By Alex Giron of carsfera.com/
The Ford Ranger lovingly referred to by fans as “The Beat” makes a return to the midsize pickup segment for the second time in America. This time around, it comes equipped with a couple of new options in a bid to steal the thunder from the Tacoma and Colorado. Ford has kept things simple by offering just the 2.3-liter four-cylinder turbo engine option for all the trims. The 270-horsepower engine produces 310 lb-ft of torque, making it a force to be reckoned with even through tough terrain.
Despite the Ford Ranger being introduced to the US in 2019, it has been a success for over a decade in pretty much every part of the world. So, the question is: does the Ranger Lariat do enough to stand toe to toe with the competition or even beat it in 2020? That’s a question we were eager to answer by testing the 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat.
What’s New in the 2020 Ford Ranger?
The 2020 Ford Ranger now comes with the FX2 package, but it’s only available on rear-wheel-drive models. The FX2 adds electronic locking rear differentials, off-road tires, suspension, and a couple of decals towards the side. The package also adds an off-road display.
Ford has also introduced a couple of new color options, with three fresh hues added to the palette. Also part of the offering is the pickup box extender, and a Sync 3 infotainment system to the Lariat and XLT trims. Speaking of the Lariat, there is also dual-zone climate control as a standard and a forward parking sensor.
Sexy Yet Rugged Looking Exterior
The 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat is the most lavish variant with LED headlights, taillights, body-colored side mirrors, an aggressively angled grille, and beautiful 18-inch alloy wheels. The first impressions we got was that it is a lovely yet rugged-looking vehicle. It’s hard to tell that it’s a Ford if the emblem wasn’t so hard to miss.
Our review model is the SuperCrew, with a five-foot bed. The 4×2 is 71.1 inches in height, with the 4x4s around 0.4 inches higher. The spec sheet states that the bed volume is 43.3 cubic feet, 20.9 inches high, and 61 inches long, which is the same measurement of the SuperCab.
It is important to note that the max-width across all variants is 73.3 inches, and the same goes for the wheelbase, which is 126.8 inches. Ground clearance has improved with 8.9 for 4x4s and 8.4 for 4x2s.
The payload specs vary with the SuperCab being the lightest at 1860 lbs, the one we had, i.e., the SuperCrew is the heaviest, which can manage 1560lbs.
Specs Under the Hood
The most important spec worth mentioning is the engine. The Lariat boasts of a 2.3 liter, EcoBoost Turbo engine, that’s surprisingly powerful and versatile. It is the same engine technology that Ford has used in their entry-level Focus, to their more expensive Mustangs. However, in the Ranger, the engine has been tweaked to produce 270hp with an impressive 310lb-ft of torque, putting it amongst some of the quickest trucks in this category.
First Impressions of the Interior
The 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat has the most luxurious interior of all the trims. Open the door, and you’re greeted with an upmarket type vibe, brought on by the use of genuine leather in different colors. The seats feel soft, and the driving position is ideal for long drives. However, all seats are easily adjustable.
Equipment onboard includes Ford’s Sync 3 system along with the best satellite radio available today in any truck. While we think that the ergonomics are perfect, especially for long drives, the use of plastic in some places looks out of place. However, you’ll need to be looking for plastic in the Lariat like we did to find it.
The top-spec Lariat, i.e., the one we reviewed, costs $45,715. Our review model was fully loaded with all the options and packages, which costs slightly over 7k. So, if you were to buy one without it, the price for the Lariat starts at $38,675.
The 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat is one of the best trucks you can buy in 2020. The leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear & front parking sensors, and eight-way adjustable seats bring the vehicle up to the market standard set by the Tacoma and Colorado. However, we strongly recommend that buyers at least add the options package for an extra $2k, mainly because it includes navigation, adaptive cruise control, and remote start.
We have no problem recommending the 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat to anyone who’s in the market for an affordable, utilitarian, and yet extremely powerful truck.