Buyer's Guide

2021 Ford Ranger
Select a Different Model (12 Available): Lariat 2WD SuperCab
Fuel Economy $ 21 / 26 mpg
Towing (Max) 7500 lbs.
Payload (Max) 1860 lbs.
Horsepower 270@5,500
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2021 Ford Ranger MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Stout turbo-four engine
  • Responsive 10-speed automatic
  • Impressive towing ability for its class

Cons

  • Bouncy ride
  • Cramped cabin
  • Infotainment system feels dated

The 2021 Ford Ranger is a versatile midsize pickup truck that can fill a number of roles depending on how you configure it. The truck is built on the same bones as the global-market Ford Ranger introduced in 2012, but the U.S.-spec model received an updated suspension, unique bodywork and interior, and a single-spec drivetrain.

Now in its third model year, two body styles are offered: a two-door SuperCab with 6-foot bed and four-door SuperCrew with 5-foot bed. With three trim levels and a wide selection of packages to choose from—including the new Tremor off-road option—you can spec your Ranger for work, play, or a combination of the two.

What's New

  • Off-road-optimized Tremor package with suspension lift, new shocks, 32-inch all-terrain tires
  • STX Special Edition package with unique wheels and silver interior accents
  • Forward Sensing System now included in Technology package
  • Reverse Sensing System now available on XL

What We Think

The Ford Ranger might be a relative newcomer to the U.S. truck market, but its platform is anything but new. As such, the Ranger feels older in some regards than many of its competitors.

One area where the Ranger is particularly lacking is in the ride quality department. In a 2019 comparison test against the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and Honda Ridgeline, the Ranger placed third behind the Honda and Chevrolet. Editors dinged the Ranger hardest for its too-soft, bouncy ride on the road.

"Every gentle turn, bump hit, or door closure makes the Ford rock like a cheap motel's vibrating bed," we said. That underdamped ride was especially pronounced with the FX4 off-road package but also noticeable in a regular Lariat trim. The Ford Ranger also didn't score many points for its interior, which editors felt was too cramped and dated.

But if you want a midsize truck you can put to work, the Ranger might be for you. Loading up its extra-wide bed helps settle the Ranger's ride down slightly, and the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine really shines when you're towing and hauling. Together with Ford's 10-speed automatic transmission, the engine has no trouble keeping up with its V-6 competitors. In our First Test, we said: "Turbo lag is nearly nonexistent, and the low- to midrange torque makes the truck feel quicker than it is. Whether daily driving or doing work, you're never worried it won't have enough guts."

Performance and Fuel Economy

The Ford Ranger is available with just one engine option, a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo-four that makes 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque and is tuned for truck duty. Similarly, just one transmission is available: Ford's quick-shifting and well-programmed 10-speed automatic. Customers can choose between RWD and 4WD, however.

Models with only two driven wheels are EPA-rated at 21/26 mpg city/highway, while 4WD Rangers are rated 20/24 mpg or 19/19 mpg in Tremor trim.

Safety

A range of safety and driver assistance features are available on the 2021 Ford Ranger. Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite of features, which includes automated emergency braking, curve control, forward collision monitoring, and a rearview camera, comes standard on every trim level. Blind-spot monitoring, lane keep assist, automatic high-beams, and a reverse-sensing system are added to the list when you upgrade to XLT or Lariat trims.

In IIHS crash tests, the 2021 Ford Ranger performs relatively well for a truck. The Ranger earns scores of Good in all tests except the small overlap front: passenger side evaluation, where it earned an Acceptable rating. The IIHS rates the Ranger's headlight performance as Marginal. Meanwhile, the NHTSA awarded the Ranger an overall four-star rating.

Cargo Space and Towing Capacity

The 2021 Ford Ranger receives a 6-foot bet in SuperCab configuration and a 5-foot bed with the four-door SuperCrew. The larger bed has a capacity of 51.8 cubic feet, while the smaller one has 43.3 cubic feet. Payload capacity varies by trim and ranges from 1,430 to 1,860 pounds. All Rangers can tow a maximum of 7,500 pounds.

Technology

An AM/FM radio with Bluetooth audio streaming capability comes standard in the base 2021 Ford Ranger XL, with Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system available. That system, with its 8.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, comes standard on XLT and Lariat trims. Despite being easy to use, the Sync 3 system could do with a graphical update and more responsive screen.

Within the instrument cluster you'll find either a single 2.3-inch LCD productivity screen or dual 4.2-inch screens. These displays can relay navigation and vehicle data, though we've found they're not always easy to read.

Trim Levels

2021 Ford Ranger XL

As the base model of the lineup, the XL is the most bare-bones Ranger you can get. It comes with 16-inch steel wheels, cloth seats, black plastic bumpers, and a basic audio system with a screen that we described as "credit-card-size."

2021 Ford Ranger XLT

Upgrading to the midlevel Ranger XLT model gets you body-color bumpers, 17-inch alloy wheels, a Sync 3 infotainment system, and premium cloth seats. The exterior color palette also expands with Cyber Orange paint as an extra-cost option.

2021 Ford Ranger Lariat

The Lariat model builds on the XLT's equipment list by adding leather-trimmed seats, LED headlights and foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels with Stealth Gray accents, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor

Though technically a package available on XLT and Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 models, the rugged-looking Ranger Tremor is its own thing. The package adds off-road goodies like Fox remote-reservoir shocks, a suspension lift, 32-inch all-terrain tires, and underbody skidplates. You also get unique body graphics and exclusive seats with Miko suede inserts.

Key Competitors:

2021 FORD RANGER SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 2.3 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, SelectShift® 10 Speed Automatic with Manual Mode (44U)
Trim
Lariat 2WD SuperCab
Class
Mid-Size Pickup
Horsepower
270@5,500
Standard MPG
21/26
Body Style
Truck
Drivetrain
2WD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
4/4
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60,000
Full Warranty Miles
36,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$500 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible Military personnel. 01-03-2022
$0 6.9% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 7.9% Financing for a maximum term of 84 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$500 Ford announces a Certificate Program on select models.. 07-06-2021
$1000 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible college students. 01-03-2022
$0 2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 48 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 3.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 60, 72 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$1000 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible Military personnel. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$1250 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible returning lessees. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$2000 Ford announces special Retail Customer Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 0% Financing for a maximum term of 36 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 1.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 60 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 4.9% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 5.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 72, 84 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$2500 Ford announces a Bonus Cash on select models to be used as trade in assistance. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 0.9% Financing for a maximum term of 48 Months - Ford announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021