Auto review By Veeno Dewan

The 202 Ford Ranger is the Blue Ovals  e compact truck  a good counterpart to the mighty, larger segment  Ford F-150. Not many changes for 2022, The truck still has the handsome, almost graceful lines for a well-integrated look. Short overhangs, a high belt-line, steeply raked cabin windshield, trapezoid black honeycomb grill, and big fenders complete a contemporary visage. There are just few trim changes and new  Splash Package available, with 18-inch matte black wheels, orange and black body-side graphics, gloss black exterior trim, and orange-stitched seats.. Our tester was jazzy bright yellow with contrasting black stripe package and the FX4 Package offering beefier tires, front tow hooks, a steel skid plate,  special suspension with off-road-capable dampers, an electronically locking rear differential, and an additional off-road screen in the main instrument cluster.

All Rangers in Canada are 4×4 equipped. The mid-range XLT comes in Super Cab at $38,290, or SuperCrew at $40,090; while the top-line Lariat is a crew cab only, starting at   $44,640., Options and stands alone extra’s will increase the price substantially. The Lariat as tested had a five-foot box, five roomy seats, and four conventionally opening doors. Highlights included the interior ebony perforated seats, contrasting orange trim stitching and the high spec equipment list.

The engine powering the Ranger is the second-generation Ford 2.3L twin scroll turbocharged Ecoboost four-cylinder, making 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a ten-speed automatic.—there is no manual transmission option. The Ranger can carry up to 1,650 lb of cargo with the short bed Crew Cab 4 x 4 configuration, and 1,560 lbs for the SuperCrew. All Ranger models have a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 lbs, (When properly equipped with tow package) which Ford says is best-in-class.

The Ranger’s cabin design is neat and well organised. Kudos to Ford for ensuring there are proper button or knobs for major functions as well as a touchscreen. The dash is neat and uncluttered with nice big dials for stereo volume and tuning. The infotainment system is powered by the latest version of Ford’s excellent SYNC3 system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is also included. There is also dual-zone climate control and heated front seats, but a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats are not available, even as options. The Lariat includes such niceties as front heated leather seats, auto-dimming mirror, satellite radio, lane-keeping assist, and a blind-spot monitoring system that adjusts for trailer length for safer lane changes in traffic. The ebony leather front seats are very supportive and comfortable, and have eight-way power with lumbar support on the Lariat. We had the optional premium 10 speaker  Bang and Olufsen premium audio set up. The rear seats can fold up for some extra cargo space. Storage space up front is good, with decent sized door pockets and cubby holes. The fit, finish, comfort in the interior is far better and luxurious than the Japanese competition- less utilitarian and truck like I have to say, with a more car-like ambience. So well don on that Ford!

On the road, the Rangers 2.3-litre turbo four cylinder engine offers good acceleration and cruising speed. The torque come on strong in the fully usable mid –range. Meanwhile, the manoeuvrable size, and impressive turning circle make it easy to drive. The steering is light and responsive. In typical pickup truck fashion, the Ranger is bouncy and jittery over bumps if unloaded but it’s a generally smooth ride on most surfaces. Note, the 4×4 system is part-time and for less traction situations. Terrain Management, operated by a button on the console, optimises performance in mud, snow, sand, and other conditions  The Terrain Management system also features Ford’s low speed forward crawl control system that can operate up o to 11 km/h. Fuel economy is pretty decent  with a 11.9 city and 9,7 city with  10.9 L/100 km combined rating (Natural Resources Canada). Downsides are few, no heated steering wheel, or back seats and the climate control buttons are kind of small and difficult to see.

I was impressed that although you sit high, the narrower  cab and smaller size means it’s not a chore to park the Ranger like a full- size truck. All in all, the new Ford Ranger is very well executed. Ford expect customers who perhaps had a Ranger in the past to  once more consider the advantages of a smaller fuel-efficient truck will fit in a townhouse or condo parking space. The Rangers handy 7,500 lb of towing capacity (when equipped with its trailer brake controller and towing package) means it’s the ultimate versatile family or work and play truck. Highly recommended.

2022 Ford Ranger Base priced from: $35,505 – $43,340  Plus options destination and taxes.  Lariat Model as tested:$43,340 plus options, fees and destination.



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