2020 Ford Ranger Review
  • Car Review

2020 Ford Ranger Review

By Autolist Staff | May 28, 2020

Pros:

  • Impressive fuel efficiency
  • Nice towing and hauling capabilities
  • Impressive turbocharged engine
  • Smooth handling

Cons:

  • A bit pricey for its class
  • Ho-hum interior
  • Mediocre safety scores
  • Lacks some technological perks

More Photos

See more 2020 Ford Ranger photos here.


Summary

A midsize pickup with both a four-seat extended cab and a five-seat crew cab configuration, the 2020 Ford Ranger is the newest vehicle to bear Ford's famous nameplate since its revival in 2019, following an eight-year hiatus in the U.S. market.

Sharing market space with the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, and Honda Ridgeline, the new Ranger comes in three trim levels and sports a turbocharged 2.3-liter, 270-horsepower four-cylinder engine with 310 lb-ft of torque.

The truck is available in either a SuperCab configuration (two smaller doors and limited seat room behind the front seats) or the SuperCrew setup (two full-size doors and more legroom behind front passengers).

All versions of the Ranger get a 10-speed automatic transmission, standard with rear-wheel-drive, with four-wheel-drive being offered as an option.

The new Ranger has many safety and driver assistance perks now common in the market, such as blindspot monitoring and lane keep assist.

Higher trims come with the Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system.


Exterior

TLDR: Although the base model is nearly identical to the 2019 Ranger, the new Ford pickup boasts a wide range of styling options.

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Sporting a deep line at the bottom of the doors and eye-catching rear and front bumpers, the 2020 Ford Ranger has a handsome styling overall, though some drivers may find it too conservative.

The Ranger has a curb weight of 3,922 to 4,441 pounds, depending on the trim level. All trims are 210.8 inches long and 73.3 inches wide and feature a wheelbase of 126.8 inches.

You can buy several appearance packages, including the XL Chrome Appearance package featuring a chrome finish and black tow hooks.

The XLT Chrome Appearance package, which expands the chrome finish to the door handles and other parts of the exterior.

The Lariat Chrome Appearance package, which includes 18-inch PDV wheels.

In addition, the STX package includes black seats and silver, 17-inch aluminum wheels, while the Black Appearance package boasts 18-inch black wheels.

Finally, the Sport Appearance package consists of a magnetic-colored finish and sport box decal.


Interior Quality and Comfort

TLDR: The interior looks a little bland, but it's a comfortable place to spend some time.

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The 2020 Ford Ranger has a plush interior with comfortable seats, moreso than rivals from Toyota and Chevy/GMC. We did find a few too many hard plastic surfaces for our liking, though some trim levels have a stitched dashboard.

The seats have cloth, vinyl, or leather upholstery, depending on which trim level you opt for. Higher trim levels come with the eight-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system.

Overall the truck's controls are intuitive, with large knobs and buttons for adjusting the sound and climate.

The Ranger Lariat trim level also includes a digital screen in the instrument cluster.

Rear seats have reasonable legroom on SuperCrew models (four full doors), though the front seats lack height adjustment. SuperCab models have limited useful passenger space in the rear seats, so think of them as more cargo-oriented.


Utility and Practicality

TLDR: With an impressive towing and hauling capacity, the 2020 Ford Ranger is a promising workhorse.

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With a towing capacity of up to 7,500 pounds and a payload capacity of 1,860 pounds, the 2020 Ford Ranger is perfect for moving cargo. The vehicle comes with a 5-foot or 6-foot cargo bed, depending on your preference.

Rangers with the 5-foot bed have 43.3 cubic feet of cargo space, while those with the 6-foot bed have 51.8 cubic feet of space. For all models, cargo space in the cabin is lacking, with not much space available in the door cards or center console or under the rear bench seat.

The rear outboard seats come with two sets of LATCH anchors for safety. Also, the SuperCrew model has three bracket-style tethers behind the seats, while the SuberCab model has tether anchors above the backrest.

The base-model Ranger comes with a manually locking tailgate, while some higher trims have tailgate handles.


Technology and Infotainment

TLDR: The new Ranger comes with lots of tech features, though not as many as its rivals do.

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The base-model 2020 Ford Ranger has numerous tech goodies, including a USB port, air conditioning, a Wi-Fi hotspot with up to 10 connection points, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker AM/FM audio system.

Buyers can add SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-folding mirrors, heated front seats, and automatic high beams.

Higher trims come with the SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system, featuring a simple, easy-to-use interface. SYNC 3 lets you shop on Amazon Prime, access traffic information, and operate your Smart Home devices, all with a few taps on the screen.

Higher trim levels also come with front and rear parking sensors and LED headlights and taillights.

Despite the many features that are available on the Ranger, we were disappointed that more of them weren't standard; adding them pushes the Ranger's price higher than most shoppers might expect.


Safety and Driving Assistance

TLDR: Despite some safety-rating shortcomings, this pickup has no shortage of driver assistance features.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 Ford Ranger a crash-test and safety rating of four stars out of five. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the crew cab version of the midsize pickup truck its Good overall rating. However, it didn't label it a Top Safety Pick due to substandard headlights.

Unlike most competitors, Ford doesn't provide complimentary scheduled maintenance for the 2020 Ranger. However, this vehicle comes standard with both a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

In addition, the Ranger features Ford Co-Pilot360, a package of safety features, to give you peace of mind. These include pedestrian detection with forward-collision warning, curve control, front- and side-curtain airbags, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, antilock brakes, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, keyless entry, fog lights, and stability control.

