We've driven the current Ford Ranger, and it's good but not great. The driving dynamics are lackluster, and the interior feels dated. Most of that can be blamed on the fact that it was only a mildly updated and more powerful version of the Ranger that the rest of the world got back in 2011 (we had to wait until 2019). It's not good enough to beat even unibody trucks like the Honda Ridgeline or even the much smaller Hyundai Santa Cruz, despite the fact that they can't compete with the Ranger's towing and off-road capabilities.
Well, Ford redesigned the Ranger for 2024 and also pulled the covers off the high-performance and world's first Ranger Raptor. Not only is the new Ranger bigger than the truck it replaces, but it also gets more than one engine choice. Ford promises that the new Ranger is better in just about every way than its predecessor. Let's take a closer look at the Ranger and the off-road-ready Ranger Raptor.
The first thing you notice is that the front fascia is different, most notably the grille and headlights. The grille is larger, and the headlights come from the F-150 in terms of shape and signature, if not size. the bumper is also new, and the whole look is more truck-like, which buyers tend to prefer. Even the shape of the front end is more squared off.
We also noticed that the curved fender bulges/creases from the current truck are gone, replaced by slightly wider panels that give the truck more presence. You even notice the change in the sides of the truck bed. There's also more sculpting and creasing in the lower portion of the doors, as well as in the tailgate. The front fender's faux vent has also been reshaped. Overall, the new Ranger looks much better.
One of the big problems with the current Ranger is the interior. It's just freakin' old in terms of looks, tech, and ergonomics. The new Ranger's dash is leaner, more attractive, and there appears to be better small items storage options. Even the HVAC vents, center console, and the steering wheel have been redone. Most notably is the new infotainment system, available with two screens: 10.1 or 12 inches, both portrait oriented. It's powered by Ford's great Sync 4A OS.
Another important aspect of the new Ranger is the availability of two engines instead of just one. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder returns with 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The second mill is a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that's good for 315 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with optional shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive.
The Raptor is all-new for us but not for the rest of the world. The great news, other than it's debut on our shores, is the fact that the American version is more powerful. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 emits 405 horsepower puts down 430 lb-ft of torque. It's not as potent as the F-150 Raptor that has 450 hp and 510 lb-ft., but no one will balk at the Ranger Raptor's power. Four-wheel drive is standard, along with a two-speed transfer case, front and rear electronic locking differentials, FOX Live Valve shocks, 33-inch BFGoodrich KO3 tires, and additional drive modes. It's ready to take on some serious off-roading duties.
The Raptor also has a significant 10.7 inches of ground clearance, and the approach, departure, and breakover angles are 33, 26.4 and 24.2 degrees, respectively. Ford is literally the only manufacturer that offers a spicier version of its compact pickup truck. Sure, the Colorado gets the ZR2, but it doesn't offer more power than the standard Colorado.
Pricing, as you guessed, has increased. The base 2024 Ranger starts at $34,160 including the $1,595 destination charge. That's $5,265 more than the extended-cab Ranger (which will no longer be offered), and $3,080 more than the crew-cab. The Ranger Raptor starts at $56,960, which is far less than the F-150 Raptor ($76,775) and the Bronco Raptor ($83,580).
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Read our full review of the current Ford Ranger pickup truck: