Ford’s Ranger pickup stormed back into the market in 2019 after an eight year hiatus, keen to take on the likes of other midsize pickups such as the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and GMC Canyon. Despite receiving good reviews and many accolades, the Ranger has not sold as well as Ford had hoped. The all-new, fifth generation 2024 Ford Ranger seeks to change that. While heeding the importance of the Ranger as a popular global product, the new model has been developed with the U.S. market in mind. This change speaks to complaints that the previous generation Ranger was designed first for the Europe and then adapted for sales here.
The new Ranger shares Ford’s T6 mid-size pickup platform with the second generation Volkswagen Amarok, a pickup VW sells only in offshore markets. This new iteration of the Ranger platform features beefier construction with a fully boxed high-strength steel frame, which is both wider and longer than the previous generation. It has also been raised to offer improved ground clearance. Ford estimates a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds along with a payload capacity of 1,805 pounds. Three trim levels will be offered including a base XL, mid-range XLT, and top-line Lariat.
EcoBoost Powers 2024 Ford Ranger
Two fuel efficient engine options are available for the 2024 Ranger, starting with a base 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four delivering 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft torque. A 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 shared with the F-150 and Bronco joins the lineup to offer higher performance with its 315 horsepower and 400 lb-ft torque. Both motors are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Upping the excitement ante but far less efficient is the Ranger Raptor, a twin-turbo 405 horsepower off-road version of the Ranger featuring tons of unique equipment and specs. While many had speculated that a plug-in hybrid or fully electric version of the new pickup could be coming – with hopes running high for a Ranger hybrid after Ford’s debut of the Maverick hybrid pickup for the 2022 model year – that still remains just speculation.
Rear-wheel and part-time four-wheel drive are available, with the latter offering shift-on-the-fly capability allowing drivers to transition from two- to four-wheel drive at any speed under 55 mph. An electronic locking rear differential is also optional on both rear and four-wheel-drive applications to improve traction under challenging off-road driving conditions.
F-150 Design Cues
The all-new Ranger features a front fascia reminiscent of its F-150 big brother with a familiar wrap-around LED running light surrounding the headlights. While the F-150 and Ranger share similar design cues, the Ranger still takes on a look of its own with a brawny, high-slung bumper featuring a small opening for the Ranger’s intercooler with air active-shutters. When equipped with the FX4 Off-Road package, the Ranger includes a visible skid plate that protects the front differential and transmission from rugged terrain.
New touches set the new Ranger apart from the previous generation. Along the sides, smoothed wheel well arches replace the more boxed-out design of its predecessor, making its overall appearance appear a bit more grown up. Front fender badging appears above a functional fender vent designed to better cool front brakes under heavy use. At the back, Ford integrated optional side steps that allow easier access to the cargo bed without requiring the tailgate to be opened.
Appealing Design and Side Steps
The Ranger’s rear design has been reimagined and is more angular, highlighted by smoked LED taillights and ‘RANGER’ embossed at the bottom of a newly designed tailgate. Its pickup bed now boasts two additional inches of width and features optional 120- and 400-volt power sources. Five- and six-foot bed choices are available depending on cab configuration, though only the crew cab configuration is available for now.
Ford has redesigned the Ranger’s cabin to offer a much more refined experience. The dashboard has been refreshed and features new and stylish HVAC vents and a two-story glove box design with an inset storage tray in between. Door panels and seats now incorporate a cross-stitched design and include ample door pocket storage. The driving position is higher with better visibility and features a standard 8-inch digital instrument cluster with a 12.4-inch cluster available.
Two Center Display Options
Taking center stage is a standard 10-inch or optional 12-inch integrated infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. The infotainment system utilizes Ford’s SYNC 4A operating system that’s capable of over-the-air software updates. A new electronic E-shift gear selector is present on the center console along with a four-wheel-drive select-shift dial for 4WD models. Rear seat functionality is improved with the seat backs now offering fold-flat capability that effectively transforms the rear passenger area into additional cargo space. That, paired with under-seat storage compartments and the pickup’s wider cargo bed, makes the new Ranger even more versatile for recreation or work.
An array of driver assist systems are standard or available. Among these are trailer-adaptable blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and Ford’s Active Park Assist 2.0 that allows drivers to remotely parallel or perpendicular-park their Ranger using the FordPass Connect smartphone app. Also handy for trailering are functions like Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Trailer Reverse Guidance, which use cameras to display different angles that aid drivers in accurately and safely backing up their trailers.
Stylish 2024 Ford Ranger
Ford ‘s Ranger has been an enduring choice for compact and mid-size truck buyers since it first appeared as a 1983 model. Now, with its appealing new generation Ranger, Ford is poised to capture the imagination of mid-size truck buyers who would otherwise consider the likes of competitors Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. With the entry price of a base Ranger XL SuperCrew coming in at $34,160, order banks opening imminently, and deliveries beginning late this summer, we’ll know how successful the new Ranger will be soon enough.