cargo box, each including six tie-down cleats.

The Ford Ranger SuperCab is available with either bed, while the larger SuperCrew can only be had with the 5-ft option. The SuperCrew has the highest seating capacity of five, but Edmunds warns that the rear seats are a little too rigid. Additionally, the front seats garnered no complaints regarding overall support and comfort.

While the Ranger XL is a standard bare-bones work truck, the Ranger XLT gets a standard 8-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration. It also adds more features to the Ranger’s somewhat basic safety suite. The most luxurious features, like heated leather seats and a premium audio system, are reserved for the Lariat trim.

Despite professional complaints, It’s worth noting that 75% of the Ranger’s reviews from regular drivers are overwhelmingly positive. Additionally, even the XLT trim is thousands of dollars cheaper than Edmunds’s favorite midsize trucks. Ranger fans should look forward to the 2024 redesign, which promises a new interior layout and a revised suspension.

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