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Review: Ford Ranger Supercrew 4×4 XLT

I have a sneaking suspicion that people will buy the latest iteration of the Ford Ranger because they want the perceived modern cachet of tooling around in a pickup truck, but they don’t really have anything they need to haul.

And that’s fine. If you just wanna play the part of cowboy while you drive to your cushy job in the Denver DTC, go crazy, podner. This isn’t a bad choice.

Folks who actually use the bed of a pickup for more than just a weekend mulch-run to Home Depot are likely going elsewhere. Also fine. I think that might explain why Ford threw their hands up and ditched any other option rather than the shorty.

Yes, the newest Ranger makes me think of the 2001 song by Cake, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.” (And if I just gave you an ear worm, you’re welcome.) The Ranger dishes out a short bed and a long cab. Two rows of seats ahead of a five-foot bed in the back.

But how is it?

The Basics

Ford redesigned the Ranger for 2024, and it was time. The small-to-midsize truck market has heated up. Everyone seems to want to drive either a truck, an SUV, or crossover—to the extent that car makers are eliminating sedans faster than a case of PBR lasts at a NASCAR race.

They’ve altered not only the outward appearance, but the inside, as well. More on that later. The point is, they rolled up their sleeves and didn’t just tweak one or two things; they kinda went crazy. And what you get is a slightly larger Ranger with a wider wheelbase, a fancy-schmancy looking face with cool LED lights in a stylish new C-shaped arrangement.

As mentioned, you only get the supercrew/short bed option moving forward, but for many people, that will be a blessing—they hate having to choose from too many options.

And as someone who’s not by nature a truck dude, I can tell you that the Ranger is suddenly a bit more sexy than it used to be. It did draw people over who wanted to eyeball it. That’s a good start.

The Inside

With all the changes poured into the new Ranger, the interior is where you find the most mixed feelings. Personally, I give it high marks.

Start with the seats, which are not luxury-brand quality, but certainly score well. It’s easy to find a comfortable position, too.

It’s just one part of a very clean look.

The rear seats aren’t the roomiest, but are passable. Plus, for extra convenience, they’ll fold flat. Which, I suppose some would say makes up for the smaller bed.

I like the overall materials of the cockpit, not because they’ll wow anyone, but because they’re visually interesting.

The storage up front is good, with a healthy bin between the seats and a cool little tray in the middle of the dash in front of the passenger seat. More and more vehicles are adding these, and it’s good to see Ford jumping on it.

The Drive

For starters, Ford’s engineers decided one of the changes to the Ranger needed to include the spacing of the wheels. They’re farther apart, which delivers a better ride overall.

I took our station’s general manager for a drive and when I asked him to sum up his experience, he said, “It rides like a car.”

Some truck owners will scoff at that; they don’t want that kind of experience. But I tend to think it’s one change that will draw in some of those former sedan owners who think they want a pickup, but they don’t want to sacrifice ride quality. The Ranger is a nice middle ground.

That assessment from the GM can be attributed to not only the wider base, which makes for some nice handling, but also to the smooth 10-speed automatic transmission.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine produces 270 horses.

The Tech

You gotta start with the large portrait-oriented touchscreen that dominates the center of the dash. This is something that you’re going to be seeing more of. Sure, Tesla made it famous, but there’s just something pleasing about the look. Almost like it provides a good sense of control.

What I like, however, is that you still get audio and climate controls with the tactile buttons and knobs we all love. Thank you, Ford.

I made good use of the wireless smartphone charging pad beneath that large screen. You will, too.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

The Bottom Line

Ford realized they were trailing most of the competition in the midsize truck market, and, to their credit, they stepped up. This total redesign addressed several issues and made the Ranger not only competitive again, but a solid choice for people in the market for a truck that works both off-road and in the city.

The Details

2024 Ford Ranger Supercrew 4×4 XLT

2.3-L EcoBoost engine

10-speed automatic transmission

Fuel economy: 20/24/22 combined

MSRP: $44,945

As tested:  $46,904

Reviewed by Dom Testa

Vehicle provided by manufacturer


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