Calling it “all new” the 2024 Ford Ranger pickup line for North America was unveiled this week. In spite of looking more like a moderate styling refresh, it does however offer a lot that is new under the skin, inside the cabin, and most importantly under the hood.
Starting out with styling, it does look a lot like the previous generation Ranger and that’s because the new 2024 shares the same cab structure hard points, roof and window lines as before. They saved some money bypassing new metal stampings here to be sure.
Below the window line is where things are fresh with a new front-end, sheet metal down the sides and at the rear. While only a mild evolution to the eyes, styling looks a lot more in family now with its smaller Maverick and larger F-150 brothers.
Available only in a crew cab configuration with a five-foot bed now, the big news is a heavily revised frame that while the same length as before, extends the wheelbase about 2-inches with the front-axle moving forward. The track is wider also by about 2-inches. In all though length and with retain the same foot print as before. They have effectively pushed the wheels out to the edges for a more planted stance.
With the wider track and rear shocks moved outboard of the frame rails the big payoff is a 48-inch clearance now between the wheel wells in the cargo box. This is actually a pretty big deal in terms of the truck’s capability, making it a stand-out in class.
New functional touches include an available integrated step on the side behind the rear wheels allowing an easy climb up and access to the carco box. The new tailgate features the popular work surface touches like built-in ruler and clamp pockets we’ve seen on the F-150.
Payload is rated at 1805 pounds for the 4×2 and 1711 for the 4×4 crew cabs. This is a bit more than before and a credit goes to the changes in its chassis, but also it’s lighter curb weight. Yes, it actually lost weight unlike the Chevrolet Colorado which gained about 400 pounds in its redesign. Towing remains the same at 7500 pounds.
What’s under the hood is both old and new. The base engine remains the tried and true 2.3-liter EcoBoost four with 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Making it more competitive than ever before though is the also well proven 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 that’s been in the F-150 for a long time. It offers 315 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
A fire-breathing 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 comes in the new top dog Ranger Raptor good for a class leading 405 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. All engines come only with Ford’s 10-speed automatic, as before there is no manual transmission offering.
Though the core cab structure is the same as before, the interior fittings are entirely new. Design is closer to the rest of the Ford truck lineup than before with upgraded materials and Ford says better fit and finish – though it wasn’t bad before.
The big news is a new standard 8-inch digital instrument cluster and an upgraded 12.4-inch cluster on top models. Center stack infotainment starts with a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen and can be upgraded to a portrait style SYNC4 12-inch unit with all the bells and whistles.
The redesigned center console features a new short-throw electronic shift toggle – a nice choice instead of giving us another twist dial. Thank you Ford. Also available now on the Ranger is the Pro Trailer Backup Assist system with steering knob that has been very popular in the larger trucks.
The new 2024 Ford Ranger debuts this summer and ordering opens up on May 26th. It will be built at the Wayne, Michigan plant where the Bronco also rolls off the line.