The new Ford Ranger even boasts blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a trailer tow monitoring feature. Also, Ford's MyKey system comes standard with this vehicle, allowing you to set audio and speed limits for other drivers.

In terms of reliability, the 2020 Ranger is about average, according to J.D. Power. Although the NHTSA hasn't announced recalls for the 2020 Ford Ranger, it recalled five Rangers from the previous model year for problems with the seatbelts, blower motor, shifter, and taillights.


Driving Experience

TLDR: This vehicle accelerates well thanks to its turbocharged engine, and its handling and braking are also good.

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As you might expect from a Ford pickup, the 2020 Ranger's engine is impressive. The powertrain on all trims features a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, providing plenty of oomph when you need to tow a trailer or haul items for work. A 10-speed automatic transmission ensures the Ranger shifts seamlessly.

The 2020 Ranger comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but you can upgrade to four-wheel drive if desired.

Ideal for off-road excursions, this midsize pickup mounts inclines with ease and can navigate just about any terrain. Handling is a high point, with sharp turns and a tolerable body roll.

Some may prefer the firmer handling of the Chevrolet Colorado and Honda Ridgeline; nevertheless, the Ranger's ride is satisfyingly smooth.

Thanks to its turbo engine, the Ranger can accelerate to 60 mph in seven seconds, and its torque peaks at 3,000 rpm. The vehicle's suspension is compliant, ensuring you're comfortable while driving.

However, this compliance can give the vehicle a floaty feeling that some drivers may dislike.

The 2020 Ford Ranger comes with the FX2 off-road package for rear-wheel-drive models. FX2 includes the Trail Control and Terrain Management system for greater stability while driving. With it, you can set the vehicle to four terrain modes: Normal, Sand, Mud/Ruts, and Grass/Gravel/Snow. This off-road package also includes a 16-gauge steel bash plate.

FX4, another off-road package, includes off-road tires, a locking rear differential, and crawl control, among other features.


Fuel Efficiency

TLDR: The 2020 Ford Ranger has a decent fuel economy for a midsize pickup.

The 4x2 2020 Ford Ranger has been rated by the EPA at 21/26/23 city/highway/combined.

The 4x4 models are rated at 20/24/22 city/highway/combined.

Overall, those figures make the Rager relatively fuel-efficient for its class.

The Toyota Tacoma, a rival pickup, only gets 21 mpg at its best. However, the Ranger has a smaller tank than the Tacoma, with an average range of 396 to 414 miles to the Tacoma's 440.


Trim Levels and Pricing

TLDR: With prices between $25,000 and $36,000, there's a trim level for everyone.

The 2020 Ranger comes in three trim levels: the base XL, the XLT, and the Lariat. It also comes in two body styles: the four-person SuperCab, which is an extended cab with a 6-foot bed, and the five-person SuperCrew, which is a crew cab with a 5-foot bed.

The XL SuperCab ($25,605) and SuperCrew ($28,005) come with most of the tech amenities available for this pickup, including AM/FM radio with Wi-Fi, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and much more.

This is probably the best trim if you value performance most of all, as its ride quality and acceleration are the best of the segment.

As with any trim, you can add the $1,135 101A package to the XL for keyless entry, power mirrors, cruise control, and other perks, and you can purchase the FX2 or FX4 off-road package for additional conveniences, such as Trail Control and Terrain Management.

The Ford Ranger XLT SuperCab ($29,655) and XLT SuperCrew ($31,830) come with most of these features, plus fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors, a 110-volt AC outlet, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

If you buy the 302A package, you can also get heated power-adjustable front seats, remote ignition, and more. This is the trim that gives drivers the best bang for their buck, thanks to the savvy mix of important features.

Finally, the Ford Ranger Lariat SuperCab ($33,695) and SuperCrew ($35,870) boast all the features found at lower trim levels as well as several extra ones, including proximity entry, LED headlights, floor mats, and push-button start.

Regardless of trim, Ford charges $645 in acquisition fees and a $1,195 destination fee upon purchase of the new Ranger.


Value

Is the 2020 Ford Ranger worth buying? With an MSRP of about $25,000 to $36,000, depending on the trim level, this midsize pickup is somewhat pricey for its class.

Nevertheless, it's a strong content in the segment, and worth looking at by anyone looking for a midsize truck.

Highlights include its stable handling, impressive gas mileage, ample cargo space, and vigorous engine.

Weaknesses include pricy options, and an interior design and materials are a bit lacking. The longer SuperCrew is definitely the better variant if you often have multiple passengers, as the rear seats on the SuperCab can get cramped.

The new Toyota Tacoma is one of the 2020 Ranger's main rivals, with the Tacoma offering a better cabin and special offroad trim levels, but falling short in the powertrain department.

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline is another competitor. Because it's based on a crossover platform rather than a truck platform, it offers more space, better comfort, and a smoother ride than the 2020 Ranger; downsides include worse towing, hauling, and offroading.

You might also consider the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. However, aside from their excellent off-road capability at higher trim levels, these vehicles can't match the Ranger in most respects. The Jeep Gladiator is another vehicle that gives the Ranger a run for its money in the offroading department.


More Photos

See more 2020 Ford Ranger photos here.