2023 Ford Ranger

2023 Ford Ranger
2023 Ford Ranger 1
2023 Ford Ranger Dashboard

2023 Ford Ranger Review: Trucking Into The Sunset

The 2023 Ford Ranger continues to fight for top honors in America's mid-size truck market among competitors like the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevrolet Colorado. The Ford is not a new car at all, and the 2023 version is the last model year of the current T6 generation that first arrived in the USA in 2019. This iteration has been on sale in international markets since 2011, and a brand-new Ranger is already on sale in markets such as Europe, Australia, and South Africa, and arrives in the US this year as a 2024 model. As for the old Ford Ranger we review here, it's still powered by the same 270-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine connected to a ten-speed automatic, and it can be had in two cab styles and with two bed lengths. It offers a choice between 2WD and 4WD. Despite its age, it still puts up a valiant fight, with a strong powertrain and good towing credentials. It goes into its last model year with nary a change except for an adjustment to the paint palette and a new available package.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
What is BuzzScore?

2023 Ford Ranger Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Ranger?

The 2023 Ranger marches on essentially unchanged this year, but it gets a new paint color called Azure Gray Metallic Tri-Coat, replacing the now-discontinued Cyber Orange. Other than that the new Splash Jungle Edition cosmetic package becomes available for the flagship Lariat trim with the SuperCrew body. This package gets its own exclusive new color called Eruption Green Metallic and it gets a black mesh grille.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful engine
  • Good towing credentials
  • Responsive ten-speed auto 'box
  • Easier to drive than a full-size truck
  • Options list contains advanced tech
  • Old-fashioned, low-grade interior
  • Confusing infotainment
  • Not much space for knick-knacks inside the cabin
  • Bouncy ride
  • Advanced safety tech isn't standard

What's the Price of the 2023 Ford Ranger?

With the price of the cheapest new 2023 Ford Ranger XL trim starting at $27,400, it holds a slight price advantage over most of its rivals. Next in line is the XLT at $31,460 and at the top of the pile is the Lariat at $35,500. These are the prices for each of the trims with the SuperCab body, the 6' box, and 2WD. Upgrading to the SuperCrew body with the 5' box adds $2,185 to the XL and $1,960 to the XLT and Lariat. Adding 4WD adds another $3,645 to the XL, and tops up the price of the upper two trims with $3,485. These prices are the MSRP of each Ford Ranger trim and don't include the destination fee of $1,495.

Best Deals on 2023 Ford Ranger

2023 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 2023 Ford Ranger Trims and Specs

2023 Ford Ranger Handling and Driving Impressions

True to Ford tradition, the Ranger is not a bore to drive, and it can be surprisingly agile when called upon to change direction quickly - although this should be seen in context. It's good for a truck, and while it still leans and elicits howls of protest from the tires, it doesn't trip over itself. Adding to the sense of verve is the powerful 270-hp turbocharged engine, which blesses the Ranger with a decent turn of speed, ably assisted by a well-tuned ten-speed auto that shuffles through the ratios unobtrusively and mostly has the right gear on hand - except when asked to downshift quickly, when it can be caught napping. The direct feel does come at a cost, though, and that cost is ride quality. The Ranger shows its age with a brittle ride over broken tar and too much bouncing on rough surfaces. With 4WD, it performs well off the beaten track, and off-road modes such as Grass, Gravel, and Sand optimize the drivetrain to get the most out of the available grip as long as you don't mind being jostled around a lot. This being a truck, it goes without saying that there is little feel and feedback from the steering, but one has to ask how much that really matters to truck drivers - and at least it's light and precise. Tellingly, JD Power gave it a score of only 68 out of 100 in terms of driving experience.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Ford Ranger A Good Truck?

Even in its twilight years, the Ranger still looks purposeful and is good at truck things such as off-road driving and towing. It also packs a decent punch in a straight line and comes with comprehensive safety tech, even if too many of these features cost extra. But it's showing it age through its unsettled ride and lack of refinement, while the interior now just looks old and out of date - which it is. It's a good proposition against a Tacoma, but only because that truck is now very old and due for replacement as well. The brand-new 2023 Chevy Colorado has dated the Tacoma and Ranger overnight. Better hold off until the new Ranger is here later this year; it will be worth the wait, judging from road tests of the new model in other markets. What's more, this time we'll even get the Ranger Raptor.

What 2023 Ford Ranger Model Should I Buy?

Given its age and uncompetitiveness, we cannot justify spending around $36k on the current-generation model, so the Lariat is not good value in our book. The XL is a bare-bones work truck and that's all you'll get. Which makes the XLT the best buy in the lineup. It looks a lot smarter and offers a modicum of comfort thanks to added features such as dual-zone climate control, a proper carpet on the floor, and a modern infotainment system, not to mention a decent standard tally of driver aids. We can mostly live without the Lariat's added features. But the Ranger is now a very outdated product and the new one will be a lot better, so as things currently stand, you're better off waiting, or opting for a Chevy Colorado.

To Top