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Truck Profiles: Ford Ranger


by Tony Lesesne

Believe me I know what it's like being a little brother. The big brother gets all the attention, sets the pace, raises the bar and you have big shoes to fill. Well that's kind of what I thought about when I looked at the Ford Ranger after having test driven the award-winning Ford F-150. I was expecting so much less but got so much more in this amazing truck that starts at $26,015.

What I love the most about the Ranger is it's chunky turbocharged engine with an extensive standard driver assistance technology package. It's value comes in its ability to provide a smooth ride, capable powertrain, and towing that works perfectly for its size.

It's in its third year on the market Ranger continues to be a great value. The mid-size pickup has two body styles and two bed lengths as well as trim levels that start with the base level XL and moving up to the more premium oriented Lariat which I tested. All of them are powered by a turbocharged 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission available. There are rear-end and four-wheel drive options. Another cool thing I discovered is it's off-road capabilities, especially with the XF4 package. With that you get bigger tires a locking rear differential and especially tuned suspension so that you're going to enjoy that off-road experience.

Speaking of the ride experience, there was lots to enjoy with this surprisingly handsome and agile truck. You're sitting on fat black 18 inch wheels and I wasn't shy about testing the different road conditions. I had several routes to test the Ranger. I traveled along North Dade and County line around Hard Rock stadium; took it east towards Ives Dairy road through some challenging construction sites where it caught the eyes of even the most seasoned construction workers. They know good trucks when they see one and they had plenty of compliments as they circled the truck and examined its attributes.

We took it on I-95 and i-75 along the highway to see how it moved in and out of heavy traffic and then downtown Miami to examine how it serves us in an urban setting and thick environment. We found parking ample as you would expect some problematic issues with a truck. That did not happen.

Under the hood you're going to get 270 horsepower and 310 lb feet of torque. That's enough muscle to make the ranger XLT not only quick but smooth. The Ranger is also available with a terrain management system that works the engine in the area of responsiveness and a transmission gearing to optimize the truck's performance on all kinds of terrain. I love the options when it came to the drive modes. Your drive mode options include normal, grass, gravel, snow, mud, you name it, those options are there. The acceleration delivers 0 to 60 iN around 6.5 seconds, Ford reports 0 to 100 17.6 seconds and a quarter mile at 15 seconds.

You got a tow stuff right? There's an optional tow package which can tow up to 7,500 lbs. With all that it still stays smooth stable and consistent. The payload is can deliver up to 1,860 pounds. EPA estimates report up to 21 miles per gallon in a city in the city and 26 in the highway.

Let's go inside. Keeping in mind that the Ranger has extended cab or a super cab version or a SuperCrew model. The SuperCrew is more spacious and seats up to five people. It has four full size doors and just overall more spacious The super cab seats four and has two smaller doors. The interior is basic, easy to navigate and clean. When you get to the dash area then we get to see what it has in a way of entertainment and connectivity.

The base model comes with a standard four speaker AM/FM audio a single USB port and a Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to 10 devices. With the XLT or Lariat model, there's an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple card play and Android Auto capabilities as well as Sirius XM satellite radio. There's an integrated navigation system and a 12 speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system which both are available. Now about that bang all of some sound system, if you are into sound and music like I am and I suspect you are, then you need to know that Bang & Olufsen is one of the premium sound systems in the market. That definitely gives it a lot more cool points.

There was no problem with head room and leg space and the overall comfort was satisfactory. Of course when you're looking inside and sitting down you're going to have different options in your seat design and texture.

Ford is known for safety and the Ranger earned 4 out of 5 stars from the national highway traffic safety administration. some of the key safety features include the available adaptive cruise control, available blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. I always highlight this particular safety feature because it's oftentimes a life-saving feature that is technology at its best. It also provides standard for collision warning and automated emergency braking.

Here a few more stats to consider:

  • The length is 210.8 in

  • Width 73.3 in

  • Height 73.2 in

  • Curb weight 4,650 lbs.

  • Wheelbase 126.8 in.

The Ranger base price starts around $26,500 and can get up past $41,000.So being a little brother to the F-150 is actually a great compliment for the ranger. It served me satisfactorily on several fronts and I find this to be a capable truck for diverse purposes. I also found it to be a truck that a woman may even enjoy simply because it's a little smaller and more agile than the bigger thicker trucks yet still has comfort safety and other accoutrements that women might enjoy.

Be sure to stay tuned for more reviews on top trucks in the marketplace and follow us on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to communicate with your comments.


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