Wapcar Automotive NewsThe Ford Ranger 2023 is a mid-size pickup that’s no longer the smallest in its lineup thanks to the new Maverick compact truck. Considered more of a diet F-150 than a pickup truck, the Ranger comes with a 270-hp, 10-speed turbocharged four-speed automatic transmission. It delivers good power, but doesn’t deliver the fuel economy we’ve come to expect from a small four-cylinder engine. However, it is large with a maximum towing capacity of 7500 pounds.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is still available, and while the Ranger isn’t as new as some of its competitors like the Chevrolet Colorado or Nissan Frontier, it still drives better than ever. The Ranger can be ordered as a two-door SuperCab with a 6-foot-wide bed or a four-door SuperCrew with a 5-foot-wide bed. For maximum off-road antics, the Ranger can be fitted with the Tremor package, but a more mud-specific Raptor model is likely to join Ranger’s completely redesigned lineup for year 2024.

What’s new for 2023?

Ford hasn’t significantly changed its midsize Ranger pickup for 2023. New for 2023 is the new Splash Jungle Edition kit for the Lariat SuperCrew. It’s largely an appearance pack with the exclusive Eruption Green Metallic paintwork and a black mesh grille. Azure Gray Metallic Tri-coat is also added as an available paint option.

If you’re looking for value and performance, look to the base Extended Cab XL model, which Ford calls the SuperCab. It has all the power and ride quality of the other Rangers, but thanks to its smaller cabin, rear-wheel drive configuration and lower standard equipment level, it doesn’t weigh as much as the XLT and Lariat versions, that’s it. which means it will update a little faster. This system is standard equipment with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, equipment only on the most advanced versions of Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Our top pick, however, is the SuperCrew crew cabin body style that’s decked out in mid-range XLT and equipped with all-wheel drive. We’ll be adding FX4 all-terrain suspension, floor mats, and a 302A package that includes heated seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Engine, transmission and performance

Open the hood of the Ford Ranger and you’ll be greeted by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. There’s enough muscle to make the Ranger XLT we tested reasonably fast and the ride smooth as silk. Things got even more dramatic with the lighter Ranger XL, which surprised us with its speed and agility as we sped past its paces on the trail. With all Ranger Pickups, a 10-speed automatic transmission prevails and makes shifting smooth and quick. 

Rear-wheel drive models have a ground clearance of 8.4 inches, while all-wheel drive versions have a ground clearance of 8.9 inches. The Ranger is available with a Terrain Management System that adjusts things like engine and transmission response to optimize the truck’s performance on different types of terrain. Four selectable drive modes are offered: normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Wheel and Sand.

Traction and load

When equipped with the optional towing package, the Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, and when towing, the truck’s power remains smooth and steady. As for payload, the Ranger can handle up to 1860 pounds.

Real-world fuel economy and MPG

The EPA estimates the rear-wheel-drive Ranger will rise to 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel drive version gets ratings as high as 20 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway, but the Tremor model sees both ratings drop to 19 mpg. We ran a rear-wheel drive model through a 75 mph highway fuel economy route – part of our extensive testing program – and got 25 mpg. The two four-wheel drive crew models we sampled offered locally at 16 mpg and 15 mpg after fairly aggressive driving, respectively. For more information on Ranger fuel economy, visit the EPA website. 

Furniture, comfort and loads

Rangers are available as Extended Cab (SuperCab) or Crew Cab (SuperCrew) models. The more spacious SuperCrew can accommodate up to five people and comes with four full-size doors, while the SuperCab offers seating for four and has two smaller rear half doors. As with several other Ford products, the Ranger’s cabin design and materials are inconsistent – mostly drab and dotted with cheap plastic, but also fitted with some embellishments that look like surprisingly high end. However, the SuperCab and SuperCrew cabins are very comfortable and the controls are user-friendly.

Infotainment and connectivity

The base XL model comes standard with a number of infotainment and connectivity features, including a four-speaker AM/FM audio system, one USB port, and a Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to 10 devices. bag. Upgrade to the XLT or Lariat model and you’ll get an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities as well as SiriusXM satellite radio. Integrated navigation and a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system are available.