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2020 Ford Ranger Review

The 2020 Ford Ranger holds its own in our compact pickup truck rankings. It has just about everything you could want from a small truck, including a powerful engine, respectable towing and hauling abilities, and plenty of available features.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged engine
  • High towing and hauling capacities
  • Good fuel economy
  • Optional SYNC 3 infotainment system works great
  • Some low-rent cabin materials
  • Stiff ride

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Ford Ranger's #2 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Pickup Trucks category. Currently the Ford Ranger has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 25 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 6.2
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Ford Ranger a Good Truck?

Yes, the Ford Ranger is a good truck. Its turbocharged engine feels energetic in just about every driving situation, and it handles well on winding roads. Gas mileage is great for the class as well. Inside, the Ranger has comfortable front seats, and SuperCrew models have rear seats with enough head- and legroom for adults. There are plenty of available features, including one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems in the segment.

We've told you the good. Now let's get to the Ranger's weaknesses. Its ride is decidedly firm, though it's not overly harsh or uncomfortable. The Ranger's cabin looks dated, and the materials quality is disappointing. Also, there aren't many standard infotainment features.

2020 Ford Ranger Dimensions

  • Length: 17 feet, 7 inches
  • Height: 5 feet, 11 inches to 6 feet
  • Curb weight: 4,145 to 4,441 pounds

Should I Buy the Ford Ranger?

The Ranger is a worthy choice for buyers. This is one of the most capable, well-rounded vehicles in the compact pickup truck class. That said, this segment features many good options, so you may want to explore some of them before heading to a dealership. Good trucks to compare against the Ranger include the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.

Compare the Ranger, Colorado, and Tacoma »

Should I Buy a New or Used Ford Ranger?

The Ranger rejoined Ford's lineup for 2019, so you might be hard-pressed to find any used models for sale. If you find one, you can spring for the used Ranger and not miss out on much because the 2020 model sees few notable updates.

There's a new FX2 package available in rear-wheel-drive models for 2020, and it adds some off-road-oriented features. There's also a bit of feature shuffling between the three Ranger trims. Otherwise, this Ford is unchanged from the 2019 model.

The 2019 Ford Ranger was an all-new version of the long-running nameplate. Prior to 2019, the truck was last available in North America in the form of the 2011 Ranger.

If you're considering an older model from the current generation, be sure to read our 2019 Ranger review to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2019 and 2020 Ranger »

We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Ranger generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Ford Ranger Cost?

The base Ranger XL trim starts at $24,410, which is in the middle of the pack for a compact pickup truck. The midlevel Ranger XLT starts at $28,460, while the range-topping Ranger Lariat carries a starting price of $32,500. That's below the top-trim price of most rivals.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

Ford Ranger Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma?

The Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger are neck and neck in our compact pickup truck rankings, and each has advantages over the other. The Tacoma has a well-built cabin and comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system, which is an extra-cost option in the Ranger. While the Ford offers FX2 and FX4 off-road packages, the Tacoma has two entire trim levels dedicated to tackling adventurous terrain, and the top-of-the-line TRD Pro model is one of the most formidable off-roaders in the class.

The Ranger's turbo-four engine is superior to the Tacoma's base four-cylinder, as it's less thirsty and significantly more powerful, though the Taco does offer a muscular V6. The Ranger also has better towing and hauling capabilities than the Tacoma.

Overall, the choice will likely come down to whether you favor the Tacoma's nicer interior and higher predicted reliability rating or the Ranger's stronger performance.

Which Is Better: Ford Ranger or Chevrolet Colorado?

The Chevrolet Colorado and the Ranger are here to carry on the Ford-Chevy rivalry, but it's hard to say that one of these pickups is clearly better than the other. Both are quality compact pickup trucks that do many things well.

The Ranger has a class-leading payload capacity, but the Colorado is the segment leader when it comes to tow ratings. The Chevy has a more diverse engine lineup, offering V6 and turbodiesel options in addition to a base four-cylinder, though the Ranger's turbocharged four-cylinder is plenty capable.

