Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The 2021 Ford Ranger is Blue Ovals entry back into the compact truck segment – a fitting replacement for the much-loved older version. New for 2021 is the Ford Tremor model package improves off-road performance with higher ride height and other features. The engine is still 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. Options and stands alone extra’s will increase the price substantially, for example our base Tremor tester stickered for $42,888. Added options and extras meant our Tremor had a final price of $54,978 including delivery.
The Tremor package offers Fox dampers on all corners (With remote reservoirs in the rear) redesigned front suspension knuckles, and the new multi-leaf rear spring configuration. namely to help in better handling, and ride quality. Meaty 32-inch Continental Grabber A/TX all-terrain tires also help with better grip amd on-road ride. The Tremor package gives the Ranger 0.8 inch more ground clearance compared to the FX4 off-road package, for a total of 9.7 inches. The height increase will prove useful to off road driving. The lift also improves approach, breakover, and departure angles to 30.9 degrees, 24.2 degrees, and 25.5 degrees.
One neat thing Ford have done is to fit a rear axle locker that can be engaged at any time. 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 as tested. 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 organized. 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 SYN C 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 Tremor 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 Tremor package adds a six-switch auxiliary power bank atop the dash, handy for controlling accessories like lights and winches. The Tremor also offers suede insert seats and ‘Tremor’ stitched into the seat backs. 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 done on that Ford!
On the road, the Rangers 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine offers good acceleration and cruising speed. The torque comes on strong in the fully useable mid range. Meanwhile, the manoeuvrable size, and impressive turning circle make it easy to drive. The steering is light and responsive. The Terrain Management, operated by a button on the console, optimizes performance in mud, snow, sand, and other conditions. The Terrain Management system has been recalibrated the traction control system for better acceleration and traction in surfaces such as gravel, and features Ford’s low speed forward crawl control system that can operate up o to 11 km/h.
Very impressive is just how good the FOX 2.0 monotube dampers with remote rear shocks with hydraulic rebound stops work. The progressive rebound end zone damping offers controllable driving and recovery after high and hard landings. Fuel economy is pretty decent with a 12.2 L/100 km combined rating (Natural Resources Canada).
The Tremor package allows for a tow rating of 7,500 pounds max, that’s best in class. Downsides are few, no heated steering wheel, and the climate control buttons are kind of small and difficult to see. Still, the Tremor upscales the Ranger to make it the best model yet. There are more than 200 Ranger-specific dealer-installed available accessories, so the Ranger Tremor is even more customizable. The combination of meatier tires, uprated shock absorbers, and new rear leaf springs have improved the on an off ride handling and comfort no end. Highly recommended for work and play all the time!
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor Base priced as tested: $54,978 including options and destination delivery. Website: www.ford,ca