Pickup Evaluation: 2022 Ford Ranger

It is somewhat lengthy within the tooth, but it surely nonetheless will get the job executed

Ford has the best-selling automobile in Canada with its full-size F-150, and it’s deservedly getting a whole lot of consideration with its all-new compact Maverick, however there’s additionally one mannequin within the center, the midsize Ranger.

It’s anticipated to get a makeover quickly, however for 2022, it stays principally unchanged, save for some new trim. That features my tester’s non-obligatory “Splash” bundle, which provides 18-inch matte black wheels and orange accents that look good within the black grille, though I’m not as keen on the gaudy stripe down the aspect. However the bundle can all the time be left off to maintain one other $1,700 in your pocket.

Midsize vehicles are nowhere close to their full-size siblings for gross sales recognition, and that’s mirrored within the Ranger’s restricted trims and configuration. It is available in SuperCab (prolonged cab), which has a six-foot mattress, however you will need to open the entrance doorways earlier than you possibly can open or shut the rear-hinged again doorways; or SuperCrew, with five-foot mattress and 4 conventionally-opening doorways. The prolonged cab seats 4, whereas the crew cab takes 5.

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The bottom XL is available in SuperCab solely, beginning at $36,355 earlier than supply and taxes. The mid-range XLT is available in SuperCab at $38,290, or SuperCrew at $40,090; whereas the top-line Lariat is a crew cab solely, starting at $44,640, and that’s the truck I’m driving right here.

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All Ranger fashions use a 2.3L four-cylinder that’s turbocharged, which Ford calls EcoBoost, making 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, mated to a ten-speed automated transmission, and operating on regular-grade gasoline. All fashions are four-wheel drive. My tester’s FX4 off-road bundle, for an additional $1,400, added an electronically-locking rear differential, together with Terrain Administration, which adjusts the steadiness management as wanted when it’s dialed in to overcome circumstances comparable to mud, sand, or snow. There’s additionally Path Management, which acts as low-speed cruise management once you’re off-roading. The 4×4 system solely consists of 4High and 4Low, however not 4Auto, so your four-wheeling should be restricted to delicate or unfastened off-road surfaces. Driving in 4×4 on pavement might doubtlessly bind and injury the system.

That little engine is a stout performer. Acceleration is robust, together with when passing at freeway speeds, however the throttle is simple to modulate so it stays calm and picked up in heavy site visitors. The ten-speed automated shifts easily, and deciding on two- or four-wheel drive is finished with a dial.

The steering is responsive and the turning circle is tight, however the experience is bouncy and the suspension undulates over highway crowns and different pavement imperfections. Gas consumption is formally rated at 11.9 L/100 km within the metropolis, 9.7 on the freeway, and 10.9 in mixed driving, whereas I averaged 12.3 L/100 km in my week with it.

The place the Ranger shines is in its capability, rated for a most towing capability of seven,500 lbs. The Jeep Gladiator can high it at 7,650 lbs, however with its detachable doorways and roof — and far increased price ticket — it’s geared toward an off-road area of interest viewers. The Chevrolet Colorado can go as excessive as 7,700 lbs, however solely with the non-obligatory 2.8L diesel engine; it’s 7,000 lbs on gasoline. Relying on its trim and configuration, the Ranger’s payload ranges between 648 and 802 kg (1,430 to 1,770 lbs).

Exterior appointments distinctive to the top-trim Lariat embrace 18-inch wheels (the XL will get 16-inch, the XLT 17-inch), LED headlights and taillights, LED fog lamps, power-folding mirrors, and sliding rear window.

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The cabin styling could look somewhat dated in locations, however there are sufficient high quality supplies and fit-and-finish to create a great impression. There are storage bins hidden below the crew cab’s rear seats, together with a coated console bin, however small-item storage up entrance might be scarce.

Each the XLT and Lariat embrace dual-zone automated local weather management, whereas the Lariat then completely provides customary auto-dimming mirror, pushbutton begin, 110-volt outlet, and reverse sensing system. Many of the controls are easy to make use of, however altering the temperature entails tapping tiny toggles the place dials could be simpler, and altering the vent mode requires you to enter the centre display screen and faucet the icons there.

My tester had a bundle dubbed Lariat 501A, for an extra $3,405, which included a Expertise Package deal of adaptive cruise management, ahead sensing system, and voice-activated navigation — $850 for those who order it by itself — plus a premium Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker sound system, rain-sensing wipers, distant starter, and storage door opener.

The Lariat’s seats are leather-trimmed, and the entrance seats are principally power-adjustable however you will need to pull a guide lever to maneuver the seatback. These chairs have three ranges of warmth, however a heated steering wheel, my new gotta-have-it-for-icy-mornings function, is lacking on all trims.

The centre display screen options Ford’s SYNC 3 working system. The corporate is changing it with SYNC 4 because it updates its fashions, and when the Ranger will get its makeover, count on to see it there too. SYNC 3 is a reasonably intuitive system, with icons throughout the underside of the display screen to carry up every menu, however it could possibly take a very long time to load once you begin the truck, and might be gradual to answer finger faucets when it’s chilly.

The Ranger faces some stiff competitors from different midsize vehicles. The Toyota Tacoma is the section’s gross sales chief, whereas different rivals embrace the mechanical twins of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and the freshly-made-over Nissan Frontier. There’s additionally that off-road-ready Jeep Gladiator, in addition to the SUV-based Honda Ridgeline. The Ranger is due for a makeover, however with that sturdy engine and excessive towing capability, Ford has a stable competitor within the midsize section.

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