Inside, the Colorado looks and feels more upscale than the Ranger, and it comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system. In its Crew Cab body style, the Colorado is available with a full-size bed, whereas the Ranger only offers its SuperCrew configuration with a short bed.

Compare the Ranger, Tacoma, and Colorado »

Ranger Performance

Ranger Engine: Only One Option, but It's a Good One

The Ranger features a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It feels potent and capable whether you're driving to work or towing a trailer down the highway. Acceleration is generally quick, and the 10-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth shifts.

Ranger Gas Mileage: Better than Most

Few class rivals get better fuel economy than the Ford Ranger. When equipped with rear-wheel drive, the Ranger gets 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. With four-wheel drive, ratings drop to 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

Ranger Ride and Handling: Firm but Composed

This Ford feels planted around turns and keeps body roll in check. The steering is sharp, making the Ranger easy to maneuver. While the ride is generally smooth, it's noticeably firmer than in rivals like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Colorado.

Ranger Off-Road Performance

When properly equipped, the Ranger is a pretty capable off-road companion. It doesn't have an off-road-oriented trim like the Toyota Tacoma does, but it offers option packages that include features like an off-road-tuned suspension, special off-road tires, a locking rear differential, skid plates, a terrain management system, and crawl control.

Ranger Towing and Payload Capacity

The standard extended-cab SuperCab Ranger comes with a 6-foot bed, while the crew-cab SuperCrew model has a 5-foot bed. Payload capacities range from 1,560 to 1,860 pounds, the latter of which leads the class by a long shot. For the most utility, go with a SuperCab model and rear-wheel drive.

The Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, which places it among the class leaders in that regard. The Chevrolet Colorado and its 7,700-pound limit is one of a few compact pickup trucks that can tow more than the Ranger.

Read more about performance »

Ranger Interior

How Many People Does the Ranger Seat?

The Ranger seats four people in SuperCab models and five in SuperCrew models. The front seats are roomy and comfortable in both models, but the SuperCrew is the clear choice if you're going to have passengers in the back seat. Its rear seats can accommodate adults fairly easily, while the SuperCab's rear seats are cramped.

Ranger and Child Car Seats

With both cabs, the Ranger has two complete sets of LATCH connections for the rear outboard seats. Lower anchors in the standard SuperCab are on a panel behind the rear seats. In the SuperCrew model, the attachments are in the seat cushion where the bottom meets the backrest. SuperCab models have two upper tether anchors that are located above the backrest of the seat. The Ranger SuperCrew has three tether anchors in the form of brackets behind the seats.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the LATCH system in the SuperCrew model the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use.

Ranger Interior Quality

The Ranger's interior feels a bit past its prime, with outdated styling and too many low-rent materials.

Ranger Cargo Space

The Ranger offers two bed lengths, and each comes paired with a specific cab. The standard SuperCab comes with a 6-foot bed, while the larger SuperCrew cab comes with a 5-foot bed.

Ranger Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Ranger include a USB port, Bluetooth, four speakers, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, multiple upgraded sound systems, satellite radio, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

With so few standard features, many buyers will want to add some technology to their Ranger. The SYNC 3 infotainment system is a worthwhile upgrade. Its touch screen is large and intuitive, with clear menus and quick processing times. There are large physical buttons and knobs for adjustments like audio and climate controls.

Read more about interior »

Ranger Reliability

Is the Ford Ranger Reliable?
J.D. Power gives the 2020 Ford Ranger a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.
Ford Ranger Warranty

Ford covers the Ranger with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Ford Ranger?

The cost of insuring a Ford Ranger will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Ranger Safety

Ranger Crash Test Results

In its SuperCrew body style, the 2020 Ranger received an overall safety rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Ranger earned five stars in the side crash test, four stars in the frontal crash test, and three stars in the rollover evaluation. The SuperCab model received three stars in the rollover evaluation, the only test performed by the NHTSA. It did not receive an overall safety rating.

In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2020 Ranger SuperCrew received the top rating of Good in five tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front evaluation. The Ranger’s headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS has a different scale for grading active safety features. The Ranger SuperCrew earned the highest rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its standard front crash prevention features.

Ranger Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features in the Ranger include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Also standard is Ford's MyKey system, which lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers.

