2020 Ford Ranger Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
To the delight of many Ford fans, the Ford Ranger finally returned to the American market last year. In many ways, this midsize pickup is more practical than the full-size Ford F-150. Not only is the Ranger more efficient than its larger sibling, but it’s also easier to park. While the Ranger’s smoothness makes it a pleasure to drive on the street, you can also use it to venture off-road.
What’s New for 2020?
With the Ranger being such a new model, no big changes were made for 2020. However, adventure seekers will be interested in the Ranger’s all-new FX2 Off-Road package. It transforms the 2WD-Ranger into a tougher pickup.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Ford Ranger – The Pros
1. Impressive Performance Capabilities
The 2020 Ford Ranger comes standard with the strongest standard powertrain in the class. Virtually all of the Ranger’s key competitors come standard with a far less potent engine. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine feels just as muscular as a traditional V6 engine. Ford tunes it to push out a confidence-boosting 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. With a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, this pickup offers punchy acceleration when called upon. Fuel economy tops out at 26 mpg.
2. Great for Towing and Hauling
Although the 2020 Ford Ranger may lack the sheer muscle for a full-size truck, it can still handle a decent workload. A maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds highlights the Ranger’s versatility. From recreational campers to watercraft, you’ll be able to transport a lot of different things. When pulling a load, trailer sway control ensures optimum stability. Don’t forget about the Ranger’s impressive payload capacity of 1,860 pounds, which allows you to haul some major weight.
3. All-New FX2 Off-Road Package
The 4WD-equipped Ford Ranger was already capable of traveling off the beaten path. Rugged features, such as a Terrain Management system and underbody skid plates, come with the optional FX4 package. For drivers who don’t need four-wheel drive, Ford offers a new FX4 package. While an electronic locking rear differential aids traction on slippery ground, trail-tuned suspension dampers help the truck to absorb rough impacts. Other goodies include off-road tires, an off-road instrument cluster, and a more rugged front bumper.
4. Comfy Truck
In the past, trucks sacrificed some comfort. However, the Ranger’s smooth operation proves modern pickup trucks have come a long way. Ride quality is fairly good on most paved road surfaces. A sturdy cabin helps minimize wind noise. Passengers especially appreciate the Ranger’s well-padded seats. They are supportive enough to keep you at ease on long road trips. If you have a family, go for the SuperCrew body style. Friends sitting in the back will be thankful for the extra leg space.
5. Nice-Looking Truck
Most people will describe the 2020 Ford Ranger as being a nice-looking pickup truck. While the base XL trim may have a plain look, Ford offers an optional STX appearance package. It adds Carbon Black bumpers and a more attractive set of 17-inch alloy wheels. Upper trims offer a Black Appearance Package, which blacks out the exterior accents and adds a stylish set of 18-inch alloy wheels. A total of eight paint colors are available, include Lightning Blue and Hot Pepper Red.
6. Most Trims Provide Ford's Co-Pilot360 System
Every new Ranger provides automatic emergency braking. Aside from the base Ranger, all of the other trims benefit from Ford's Co-Pilot360 system. It equips this truck with some great safety innovations. While lane-keep assist nudges you back across the line, automatic high-beam control adjusts your lighting when approaching traffic. Blind-spot monitoring is arguably the package’s biggest perk. This feature includes trailer coverage, which makes driving with a load safer. Rear cross-traffic alert gives you more assurance in parking areas.
7. SYNC 3 Infotainment System
Although Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system doesn’t come standard, it’s a great investment for every technology lover. You’ll enjoy its high-resolution touchscreen, which functions similar to an electronic tablet. If you would like to access your smartphone’s apps, you can do so via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Most importantly, the interface is not a challenge to use. In fact, automotive journalists praise SYNC 3 for its simple operation. Reliable voice controls give you more reason to like Ford SYNC 3 infotainment system.
