Mid-Size Mania: Here's How the More Powerful 2024 Ford Ranger Brings the Fight to Chevy, Toyota and Nissan
This week Ford finally debuted the North American version of the next-generation 2024 Ranger pickup, now with some substantial upgrades and improvements to help it compete in the increasingly-hot mid-size truck segment.
Improved in Every Way
An evolutionary change from the outgoing model, the new Ranger gets improved ground clearance, a stiffer structure a more upscale interior and all of the other improvements you expect on a new vehicle these days.
But there are some key changes for the new model, chief of which is an optional engine upgrade to complement with the base turbocharged 2.3 liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that's powered all American market Rangers since 2019.
Those looking for more power and torque can now opt for a turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, the same engine available in the Bronco and the larger F-150.
In Ranger trim the turbo V6 makes 315 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, a significant bump from the four-cylinder's 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
The Power Wars
Though a competent pickup, the outgoing Ranger had always shown its age, having been on sale overseas for several years before Ford decided to sell it in North America, and this move to a new generation should put the competition on notice.
And the primary rivals for the Ranger come from General Motors of course, who recently debuted the new third-generation Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
All Colorados and Canyons are powered by a 2.7L turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the "high output" version is very well matched against the Ranger's optional V6, with 310 horsepower and up to 430 pound-feet of torque.
We'll be excited to see how the new Ranger and Colorado match up in the real world. But let's not forget the offerings from Japanese brands either.
First, there's the Nissan Frontier, which is now more desirable than its ever been, even if its naturally aspirated V6 engine might be outgunned by the turbocharged powerplants in the competition.
Your Move, Toyota
Then there’s the Toyota Tacoma, traditionally one of the big enthusiast favorites in the segment. When compared to the current generation Tacoma, the 2024 Ranger should have a big edge, but the current Tacoma is on its way out.
Later this month Toyota will be debuting the long-anticipated next-gen '24 Tacoma which should feature both turbocharged and hybrid powertrains that are sure to make the segment even more interesting than ever.
If you are in the market for a mid-sized pickup in the coming months, these are some pretty exciting times. And while mid-sized trucks have sometimes struggled to keep up with their full-size counterparts in terms of performance and value, things are changing.
The new Ranger is another example of these smaller pickups becoming a lot more than just cheaper, smaller alternatives to half-tons.
Finally, don't think we've forgotten the other big announcement Ford made about the 2024 Ranger, the debut of the first-ever-in-America Ranger Raptor.
We'll be back shortly to see how the hardcore, off-road version Ranger stacks up against the mechanically similar and closely priced Ford Bronco.
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We'll be looking forward to see what RTR does with next gen Ranger, especially if it's anything like the Ranger Fun-Runner.