Available active safety features include front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert with trailer coverage.

Read more about safety »

Where Is the Ford Ranger Built?

Ford builds the 2020 Ranger in Michigan.

Which Ford Ranger Model Is Right for Me?

The Ranger comes in three trims: XL, XLT, and Lariat. All Ranger models feature a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and four-wheel drive is optional.

Before you choose a trim, you need to decide which cab and bed combo best suits your lifestyle. The four-person SuperCab (extended cab) comes with a 6-foot bed and short, rear-hinged rear doors, while the five-person SuperCrew cab has a 5-foot bed and four full-size doors. We've listed the three trims below with the starting prices for rear-wheel-drive, SuperCab models.

You can upgrade the drivetrain and cab in any configuration, and regardless of the trim, it'll cost you about $4,000 for four-wheel drive and around $2,200 for a SuperCrew cab.

Once you've made your body style and drivetrain decisions, it's time to choose a trim. The XLT is the best choice for most buyers. It comes with many more standard features than the base trim, including the user-friendly SYNC 3 infotainment system and its 8-inch touch screen. The XLT also offers comfort and convenience features that aren't available in the base XL trim, like power-adjustable and heated front seats.

Ford Ranger Powertrain Options:

  • Base engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available four-wheel drive
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Ford Ranger Appearance Packages:

Note: Adding some of these packages may require a combination of other packages.

  • STX package (prices start at $995; available in XL): 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels and premium cloth four-way ebony black seats, fog lamps, and tow hooks
  • XL Chrome Appearance package (prices start at $365): fog lamps, black tow hooks, body-color wheel-lip molding, and chrome front and rear bumpers
  • XLT Chrome Appearance package (prices start at $1,170): 17-inch PDV wheels (or available 18-inch PDV wheels) and a chrome finish for the grille, bumpers, exhaust tip, door handles, tailgate handle, and tow hooks
  • Lariat Chrome Appearance package (prices start at $895): 18-inch PDV wheels and a chrome finish for the bumpers, exhaust tip, tow hooks, door handles, tailgate handle, and mirror caps
  • Black Appearance package (prices start at $1,090; available in XLT and Lariat): 18-inch black painted aluminum wheels with black center cap, a spray-in bed liner, a black finish for the grille and surround (XLT only), black mirror caps (Lariat only), black sill plates, a black steel exposed bash plate (with FX4 Off-Road package), a body-color front bumper with black lower fascia, and running boards
  • Sport Appearance package (prices start at $895; available in XLT and Lariat): a sport box decal and black grille with a magnetic-colored finish for the surround, bumpers, wheel lip moldings, and 17-inch aluminum wheels (or available 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with magnetic-colored pockets)

Ford Ranger Work Packages/Options:

  • Bed Utility package (prices start at $395; available in all trims): adds a drop-in bed liner and a 12-volt power outlet in the bed
  • Trailer Tow package (prices start at $495; available in all trims): adds a Class IV trailer hitch receiver and a four-pin/seven-pin wiring harness

Ford Ranger Trims:

Ford Ranger XL

The Ranger XL sports a base price of $24,410. Standard features include cloth upholstery, a USB port, Bluetooth, four speakers, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a rearview camera, Ford's MyKey system, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Vinyl upholstery is available for no extra charge.

An option package that's available for $1,135 adds cruise control and the SYNC connectivity system with a 4.2-inch screen and a six-speaker audio system. For $625, the Ford Co-Pilot360 bundle adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

The FX2 package ($595; available in rear-wheel-drive models) adds a locking rear differential and an off-road suspension. The FX4 Off-Road package ($1,295; available in four-wheel-drive models) adds an off-road-tuned suspension, off-road tires, a locking rear differential, skid plates, a terrain management system, and crawl control.

Ford Ranger XLT

The Ranger XLT starts at $28,460. In addition to the base trim's features, the XLT comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Also standard is the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

There's an option package ($2,450) that adds eight-way power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, and remote start. If you add another package, you have the option to add the Technology package ($995), which includes adaptive cruise control and navigation. The FX2 and FX4 packages are also available.

