Mid-size pickup vans are having a second. After the section’s stalwarts began to turn out to be stale lately, it seems the celebs have aligned as Ford, GM, and Toyota all have not too long ago launched new generations of their respective mid-sizers.
Thus far, we have solely had the chance to drive the 2023 Chevy Colorado and ’23 GMC Canyon. We have additionally seen reveals of the 2024 Ford Ranger and 2024 Toyota Tacoma. Whereas we look forward to our probability to get behind the wheel of the latter two vans, Ford has an on-line configurator for the Ranger on its shopper web site, so we set our crack crew of automobile nerds unfastened and requested every to construct their splendid variations.
It is price noting the optionally available 310-hp turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 presently is not accessible to order on the Ranger, so all the fashions we configured—with the apparent exception of the 405-hp Raptor—are geared up with the usual 270-hp turbo 2.3-liter four-cylinder, which pairs with a 10-speed automated transmission and rear- or four-wheel drive.
Austin Irwin’s $39,290 Ranger XL
That is how I’d spec the 2024 Ford Ranger for my dad. He hung drywall for 35 years, and there’s nothing just like the Jewel Inexperienced 1991 F-150 customized cab that pops used to hold, tape, and dirt practically each Michigan dwelling north of the forty fifth parallel with. It was stolen, recovered, and hit by a Customers Vitality service semi all in the identical winter. It wasn’t only a work truck, it performed a pivotal function in each fishing journey, tenting journey, and hockey recreation all through my childhood. My dad’s sheetrock days have all however dried up, however you’ll be able to’t masks the love of vans from a man that listened to Alan Jackson’s Mercury Blues again when it was thought-about a brand new launch.
I’d maintain it fundamental with the bottom XL Ranger trim. That comes normal with the 270-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four, a 10-speed automated transmission, and some nice-to-haves, like the ten.0-inch infotainment display screen (don’t fear, Dad, it performs each nation and western music), keyless entry, and LED headlights. The seats at this trim stage are black material, however they’re manually adjustable, which I do know my dad prefers over the slow-going powered chairs. I’d add four-wheel drive ($3645) and the $495 Trailer Tow package deal, which features a class IV hitch receiver and wiring harness. The Ranger’s 7500-pound towing capability can have no drawback dealing with his pop-up camper or 14-foot fishing boat. I’m positive he may construct one himself with $25 and a visit to the lumberyard, however I’d add the spray-in bedliner too. This $39,290 pickup is greater than sufficient truck for dad, plus, ought to the inevitable patch and restore job creep up, the Ranger’s five-foot mattress can match a stack of four-foot sheets of gypsum. Right here’s hoping the Scorching Pepper Pink paint ($495) retains the Shopper’s Vitality vans away.
Joey Caparrella’s $41,175 Ranger XLT
My aim was to configure the least costly Ranger with the optionally available twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6, however sadly that engine will not be accessible till late fall of this 12 months. It is subsequently not but included on the configurator, however I nonetheless went for the XLT trim as a result of that is the lowest mannequin that can finally be accessible with the V-6 (the bottom XL solely comes with the turbo 2.3-liter inline-four). I solely added a couple of choices to my truck. With four-wheel drive, a spray-in bedliner, and Ford’s nifty keyless entry keypad, my Ranger comes out to $41,175. I opted for the subdued Cactus Grey paint and a black inside.
Eric Stafford’s $44,905 Ranger XLT FX4
Whereas it is easy to drool over the rip-roaring Raptor model, I wished to spec probably the most inexpensive off-road-capable Ranger. That meant leapfrogging the base-level XL for the XLT, which is the entry level to the FX4 Off-Street package deal. The rear-drive XLT begins at $37,100, however that value jumps to $41,880 after including four-wheel drive and FX4 goodies that embody knobbier 31-inch tires on black 17-inch wheels, copious underbody armor, distinctive shock absorbers, and trail-oriented driving modes.
That is an honest deal for an extra-capable pickup truck, and I may’ve—possibly ought to’ve?—stopped there, however I acquired suckered into spending one other $3K on niceties. It is simply exhausting to go on the $1445 XLT Excessive Tools Group, because it contains dual-zone local weather management, heated and power-adjustable entrance seats, and a 12-inch digital gauge cluster to pair with the usual vertically oriented 12.4-inch touchscreen. I additionally turned the inside from drab to fab by choosing the no-cost Sandstone material upholstery over the all-black getup. I feel the sand-colored seats pair properly with the eye-catching $495 Scorching Pepper Pink metallic paint. Add within the spray-in bedliner ($495), keyless entry pad ($95), and the towing package deal ($495) and my Ranger XLT with the FX4 package stickers for $44,905.
Michael Simari $59,485 Ranger Raptor
Regardless of sharing basically the identical twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, the brand new 405-hp Ranger Raptor begins round $30K lower than the 418-hp Bronco Raptor. With this in thoughts, the Ranger model is a good deal for an off-road-capable mid-size pickup truck. Whether or not you’re an avid off-roader or somebody who lives in an space with horrible roads like these of us in southeast Michigan, the Raptor fashions supply spectacular journey high quality that may be loved in on a regular basis use.
The Ranger Raptor comes loaded out of the field, so there aren’t many particular person choices to select from. Meaning my selections primarily got here down to paint, wheels, and a few equipment. I selected to go along with the newly launched Shelter Inexperienced metallic paint, added the 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels ($1495), a spray-in bedliner for sturdiness and safety ($495), and the cargo administration rails ($535). This brings the overall to $59,485. Until you actually desire a Bronco, the Raptorized Ranger is a deal that can prevent fairly a bit of cash that may be put in the direction of off-roading and aftermarket equipment that suit your fashion.
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Eric Stafford’s car habit started earlier than he may stroll, and it has fueled his ardour to jot down information, opinions, and extra for Automobile and Driver since 2016. His aspiration rising up was to turn out to be a millionaire with a Jay Leno–like automobile assortment. Apparently, getting wealthy is more durable than social-media influencers make it appear, so he prevented monetary success totally to turn out to be an automotive journalist and drive new automobiles for a residing. After incomes a level at Central Michigan College and dealing at a every day newspaper, the years of mainly burning cash on failed mission automobiles and lemon-flavored jalopies lastly paid off when Automobile and Driver employed him. His storage presently features a 2010 Acura RDX, a handbook ’97 Chevy Camaro Z/28, and a ’90 Honda CRX Si.