2020 Ford Ranger Supercrew 4X4 Lariat Review By Larry Nutson
2020 Ford Ranger Supercrew 4X4 Lariat Review
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
There’s no vehicle that says America more than a pickup truck. Okay, I’m talking four-wheeled vehicles, since Harley-Davidson motorcycles might come to mind.
When it comes to being American the 2020 Ford Ranger is ranked Number One in the Cars.com’s 2020 American-Made Index. Now in its 15th year, the Index ranks new vehicles that "contribute most to the U.S. economy" through U.S. factory jobs, manufacturing plants and parts sourcing. A total of 91 vehicles qualified for the list.
The Ranger name had been around the Ford stable for a number of years. The Ranger we’re talking about here was introduced in the U.S. for 2019 to give Ford an entry in the growing mid-size pickup market.
Ranger uses a traditional body-on-frame architecture, has a steel body, and is available either as a 2-door (with short rear doors) Supercab or a 4-door Supercrew body style.
There’s only one powertrain, an Ecoboost turbo 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 270 HP and 310 pound-feet of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and it comes with either a 4X2 or 4X4 drivetrain
Ranger comes in three trim levels – XL, XLT and Lariat. A few appearance packages can be added for more personalization. For 2020, changes are minimal with some color and feature changes as well as a new FX2 package that has been added.
Recently, three new dealer-installed Ford Performance accessory packages became available for the Ranger, adding off-road capability and style for outdoor adventures – including an off-road leveling kit, FOX Shocks, new 17-inch Dyno Gray wheels, Ford Performance graphics on the bed and windshield and more.
These packages build off of each other, progressively adding more equipment including engine calibration upgrades, which increases horsepower by 16 percent to 315 at 4,500 RPM and increases torque by nearly 20 percent to 370 lb.-ft. at 2,500 RPM.
I drove the 2019 Ranger last summer which included a highway trip from my Chicago home to Southwest Michigan. I’ve also had some off-road driving experience with the
Ranger at the Midwest Automotive Media Association Spring Rally held at Road American in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
For this Ranger drive-experience I drove a Supercrew 4X4 Lariat with the FX4 off-road package. The Lariat trim adds leather-trimmed bucket front-seats with power eight-way adjustable including lumbar, heated seats, and flow-through console and floor shift.
The FX4 package adds “FX4 Off-Road” bodyside decal, 18-inch Off-Road OWL tires, electronic-locking rear differential, exposed steel bash plate, off-road screen in instrument cluster, off-road tuned suspension, delete of the front air dam, skid plates for the fuel tank, transfer case and front differential, Terrain Management System, and Trail Control.
My Rapid Red Metallic Ranger also had the Black Appearance Package which included running boards that make for easier entry and exit, especially for the ladies. A hard folding tonneau covered the bed.
The Monroney Label price sticker wasn’t available to me but I used the Ford retail configurator and priced out the vehicle I drove, with it coming in at $47,695. Ranger pricing starts at $24,410.
My driving impressions haven’t changed much from my first drive. Overall, I like the Ranger with a couple of caveats. There’s plenty of power from the turbocharged engine and the 10-speed automatic does a fine job delivering good torque at the right time to the drive wheels.
The ride is trucky, as it should be, but it could be more refined. Over city streets you feel everything and it can get a bit bouncy on rough roads. Granted, the off-road tires on my FX4 are not designed for city-street comfort. The Ranger is decent to maneuver in a crowded city. Actually, I think a mid-size pickup is about as large as you should go for frequent city driving.
The seats--there are five, are comfortable and yet firm. The running boards certainly help for getting in the cabin. Overall interior appearance is good although it could be made a bit more contemporary. There’s a touch screen with Ford’s Sync 3 system. The low and vertical placement of the HVAC controls are tough to see but after some familiarization it’s not a big issue. The B&O ten-speaker audio system delivers good sound.
With pickups being used as the family car, the Ranger is equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Safety (ADAS) features in Ford's CoPilot-360 system that include blind-spot and cross-traffic alerts, lane-keeping assist, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, and front and rear obstacle sensing.
Ranger is rated to tow up to 7,500 lbs. EPA fuel economy ratings for the 4X4 are 20 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
More model information, specifications as well as options for the new 2020 Ford Ranger can be found at www.ford.com.
The Ranger is in its second year in the U.S. market but its overall design is much older, as it has been sold in other global markets for some time. I’d like to see a freshened interior. The Ranger could use an update. Let’s hope it comes along soon.
© 2020 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy