2022 Ford Ranger

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
November 5, 2021

Buying tip

Stick with the XLT Ranger, and save the cash for Tremor or FX4 packages—not the ritzy Lariat look.

features & specs

LARIAT 2WD SuperCab 6' Box
LARIAT 2WD SuperCrew 5' Box
LARIAT 4WD SuperCab 6' Box
MPG
21 city / 26 hwy
MPG
21 city / 26 hwy
MPG
20 city / 24 hwy
MSRP
$33,375
MSRP
$35,550
MSRP
$37,075

The 2022 Ford Ranger mid-size pickup does what full-sizers did just a decade ago, with trail-riding and parking-lot-posing editions to boot.

What kind of car is the 2022 Ford Ranger? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Ford Ranger mid-size pickup truck may not have a toothpick or a bottle opener, but it’s as close as Michigan gets to building a Swiss Army knife. Right-sized for daily driving, its pickup bed and off-road add-ons upconvert it into an open-sky adventure toolkit. Competition includes the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Honda Ridgeline.

Is the 2022 Ford Ranger a good truck?

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Sold in XL, XLT, and Lariat trim, with Splash,Tremor, and FX4 packages, the 2022 Ranger earns a TCC Rating of 5.3 out of 10, mostly due to the stripper XL’s lack of features and poor safety scores. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Ford Ranger?

Ford adds a Splash look with orange and black accents, black wheels, and orange interior stitching as a sunny alternative to black, sport, and chrome appearance packages.

The Ranger fits the outline of a conventional pickup, but with softer sculpting and rounder corners; it’s distinctive when compared with the bluff outlines of today’s F-Series trucks. The interior wears more painted plastic and grainy black trim than we’ve seen in a while, revealing the Ranger’s age; a new version’s on the way, with shared running gear from the new Bronco.

Under its hood the Ranger’s 270-hp turbo-4 puts out stout acceleration through a 10-speed automatic. Whether it’s rear-drive or fitted with a simple part-time four-wheel-drive system, the Ranger’s quicker than it is nimble; it bounces and jounces on anything but billiard-table-smooth surfaces and nosedives under hard braking. That’s the on-road story; off-road, it’s considerably more gifted, with a torque-splitting rear axle, knobby tires, a lifted suspension, skid plates, and more. It’s good to tow up to 7,500 lb, too, and can carry 1,860 lb in its bed.

Extended-cab Rangers have too-small back seats but get a 6-foot bed in trade; four-door crew cab versions have a 5-foot bed but enough rear-seat space for helping hands at the work site. The bed can be factory-ordered with a spray-in liner, a bed mat, a bed extender, and tie-downs and tonneau covers galore. Like the off-road packages, the Ranger’s beyond-stock bed tailoring can take hours and thousands of dollars, time and money well spent.

The Ranger’s crash-test scores are below average, but all models have automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitors come with the XLT and Lariat, and adaptive cruise control shows up on the options list.

How much does the 2022 Ford Ranger cost?

With a base price in the mid-$20,000s, the Ranger XL cuts corners with a tiny 4.2-inch audio display, no power windows or mirrors, and steel wheels. The Ranger XLT upgrades to an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and opens up the gate to optional Tremor and FX4 off-road packages. Out the door, an XLT with the gear we’d want—a bedliner, bed extender, meaty tires, and a sliding rear window—and the four-door crew cab costs about $37,000.

Where is the 2022 Ford Ranger made?

Ford builds the Ranger in Wayne, Michigan.

6

2022 Ford Ranger

Styling

The Ranger’s truck profile tones down the usual rugged cues.

Is the Ford Ranger a good-looking car?

It’s a pickup truck, but one that’s largely free of truck clichés. We give it a 6 here, with an extra point for that admirable restraint.

Ford does stamp “RANGER” in big letters across the nose and drops in a wide grille to boot, but otherwise, the Ranger’s not from the same family as the slab-sided Super Duty and F-150 pickups. It’s more like the new Maverick, with a slight rise at its shoulders and a few simple curves that do nothing to alter the impression that it’s ready to work. The branding across the tailgate, the creases around the wheel arches, and the stamped lines in the hood are minimal for the pickup class. 

The Ranger’s cabin plays it straight and safe, even time-shifted. It’s like the 1990s inside, with a straightforward design that layers on metallic-painted plastic and a high-water line for grainy black plastic trim. It’s the legacy of an older design adapted for North America late in life, and it feels a half-step behind even in the Lariat trim, even with the beige leather treatment.

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6

2022 Ford Ranger

Performance

Turbo power can’t overcome trucklike handling.

The Ranger’s potent powertrain can tackle any truck task, and off-roaders get their due, too—but its on-road ride’s pretty rumbly. We give it a 6 for performance.

Is the Ford Ranger 4WD?

Every Ranger can be equipped with a part-time four-wheel-drive system. 

How fast is the Ford Ranger?