8. Punchy Premium Sound System
The 2020 Ford Ranger comes standard with a four-speaker audio system, which doesn’t sound too great. If the standard stereo doesn’t meet your expectations, consider upgrading to the Ranger’s new B&O premium sound system. It promises to give your music a more exciting punch. Its 675-watt amplifier powers a total of 10 speakers. A special feature helps eliminate background noise for superior audio quality. When hitting the highway, you’ll appreciate the inspiration.
9. FordPass Connect is a Great Asset
When moving past the base 2020 Ford Ranger, you’ll enjoy FordPass Connect. Its AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot supports up to 10 devices, thus giving everyone access to high-speed internet surfing. You can also use this smartphone app to remotely start the Ranger and lock the doors. If you happen to forget where you parked, FordPass can locate your vehicle.
10. Parents Can Use MyKey to Monitor Teen DriversIf you have a teen driver at home, reap the benefits of Ford’s standard MyKey system, Although MyKey isn’t as advanced as Chevrolet’s Teen Driver system, it still gives parents more control. You can use MyKey to set a top speed and limit the stereo system’s maximum volume.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Ford Ranger – The Cons
1. One Available Engine & Transmission
The Ranger’s turbocharged EcoBoost engine is quite strong. Nevertheless, some drivers may desire an optional engine. While the Ranger is good on gas, it does not return best-in-class fuel economy. An optional diesel engine allows the Chevrolet Colorado to hit the 30-mpg mark. Ford also does not offer the Ranger with a manual transmission, which puts this truck at a disadvantage against the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier.
2. Infotainment System Does Not Come Standard
If you decide to choose a lower trim level, you’ll miss out on Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system. The standard 4.2-inch display simply doesn’t cut it. Most of the Ranger’s competitors come standard with a larger touchscreen. Apple Car and Android Auto are also extra on the Ranger.
3. No Hardcore Off-Road Model Available
When equipped with its available off-road package, the 2020 Ford Ranger can topple the average trail. However, there are certain places you can’t go. There are better options for drivers who regularly travel through the rough backcountry. For example, outdoor enthusiasts tank the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro as one of today’s best pickups for exploring challenging terrain. Meanwhile, Chevy offers the ultra-rugged Colorado ZR2 Bison.
4. May Not Be Roomy Enough for Your Family
The Ranger SuperCrew body style will easily accommodate most families. However, others will need just a bit more space to extend their legs. If passenger space is a big concern, consider stepping up to the larger Ford F-150. Even NBA-sized guys can relax in the F-150’s roomy crew cab.
5. Some Drivers May Desire a Bolder Look
Most people will have no serious issues with the Ranger’s styling. On the other hand, others may desire a bolder look. None of the Ranger trims have a truly aggressive appearance.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2020 Chevrolet Colorado
The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado could be the best pickup in the segment. However, it is a step behind the 2020 Ford Ranger in a couple of areas. Don’t expect the Colorado’s base four-cylinder engine to pack as much performance. While the Ranger comes standard with automatic emergency braking, no driver-assist safety technologies come standard on the Colorado.
2020 Toyota Tacoma
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma is another good pick. Drivers especially enjoy its bulletproof reliability. On the downside, Toyota rates the Tacoma with a noticeably lower maximum towing capacity. Performance also suffers with the Tacoma’s base four-cylinder engine.
2020 Honda Ridgeline
No other truck in the segment can match the Ridgeline’s car-like handling. This pickup also feels more spacious than the new 2020 Ford Ranger. Because the Ridgeline does not feature a traditional body-on-frame design, it can’t match the Ford Ranger’s toughness. A lower 5,000-pound towing capacity also somewhat hinders the Ridgeline’s versatility.
If the full-size Ford F-150 is too big and expensive for your taste, strongly considering driving a new 2020 Ford Ranger off the lot. There’s much to like about the new 2020 Ford Ranger, including its muscular powertrain and valuable safety technologies. User-friendly features also help the Ranger to remain competitive in a tough segment. Although the Ranger may lack a hardcore off-road trim, most drivers will have no complaints about its ability to tackle the rough terrain.
• Why buy a 2019 Ford Ranger? w/ pros vs cons