Of all the reasons to buy a pickup, hauling your toys past the point where the pavement ends tops many folks’ list. The new off-road-oriented Tremor model, the version of the midsize Ford Ranger I tested, will do just that.
Built in Wayne, Michigan, its muscular looks are backed up by an upgraded suspension and taller all-terrain tires that give it a generous 9.7 inches of ground clearance. Skid plates, tow hooks and a locking rear differential are standard for those times when the going gets tough. A Terrain Management system with four preprogrammed modes makes motoring through a variety of tricky off-pavement situations straightforward.
The powertrain is built around a 270-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers plenty of acceleration without the heavy-handed feel of V6 competitors. It still has the muscle to get the job done, however, as it gives the Tremor a healthy 7,500-pound towing capacity.
In all, the upgrades to the Ranger Tremor may not leave you shaking, but they will take you places not all midsize pickups can go.
- 2.3-liter turbocharged engine‘s strong performance
- The standard bank of six switches makes it easy to add lights, etcetera.
- A mushy-feeling brake pedal doesn’t instill confidence.
- Ride quality may be a little too soft, to the point of bounciness.
- The Tremor’s hardware upgrades take the Ranger to a whole new level.
- Base Price: $24,820
- As Tested: $46,915
- NHTSA/Overall: 4 Stars
- 21/26 (2.3L RWD)
- 19/19 (2.3L 4WD)