Ford Ranger Lariat

The Ranger Lariat carries a starting price of $32,500. In addition to the lower trims' standard features, the Lariat comes with leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable seats, heated front seats, and front and rear parking sensors.

There's an option package ($2,005) that includes adaptive cruise control, navigation, and remote start. In SuperCrew models, this package also comes with HD Radio and a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Which Ranger Cab Style Is Right for Me?

There are two Ranger cab styles: the four-seat SuperCab (extended cab) and the five-seat SuperCrew (crew cab).

If you're regularly going to have more than one passenger, the SuperCrew is the better choice. The SuperCab's rear seats are too small for almost any adult, and even some kids might feel cramped back there. On the other hand, the SuperCrew has much larger rear seats, and it's easy to get in and out of the back thanks to its full-size doors.

Which Ranger Bed Length Is Right for Me?

The Ranger comes with a 5-foot bed in SuperCrew models and a 6-foot bed in SuperCab models. While the longer bed obviously gives you more utility, the SuperCab's rear seat is too small for most people to ride in comfortably.

Which Ranger Model Is Best for Towing and Hauling?

Every Ranger has the same 7,500-pound maximum towing capacity if you add the optional tow package, so you can pick either cab and bed combo without losing capability. Without the tow package, the Ranger can tow 3,500 pounds. With so little difference between capabilities, you should pick the model that gives you the right amount of passenger space and/or the right bed length.

You'll get the top payload capacity with the rear-wheel-drive SuperCab, which can haul up to 1,860 pounds. The four-wheel-drive SuperCab can haul up to 1,650 pounds. Numbers are slightly lower in the SuperCrew: 1,770 pounds in rear-wheel-drive models and 1,560 pounds in four-wheel-drive models.

Which Ranger Model Is Best for Off-Roading?

Unlike some trucks, the Ranger doesn't have a trim that's the designated off-road specialist in the lineup. To get the best adventuring abilities in this Ford, add four-wheel drive and the FX4 Off-Road package, which includes upgrades like an off-road-tuned suspension, off-road tires, a locking rear differential, skid plates, crawl control, and a terrain management system.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ford dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Ford deals page.

See 2020 Ford Ranger specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Ford Ranger delivers almost everything that a compact pickup truck buyer could want. It's capable, easy to drive, and gets good gas mileage. The interior leaves room for improvement, but the seats are comfortable, and the technology is user-friendly. In short, there's a lot to like here, and every small pickup shopper should give the Ranger a look.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The new Ford Ranger isn't a perfect midsize pickup. The interior isn't the best, the tailgate slams down when you open it, and there's only one engine option. But even so, the Ranger excels with its great power, best-in-class towing and payload and stellar fuel economy to boot. Taken as a whole, the Ranger really feels like the most well-rounded midsize truck available today." -- CNET (2019)
  • "The 2019 Ford Ranger isn't intended to make a splash in the midsize truck world. Given the lack of a volume-heavy, loss-leading base motor like you'll find from General Motors, and without the built-in loyalty that has kept Toyota at the top of the sales charts for almost 15 years, the Blue Oval has instead decided to target the profit-laden pockets of so-called 'lifestyle' buyers, those who buy a truck not because they need it every day, but because from time to time it allows them to access the various hobbies and adventures that they enjoy. This explains the Ranger's gobs of power, respectable off-road capability, and useful towing and hauling capacities." -- New York Daily News (2019)
  • "With its responsive and powerful drivetrain, refined ride, and impressive towing and fuel economy numbers, the 2019 Ford Ranger disrupts the midsize pickup race between the Tacoma, Colorado, and Honda Ridgeline, and it might just lead the pack now. … Fancy stuff and all, the Ford Ranger is back and better than ever." -- Motor Trend (2019)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 16, 2020

Climbing Demand: After an eight-year hiatus, the Ranger had a successful first year back competing for compact pickup truck sales. By the end of 2019, the Ranger placed third in the class, behind only the Chevrolet Colorado and the dominant Toyota Tacoma. The Ranger still has a way to go before it reaches the top though, as the Tacoma managed to outsell it by more than 2 to 1 in 2019.

Research more buying advice »
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