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Jan 23, 2020

Ford Ranger at the MarinaBy Glen Konorowski

It is not often I get to drive the newer model of something I own. Most of the time the model I own has been replaced with a different vehicle. But as you may have guessed, I own a Ford Ranger.

You might be surprised to know the current North American Ranger has been out in Europe for a few years now. I saw the current model we now have in Germany while there on Holidays two years ago, and I was impressed. I was surprised Ford had not released it sooner, but as I was told they were getting it ready for the North American market and the changes they had to make to comply with North America were more than they planned.

Ford RangerI tested was the Lariat, the high-end model in the Ranger line. The model I had was the Super Crew, the 4-door model with the 5-fooot box. If you need more room to carry gear to the boat, you can opt for the XL Super Cab, which is basically an extended cab with a 6-foot box and is a base model.

In Canada the Ranger comes with only one engine, a turbo charged 2.3L overhead cam 4-cylinder. This is a Mazda derived engine that Ford has redeveloped for the North American market. Power output for the Ranger is amazing 270hp. and 310lb.ft. of torque. I found in my test that this power was more than enough to pull quickly around town and accelerate well on the highway. The big news with the Ranger is that it will tow boats and trailers up to a maximum 7500lbs. when equipped with the trailer towing package.

The Ranger uses a ladder frame chassis that keeps everything together in the power train. In Canada all Rangers are 4-wheel-drive unlike the US where rear wheel drive is available. For a 4-wheel drive, the ride was pretty good. The suspension soaked most of the potholes and dips in the road without pounding my back. Outward vision is good on the new Ranger with seating well placed and windows large enough to see well out.

Ford Ranger BackMy top of the line Lariat model tester was equipped with leather, power windows, heated seats, power seats and a whole lot more. Everything was easy to reach, find and learn to use. Front seats were comfortable with plenty of adjustment for tall or short drivers. Rear seating was ok if you were not too tall as space was a little limited, but overall comfortable. One thing I was not impressed with - I was not impressed with the gauge cluster, as the optional features and gauge functions were tiny not easy to read or understand"

As with any pickup truck today there are plenty of options. For the boater I would definitely go for the tow package and the off-road package. The tow package is self-explanatory but the off-road package gives you an electronic locking rear differential, which is very useful when lowering your boat into the water as it helps to prevent slipping.

One of the biggest advantages in my eyes to the Ranger is the fuel economy. The 11.8L per 100km. around town was great and the 9.8L. per 100km. on highway was even a better compared to other full-sized pickups. Number two was the slightly smaller size making it easy to park and get around in city traffic.

Unfortunately, all this fun comes with a price. My test Ranger listed at $50,000, but the smaller size and the great fuel consumption soften the pain.

Glen KonorowskiGlen Konorowski is a life long automotive enthusiast and automotive journalist for 35-years. He also claims to be former Commodore of the Monty Carlo Yacht Club!