The present-day Ford Ranger arrived in North America as an all-new model back in 2019, even though it wasn’t actually new – it debuted in Australia back in 2012. Back in 2019 we got our hands on the Lariat version and last year we had the phenomenal Tremor version – probably by far our favourite truck ever. This time we’re driving a Lariat with the FX4 off road package – it sits somewhere between our two previous Rangers. It’s essentially the final time to try the Ranger because the All-New from the ground up version will arrive early next year, as a 2023 model.
What Is It?
- Mid-size Pickup
- 3 Models: XL, XLT and Lariat.
- XL & XLT come with SuperCab + 6’ box.
- SuperCrew + 5’ box is optional on XLT and standard on Lariat
- And the option of adding an FX4 Off-Road Package
- Test vehicle is the Lariat with the FX4 Off-Road Package
- Only one engine is available – a 2.3L Twin-Scroll EcoBoost engine producing 270 hp and 310 lb-ft. of torque
- 10-Speed SelectShift Automatic Transmission
- 4WD (standard in Canada, 4×2 is an option in the U.S.)
- Auto Start-Stop
- Heated Wiper Park (Windshield Wiper De-Icer) – this is very handy for those of us in the colder climates
How Does It Look?
- It may be 10 (!!) model years old, but it’s still the best looking pickup truck available today
- Our neighbour made the same statement, so it’s not just our bias viewpoint. Everyone we talked to comment what a great looking truck it was
- We weren’t sold on the hockey stick stripe at first, but it grew on us after a couple of days
- The size is just about perfect – not everyone wants or needs a big F-150
- The standard version has body-coloured lower front bumper (my preference)
- Adding the Splash Pkge removes the chrome grill and replaces it and the coloured lower bumper with black
- The rims on the standard version are more appealing to me with the chrome instead of black finish
What’s It Like Inside?
- Standard in the Lariat are L=leather-trimmed heated front seats, with 8-Way Power Driver and 6-Way Power Passenger Seat – both heated, with power lumbar and manual seat back adjustment
- w/orange accent stitching and carbon grain weave tuxedo stripe and bolsters adds a nice touch to the interior
- The seats are VERY comfortable, but we found it rather odd that the seatback adjustment is manual, while everything else is power adjustable
- The B&O Sound System (Bang & Olufsen by Harmon) pumps 675 watts of digitally processed sound through 10 high-performance speakers and is a MUST have – comes standard in Equipment Group 501A
- Centre dash is attractive and easy to get used to the various button and knobs
- Dual-Zone Electronic Climate Control
- Abundance of legroom for rear passengers – virtually flat floor
- Flip the rear seat up and there’s plenty of storage in the compartments under the rear seat. While they aren’t very big, but they offer something rather than nothing…
- Very quiet and hushed interior
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- It’s pretty quick – there’s plenty of low-end grunt
- It doesn’t ever feel heavy or lethargic, but did feel somewhat disconnected or ‘loose’ – my wife pointed this out right away and after she said that, I noticed it too. We both LOVED the Tremor version, so it must be the different set up/suspension bits of the FX4 package that made the difference
- The 2.3L Twin-Scroll EcoBoost engine is a perfect match to this Ranger
- Steering input is very good – heavy when needed, light in slow manoeuvers
- Brakes are superb, they just grab and stop without any fuss
- Also has Trailer Sway Control and more as standard
- Payload Capacity: 1,860-lbs (best in class)
- Towing Capacity: Standard 3,500-lbs / 7,500-lbs (best in class – gas) with Class IV Trailer Tow Package ($600)
- Tows and hauls more than the V-6 gasoline offerings from GM and Toyota
Related: 2019 Ford Ranger / 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
Horsepower: 270 @ 5,550 rpm
Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Top Speed: 177 km/h / 110 mph
0-60 mph (sec): 7.3 (estimate)
What Does It Cost?
For up-to-date pricing and options visit: www.Ford.ca
To Buy… Lariat base price is $44,640
Base Price: $42,688
As Tested: $51,420
Equipment Group 501A: (B&O Sound System + Navigation, Sync3 + Technology Package + Adaptive Cruise Control + Forward Sensing System + Remote Start + Rain-Sensing Wipers + (2) 4.2” Drivers Digital Instrument Cluster + Garage Door Open) – $3,405
+ Splash Package: (Graphic + 18″ Matte Black Wheels) – $1,700
+ Toughbed Spray In Bedliner – $600 – one thing to note: it doesn’t pray down between the box and tailgate like the aftermarket companies do, that’s just asking to be a rust spot in the future
+ Splash Guards/Mud Flaps FR/RR – $150
+ Trailer Tow Package – $600
+ SecuriCode Keyless Keypad – $125
+ FX4 Off-Road Package: (Off-Road Tuned Suspension + Terrain Management System + Trail Control + Skid Plates + Electronic-Locking Diff + A/T Owl Tires + Off-Road Screen in Cluster) – $1,400
- TRAIL CONTROL (acts as a low-speed cruise control, maintaining your selected speed from 1 to 30 km/h. It manages acceleration and braking – sending power and braking to each individual wheel as needed)
- TERRAIN MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (select any of the 4 modes – Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts and Sand. The system automatically calibrates engine responsiveness, transmission gearing, and vehicle control systems to provide the optimum traction, driveability and performance)
- Rated at (L/100 km): City -11.9 / Highway – 9.7 / Combined – 10.9
- Annual cost to operate (Transport Canada – 20,000 kms / $1.00/litre): $2,180
- We averaged 10.0 – 11.5 L/100 km around town and
- 8.8 L/100 km consistently on roads where there was no lights/stop signs @ 70 km/h
- Highway was mostly in the 10.4 L/100 km range
- Auto Start-Stop is a nice bonus to squeeze even more out of the fuel tank while you sit at the lights – once you remember to not take your foot off the brake once you’ve stopped!
- Basic: 3 years/60,000 km
- Powertrain: 5 years/100,000 km
- Roadside Assistance: 5 years /100,000 km
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- The Good: It does everything – just right
- The Bad: No heated steering wheel and only the driver’s window is one-touch up/down
- The Ugly: Interior storage compartments are very limited
What’s The Verdict?
Everyone… and I mean EVERYONE loved the look of this truck. We loved it too, but if it was our money we’d pay a little extra and go for the Tremor – or save some money and not get the FX4 package. It just didn’t feel right – but hey, we’re not off-roaders so this isn’t a concern for those that do. For sure we’d get the steps/running boards, they make it easier to get in and out – especially since there’s no grab handle for the driver on the A pillar, but also keep some of the dirt/mud/slush off the bottom the truck.
Copyright © 2022 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland