2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat: Review

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceWhat Is It?
After an eight-year absence from the U.S. market, Ranger returned to the Ford lineup for 2019 to compete against the midsize Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado pickups. Based on Ford’s midsize pickup sold in more than 100 countries around the world, the Ranger was retooled and updated specifically for the U.S. The 2020 Ford Ranger is available in two 4-door versions: the Ranger SuperCab with smaller rear-hinged rear doors and 6-foot bed; and the Ranger SuperCrew with four full-size doors and a 5-foot bed. The pickup is available in three trim levels — XL, XLT and Lariat — and 2WD and 4WD are available across the lineup.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceTest Vehicle
Ford provided a top-of-the-line 2020 Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat finished in Lightning Blue with an Ebony leather interior. Optional equipment includes the FX4 Off-Road Package, a Black Appearance Package, a Trailer Tow Package, a hard tonneau cover and other options for a total MSRP of $46,910 including a $1,195 destination and delivery charge. The Black Appearance Package adds 18-inch black painted aluminum wheels, a Toughbed spray-in bedliner and black running boards.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceFX4 Off-Road Package
Available on all Ranger 4WD trims, the FX4 Off-Road Package adds off-road tires, an electronic locking rear differential, off-road suspension, skidplates, exposed front tow hooks and an off-road display in the instrument cluster. Also included is Ford’s Terrain Management System, which allows drivers to choose from four driving modes: Normal; Grass, Gravel and Snow; Mud and Ruts; and Sand. Each mode adjusts throttle response, shift points and traction control to perform better in the aforementioned specific driving conditions. The Ranger Lariat FX4 we drove was equipped with 265/60R18 Hankook Dynapro ATM outline white-letter tires.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRanger Looks
The Ranger is easily identifiable as a Ford thanks to a large blue oval in the grille, but the grille and front-end design don’t really match the blunt, square look of the other Ford trucks. (Ranger looks more like the last-generation 2019 Ford Escape.) That said, the overall shape, cab design and profile fit the rest of the Ford truck lineup. Although Ranger was new to the U.S. market for 2019, it has been offered around the world for a number of years and would benefit from an update.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceLariat Features
As the top-level Ranger, Lariat features dual-zone climate control, leather-trimmed bucket seats, a sliding rear window, 8-way power front seats, heated front seats, ambient lighting, and LED headlights and LED taillights. The Lariat also gets SYNC3 which features enhanced voice recognition, an 8-inch touchscreen display, GPS navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Adaptive cruise control is standard as well as a lane-minding system that includes lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, reverse sensing and a blind-spot information system with trailer coverage.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceUnder the Hood
The single engine for all Ranger versions remains the potent 2.3-liter EcoBoost rated at 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, mated with an electronically controlled 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. The Ranger Lariat 4 x 4 receives an EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg city / 24 mpg highway / 22 mpg combined.

© Ford Motor CompanyInner Space
The Lariat interior is comfortable and nicely equipped, with leather bucket seats and a center console for the front row as well as a 3-passenger bench seat in the rear. The SuperCrew offers easy access to the rear seats and has a decent amount of legroom and headroom — comfortable for two adults with room for three in a pinch. The rear-seat bottoms can be folded upward to access underseat storage bins; if the seats are not needed for passengers, the seat bottoms can be lifted to a raised position for additional cargo capacity.

© Ford Motor CompanyLogically Centered
The instrument panel and center stack of the 2020 Ford Ranger are logically laid out — below the 8-inch touchscreen in the center stack are volume and tuning knobs with climate-control functions below. At the top of the center stack sits a storage tray, and the center console includes the shifter, 4WD selector, cupholders and a storage bin.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRanger Lariat Powertrain
The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine is a good match for the Ranger, providing maximum torque at low rpm for quick acceleration when needed as well as for overall drivability. Combining that unit with a 10-speed automatic transmission makes Ranger feel powerful — and it feels like that power is always available when needed. The transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, and if Ranger is not accelerating hard it will select the next gear early to improve efficiency.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceOn the Road
In a nation accustomed to crossovers that look like sport-utility vehicles but drive like cars, the Ranger still feels like a truck — because it is — with a high-strength steel frame, body-on-frame construction and 7,500 pound towing capacity. Steering is responsive and the ride is controlled and comfortable, although it can be a bit bouncy at times with no load in the bed — a normal tradeoff for a truck with a payload rating of 1,560 pounds for the SuperCrew 4WD.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceEveryday Truck
Overall, the Ranger Lariat is a nice truck for everyday use. It is easy and comfortable to drive and our test vehicle looked really sharp in Lightning Blue with black 18-inch aluminum wheels, Hankook OWL tires, black running boards, a black hard tonneau and FX4 graphics. Since it’s a midsize truck, the Ranger is as easy to maneuver and park as an SUV, and it offers 5-passenger seating with a 5-foot cargo bed in the SuperCrew configuration.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRating: 7.5
The 2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat features a powerful engine will lots of low-end torque to overcome the shortcomings of an aging design and somewhat bouncy ride. The turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine provides a 7,500 pound tow rating and fuel economy that beats the V6 offerings of competitors. Even though the Ford Ranger may not be a clean-sheet design, it’s a good looking truck with a first-rate powertrain, making it a good choice in the midsize truck category.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4 x 4 Lariat
FX4 Off-Road Package

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