2021 Ford Ranger

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2021 Ford Ranger Review: Not Your Average Joe

by Aiden Eksteen

With the popularity of midsize pickup trucks having picked up in the USA over recent years, Ford decided to bring in its foreign offering rather than design an entirely new truck. The 2021 Ford Ranger, as a result, may not be as compelling as more American-purposed trucks such as the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, and the Honda Ridgeline. The automaker did ensure that the Ranger be presented to the American market with a good selection of improvements and alterations that would be enough to keep it on par with its preexisting contemporaries, and perhaps even make it better. With a potent 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque emitted from its 2.5-liter turbo inline-4 engine, the Ranger performs with genuine rigor and capability while remaining impressively fuel-efficient, too. There are some annoyances here and there, brought about by the Ranger's un-American design, but even with those minor flaws, it's one of the best pickup trucks money can buy, especially with what it has to offer this year.

Read in this review:

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2021 Ford Ranger Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Ranger?

In true Ford fashion, the Ranger features several enhancements to keep it attractive to the buying public. The 2.3-liter turbocharged four-pot now comes as standard with auto start-stop technology, while the 10-speed automatic has been retained.

Four new colors have been added, and four have been axed. The STX Special Edition package now comes with 18-inch alloys, while 17-inch alloys are standard on the Tremor Off-Road package.

On the inside, the eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat has been downgraded to a six-way seat - this feature is standard on the XLT and Lariat. A 110V AC power outlet has been added as an optional extra on XL and XLT models, and the XL now features dual-zone climate control if you add the optional SYNC3 infotainment system. Power-folding side mirrors with power glass are now standard on the XLT and Lariat.

On the tech side, the forward-sensing system is now included in the Technology Package. Simultaneously, the reverse-sensing system is available as an optional extra on XL and XLT models but standard on the Lariat.

Finally, there are some new packages aimed at particular customers for the 2021 Ford Ranger lineup of trucks: the Tremor Off-Road Package and the STX Special Edition Package.

Pros and Cons

  • Ferocious turbocharged powertrain
  • Beastly but also attractive design
  • Impressive array of safety features
  • Extensive variety of model options
  • Doesn't use Ford's latest infotainment
  • In-cabin storage solutions are minimal
  • Options are all really expensive

Best Deals on 2021 Ford Ranger

2021 Ford Ranger Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.3L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
2.3L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
2.3L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Ford Ranger Trims and Specs

2021 Ranger Exterior

2021 Ford Ranger Front View Ford
2021 Ford Ranger Rear View Ford
2021 Ford Ranger In Motion Ford
See All 2021 Ford Ranger Exterior Photos


  • Length 210.8 in
  • Wheelbase 126.8 in
  • Height 70.7 in
  • Max Width 77.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,922.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$395
  • Cyber Orange Metallic Tricoat +$595
  • Velocity Blue Metallic
  • Shadow Black
  • Cactus Gray
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic
  • Oxford White
  • Race Red
  • Shadow Black Metallic

2021 Ranger Performance

2021 Ford Ranger Front View Driving Ford
2021 Ford Ranger Rear View 1 Ford
2021 Ford Ranger Shifter Ford

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    2.3L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

2021 Ranger Interior

2021 Ford Ranger Dashboard Ford
2021 Ford Ranger Dashboard 1 Ford
2021 Ford Ranger Suspension Control Ford
See All 2021 Ford Ranger Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 43.1 in
  • Front Head Room 41.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 30.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 35.9 in

2021 Ranger Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Ford Ranger Interior Overview Ford
2021 Ford Ranger Front Seats Ford
2021 Ford Ranger Side Perspective Driving Ford

2021 Ranger Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2021 Ford Ranger A Good Pickup Truck?

Ford is venerated in the USA for its diverse range of esteemed pickup trucks, the brand's F-150 line having been some of the best-selling cars for a really long time. The Ranger pickup wasn't designed for the American market, however, and its few but noteworthy shortcomings make this obvious. The rather unergonomic cabin and lack of in-cabin storage solutions are perhaps the main indicators, with the odd locations of some buttons revealing the compromises made when converting a once right-hand-drive vehicle to a left-hand-drive one. There are also many hard plastics utilized throughout and the cupholders are far from big enough.

With the fourth-generation Ranger, however, Ford has applied the many necessary alterations it requires to be a truly appreciated American pickup. The 2.3-liter turbo-four is an exceptional engine and works well with the Ranger's purposed structure. It comes with a good array of comforts and conveniences and modern tech, and, in terms of safety, the NHTSA gives a top-notch safety rating. This is complemented by the IIHS's impressive remarks in its review of the 2021 Ford Ranger. Americans have praised the Ranger for its reliability, too, so while it may not be one of the best-selling pickup trucks, it certainly won't disappoint any keen buyer.

What Ford Ranger Model Should I Buy?

All three models of the Ford Ranger come equipped with the same powertrain, so you don't get any choice in terms of performance but you do get to choose the drivetrain, body, and cargo bed configuration, and features. If you're looking to do some off-roading or live in a state that has tricky roads at times, then we'd suggest the 4x4 drivetrain. The XL model with the SuperCrew 4-door configuration is a great choice for the added passenger room it provides in the cabin and the extra cargo space in the bed. We'd also recommend opting in the STX Special Edition Package, which adds a good selection of the desirable features found in the higher-spec models, including the eight-inch infotainment touchscreen and Fords SYNC3 user interface. It also adorns the Ranger XL in the STX Appearance Package and 18-inch alloy wheels. In this guise and with these packages, the price of the 2021 Ford Ranger pickup truck will come in at an attractive $31,320.

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