The Ford Ranger is a very popular pickup, which baffles us as to why the previous generation model took a long time to arrive in the United States. In fact, it only went on sale in 2019--nearly eight years after the T6 platform-based model debuted globally. For this new generation model, though, Ford once again took their sweet time, but at least the delay is just a year as opposed to nearly a decade. Even then, here's why the new 2024 Ford Ranger was totally worth the wait even if an equally new 2024 Toyota Tacoma is on the horizon.
It Now Took On American Tastes
Do you want to know why Ford took a long time to bring the previous Ranger to the United States? Of course, you do. When the prior generation debuted globally in 2011, it morphed into a midsize pickup as opposed to the compact Ranger that it replaced. At the same time, Ford focused its research and development resources on the F-150, which debuted a revolutionary aluminum-intensive body in 2015. Therefore, the now-midsize Ranger catered to Asian, Australian, and European tastes as opposed to designing it for the North American market.
With Ford now offering a compact pickup in the form of the Maverick, as well as noticing the popularity of the midsize / compact pickup segments in North America, the new 2024 Ford Ranger now also took into consideration the preferences of North American buyers. That's reflected in the way it looks because while doesn't break the mold for what a pickup should look like, it does look tough and butch compared to the rounded outgoing model that catered more to global tastes.
It Offers A Familiar But Significantly-Improved Drive
I don't live in the United States which meant that I was already able to try out a Ranger Wildtrak 4x2 way before its American debut. Still riding on the T6 platform as the outgoing model, this did not carry over untouched, mind you. This is reflected by the wider dimensions and longer wheelbase.
Compared to the outgoing model, the new Ranger's refinement levels have been significantly improved, and that's definitely what you can also expect in the United States. The improved refinement has reduced the noise of our region's equally-improved diesel engine range. The standard-fit 10-speed automatic has also been improved as there's less gear hunting and offers more decisive gear changes.
As for engines, North American Rangers get an all-gasoline engine lineup consisting of a 2.3-liter four-cylinder turbo EcoBoost engine that produces 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and a mighty 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that produces 315 horses and 400 pound-feet of twist.
It Offers Class-Leading Tech That's (Mostly) Intuitive
Part of the 2024 Ford Ranger's redesign is its overhauled tech. Starting with the interior, an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster comes as standard, while a bigger and more functional 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster is offered in higher trims. SYNC4A also comes as standard, which is housed in either a 10.25-inch or a 12.0-inch portrait touch screen.
Believe me, the screen size for the infotainment doesn't matter since the software and the features are the same for both screen sizes. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, and you can also cut the cord when it comes to juicing up your phone thanks to the wireless charger, while a premium B&O sound system will ensure in-car karaoke sessions sound good--both of which are on higher trims.
Now, the reason why I say its tech is (mostly) intuitive is that Ford still thankfully preserved the physical controls for the climate controls and other functions. Unfortunately, the buttons for the Auto Hold of the electronic parking brake and the Locking Rear Differential have been migrated to a drop-down menu in the infotainment system.
The new 2024 Ford Ranger comes with an array of Ford advanced driver-assistance tech, such as automatic emergency braking, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane centering, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, just to name a few. It even comes with Active Park Assist 2.0 hands-free automated parking.
Lastly, the new Ford Ranger also comes with Zone Lighting--a feature it inherited from the F-150. This feature lets you use the individual lights surrounding the Ranger, which helps in doing outdoor work or even illuminating your campsite. Zone Lighting is able to individually illuminate up to four zones surrounding the new Ranger.
The Ranger Raptor Is A Freaking Bargain!
Of course, a Ranger article wouldn't be complete without talking about the Ranger Raptor, and there's plenty of reason to be excited. Handling all that potential sand bashing it may encounter are its forged aluminum double A-arm front suspension and a Watts-link rear suspension with trailing arms, both of which contain electronically-controlled 2.5-inch Fox Live Valve shocks. It also comes with 17-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich KO3 all-terrain tires, but if that's too tame for you, 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels are also available. Along with a wider stance and more aggressive looks, the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is no wallflower.
That's also reflected in the engine, as it uses the same 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 of the Bronco Raptor, which means it produces 405 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of twist. Both figures are slightly less than the Bronco Raptor's 418 horses and 440 pound-feet, but it's still 95 horses more than the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the GMC Canyon AT4X, both of which are its closest rivals.
And then we come to the price. The Bronco Raptor starts at $85,375, but the Ranger Raptor starts at just $56,960. That's still a lot of money, but its price is just a whisker of its two rivals from General Motors despite offering significantly more power and capability. The standard Ranger starts at a lower $34,160, and all of these prices come with a $1,595 destination fee.