With 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, the Ranger’s 2.3-liter turbo-4 spins out rorty acceleration through its 10-speed automatic, to the rear or to all four wheels. It’s good for a 0-60 mph time in the seven-second range.

Acceleration settles in the Ranger’s win column, but on-road handling is more akin to a full-size truck, with its independent front suspension, ladder frame, and solid rear axle. The combination yields a bouncy ride, and coupled with vague steering and lots of body lean, it turns commuting in a Ranger into its own chore. Too, when braking hard, the Ranger slews forward with pronounced nosedive. 

Putting the point back in its win column are the Ranger’s towing and off-road talent. It can pull up to 7,500 lb with the right optional package, and the bed can tote 1,860 lb—numbers that would have pleased a full-size truck buyer just a decade ago.

Where the pavement ends, the Ranger picks things up with a few off-road, factory- or dealer-installed hardware bundles. The FX4 package adds a torque-vectoring rear axle (it’s called FX2 on rear-drive trucks), skid plates, tow hooks, a multi-mode traction-control system, and knobby Owl tires; Tremors get side steps, skid plates, fender flares, chunky LT tires, Fox shocks, and a raised suspension. 

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2022 Ford Ranger

Comfort & Quality

Bed space puts the Ranger above the midline.

The Ranger earns a nod for the utility of its pickup bed, but the interior’s average for comfort and space, and below that for interior quality. It’s a 6 here.

The better seats in the Ranger family are in front. The XLT and Lariat have manual bucket seats with height adjustment and cloth upholstery; XLTs can be upgraded to power adjustment and heating, while Lariats add leather upholstery.

Rangers come in extended-cab and crew-cab configurations. The former have skimpy back seats with just 30.4 inches of leg room; they’re best used by pets, not people. Crew cabs have space for two or three medium-size humans who need to get to work, not cross-country; leg room is better, at 34.5 inches, but shoulder room and vertical backrests cramp most anyone’s style, not to mention their lower back. 

Extended-cab models get a 6-foot bed, while crew cab versions have a 5-foot bed. Ford sells a spray-in bedliner, a sliding rear window, a toolbox, a bed extender, and a tonneau cover, among other features—all in the interest of extracting every bit of utility from the mid-size Ranger. It skimps on interior trim, though; the cabin’s affordable, not enticing, and somehow even in Lariat trim it’s overdone and less appealing than the picnic-table-grade cabin in the compact Maverick pickup.

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2022 Ford Ranger

Safety

The Ranger gets rickrolled by crash tests.

How safe is the Ford Ranger?

With poor scores from the Feds and somewhat better ratings from the insurance industry, the Ranger scores a 4 here.

The NHTSA calls it at four stars overall, and puts rollover resistance at just three stars. The IIHS likes its “Good” crash-test performance better—except for the “Acceptable” performance in passenger-side small-overlap tests, which simulate hitting a telephone pole. The Ranger’s headlights are “Marginal,” too, according to the industry-funded group.

Every Ranger has automatic emergency braking, and some models gain blind-spot monitors. We’d spend extra for them, since outward vision in the Ranger is decent, but not great.

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2022 Ford Ranger

Features

Base Rangers miss out on some good stuff.

The Ranger can be trimmed out with lots of options, but base models miss out on some standard equipment. With an average warranty and middling value, it’s a 6 here.

Prices haven’t been confirmed for 2022 yet, but the Ranger XL should start from about $25,000. It comes with a USB port, a 4.2-inch audio display, Bluetooth, automatic emergency braking, and steel wheels. Power mirrors and cruise control are options.

Which Ford Ranger should I buy?

The Ranger XLT steps up to a price of more than $30,000, but comes with keyless start, 17-inch wheels, power features, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s also a gatekeeper to options including the Tremor off-road package. It’s not too expensive in base versions—but we’d opt for a four-door crew-cab XLT that can cost about $40,000.

How much is a fully loaded Ford Ranger?

The Lariat edition costs more than $45,000 thanks to generous equipment that includes premium audio, navigation, and leather upholstery. It’s well within the range of a full-size pickup at that price.

All Rangers have a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

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2022 Ford Ranger

Fuel Economy

The Ranger does OK for a pickup.

Is the Ford Ranger good on gas?

It’s no Maverick Hybrid, but Ford’s mid-size pickup bests many of its rivals. With EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 24 highway, 22 combined with four-wheel drive, it tops the Tacoma, Colorado, and Ridgeline in many or all of the official tests. We give it a 4 here.

With rear-wheel drive, the Ranger’s rated at 21/26/23 mpg; in Tremor trim, it’s pegged at 19/19/19 mpg. 

Review continues below
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$25,285
MSRP based on XL 2WD SuperCab 6' Box
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5.3
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety 4
Features 6
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Ford Ranger Pricing Insights

  • 2021 Ranger in stock; 2022s can be ordered
  • Lease: From $269/mo
  • Rebates: $1,000 off for all buyers
  • Finance: From 0% APR
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