2023 Ford Ranger Pickup, All you want to know about a Great Car
2023 Ford Ranger Pickup First Look: More Things to More People
Back in 2011, it was easy to look longingly toward Australia as the long-serving North American market Ford Ranger went out of production and the Aussies introduced a new, modern Ranger that would be sold in multiple markets around the world. Fast forward to 2019, and the pain of the old Ranger’s demise in America was finally being felt by Ford, too—the midsize class was taking off, Chevrolet and GMC were jumping back in with the revived Colorado and Canyon, Nissan was selling ancient Frontiers without doing a thing to keep them fresh, and Toyota’s venerable Tacoma was mopping the sales floor with all of ’em.
Finally, we were graced with a “new” midsize Ranger pickup truck from Ford for 2019. Trouble was, what America got was little more than a quickly warmed-over eight-year-old Australian farm truck adapted for the U.S. market. The new global 2023 Ford Ranger—the fifth generation of the midsize pickup—aims to right those wrongs with new styling, a more refined ride, and an upgraded interior, all developed with the North American market in mind from the get-go.
What’s New With The Ranger?
Designed and engineered in Australia, the new 2023 Ranger represents a drastic departure from the previous-generation truck. Gone are the curvy, almost carlike lines of the old Ranger. Instead, the midsize pickup takes on a blockier aesthetic that looks like a plus-size Ford Maverick from some angles and a baby Ford F-150 from others. In other words, it’s a proper-looking truck again.
Like the Ranger it replaces, the new midsize pickup appears to be available in two body styles—an extended-cab/long-bed configuration and a four-full-door crew-cab/short-bed combo. We say “appears” because Ford isn’t talking specifics for the North American market just yet. In fact, Ford isn’t really talking specifics at all, even neglecting to share bed length, payload and tow capacities, or even power outputs. A long, torturous information rollout can be expected—a 6-foot bed for extended-cab trucks and a 5-foot one for crew-cab trucks is a safe bet, too.
Riding on a modified but carryover platform that’s about 2 inches wider and longer than before, the new Ranger is designed to be better balanced than before—catering to both the work truck and lifestyle crowds. Both will benefit from the increased length and track width, Ford says, as it allows for a better approach angle, off-road articulation, and cooling. Meanwhile, the rear dampers are now mounted outboard the frame rails, a move said to improve ride quality both loaded and unloaded—a major weak point on the outgoing Ranger.
Familiar Under The Hood
Unlike the Maverick and F-150, which both debuted with modern hybrid powertrains, the Ranger approach is for better or worse somewhat old school. Globally, the new Ranger is powered by one of three turbodiesel engines: single-turbo and twin-turbo versions of its 2.0-liter diesel I-4, plus the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 that was dropped from the F-150 in our market.
The sole gas option will be a 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4, likely carried over unchanged from the current Ranger, putting output at 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s unlikely we get the diesels stateside, which is just as well because we were underwhelmed by the previous-gen diesel F-150, and the turbocharged I-4 has been the sole bright spot in the outgoing Ranger.
Ford says transmission options will include an updated 10-speed auto and six-speed manual and an unchanged six-speed automatic, while drivetrain options are to include rear-drive, part-time four-wheel drive, and full-time four-wheel drive. We wouldn’t be surprised if the 10-speed auto remained the only transmission option stateside, but considering the Ranger shares its platform and factory with the Ford Bronco, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for the manual to be offered on the pickup.
Similarly, all three drivetrain options seem possible for the U.S.-spec Ranger, especially since the Bronco offers up part-time and full-time four-wheel drive transfer cases—the latter of which would be attractive to lifestyle owners who appreciate four-wheel traction for snow or wet pavement but don’t need a harder-core part-time system or never go rock crawling.
An Electric Ford Ranger?
Despite launching with diesel and gas powertrains, Ford spokesperson Sue Nigoghossian tells us, “There will be an electrified Ranger in the future.” We suspect the to-be-announced hybrid powertrain slated for the Bronco joins the Ranger lineup, though Ford is also working on an electric Bronco, and the brand is serious about electrifying its truck lineup.
“In the BEV era, Ford will not cede truck leadership to anyone,” Lisa Drake, chief operating officer for North America, told us ahead of the electric F-150 Lightning reveal.
How Much Can The 2023 Ranger Tow And Haul?
As far as towing and payload is concerned, as mentioned, we don’t know much. We do know Ford, which tends to deliver evolutionary advances, so we expect it to improve slightly on the old Ranger’s 1,905-pound max payload and 7,500-pound max tow capacities.
Regardless of what the Ranger can tow and haul, it should be a better tool for the job. The wider frame allows for a wider bed, which Ford says can now fit a pallet or sheet of plywood flat between the wheel wells, while the bed should be easier to access, thanks to corner steps just forward of the rear bumper—a nod to its rivals the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Other features include an available tailgate work surface with an integrated ruler and clamp pockets (like on the current F-150), more tie-down points than the four offered on the fourth-gen Ranger, and better bed lighting. Ford also says the cargo management system has been improved, but it remains to be seen if the Ranger will match the Maverick in its funky DIY-friendliness.
What’s New Inside?
One of the biggest areas of improvement in the new Ranger appears to be inside. The new, more modern interior is anchored by a dash that features a large portrait-oriented touchscreen similar to the one found on the Mustang Mach-E. Available in both 10.1- and 12.0-inch sizes, the new touchscreen comes with Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment suite. Although that adds a ton of features to the Ranger, it comes at the cost of physical buttons, as some functions, such as off-road modes, are now accessed through the touchscreen.
Ford isn’t talking cabin space yet (or even showing off the rear seats as of this writing), but it says Ranger owners can expect a large center console, larger door pockets than before, an upper glove box, and storage bins under the rear seats. Pretty standard fare.
How Efficient Is The New Ranger?
No word on how efficient the new Ranger will be, but we expect to see some minor improvements on the outgoing truck’s 21/26/23 mpg city/highway/combined (rear drive) and 20/24/22 mpg (four-wheel drive) EPA scores.
When Can I Buy The 2023 Ranger, And How Much Will It Cost?
Similarly, prices will likely remain steady, starting around $27,500 for extended-cab/long-bed trucks and around $30,000 for crew-cab/short-bed trucks.
The new Ranger is scheduled to start rolling out of factories in South Africa and Thailand beginning in 2022. We expect North American Rangers to be built alongside the Bronco at the automaker’s Michigan Assembly Plant. As for when that’ll be, only Ford currently knows—but here’s hoping we aren’t waiting as long as last time around.
2023 Ford Ranger Pickup, On Youtube
Here’s Your EARLY Look At the All-New 2023 Ford Ranger! What Do You Think?