2022 Ford Ranger Tremor new car reviews

The big news about the Tremor? Fox monotubes with remote reservoirs along with 32-inch knobbies. Oh, and a power pack to manage your lights and stuff plus rear recovery hooks, suede seats and blacked-out trim.

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J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

Boy, I really wanted to like this one more than I did. On paper, the Ranger is a great idea. I think there’s absolutely a market and use case for a small pickup for folks who are never going to tow a car, or a horse, but who need to drag around smaller, lighter loads like boats, motorcycles, or just make regular runs to a local big-box store for a bunch of mulch.

So the idea is sound. Although, even the “small” pickup moniker is deceiving, as the Ranger is nearly the size of a short-bed GMT800 Silverado, but that’s a different discussion.

And the ability is also there in many regards. With a 7000-pound towing capacity, the Ranger should be more than capable of towing lighter cars—I even have a friend that tows his C5 with a Ranger, but he’s also prone to making other questionable decisions, so maybe he’s not the best example–and that capacity really puts it well within the range of most things being towed by most pickups anyway.

But, the execution just isn’t there for me. Even with the off-road package, which includes some really nice Fox shocks, the chassis feels… vague. Imprecise. More like a pickup from the ‘80s than a modern vehicle that has benefitted from decades more development, and a market shift toward trucks-as-daily-divers that has forced manufacturers to develop more drivable trucks.

Likewise, the Ecoboost four cylinder moves the Ranger along nicely, and the 10-speed auto is a nice companion for the engine, but I barely managed to squeak 19 mpg out of the truck over a few days of mixed use, which included no towing or hauling. That’s barely better—if at all—than most current V8 pickups which typically have two tons more towing capacity than the Ranger. So it’s not really a tradeoff that nets any real benefit in actuality.

Still, the idea of the Ranger is so appealing that I’m not willing to write it off completely. Again, the packaging is very appealing for folks whose situation imply doesn’t allow for a full-seized half ton truck to be in their lives. And certainly because of the smaller form-factor and the use of a smaller, mass-market engine, the range has to be cheaper, right. Of course. Let’s check the sticker.

Okay the sticker on our Lariat Ranger with the Tremor off-road package is over $48,000.

This is a typo, right?

Nope. It’s real. And that’s a bummer, because it removes yet another excuse for me to really like this thing. The Ranger is so, so close. I really want to go to Ford’s website and find some magical combination of packages and options that puts the Ranger in a reasonable price category while still having some premium touches, but it’s probably still going to drive like a well-used F150.

Here’s hoping that another cycle of refreshes can help turn this truck into what it deserves to be, has the recipe to be, but just slightly misses the mark of.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Maybe not everyone needs a giant pickup. The Tremor might not haul a fifth wheel, but as a daily that can also do truck stuff, it works well. Perhaps along with the Maverick, Santa Cruz and Ridgeline, it’s what we really need.

First, the new Ranger about the right size by today's pickup standards. It fits inside a normal parking spot. You can take it through a drive-thru.

But you can still carry stuff with it. Okay, maybe not one of those giant bales of hay, but it’s perfect for tires, house stuff, etc. And, again, you’re getting stuff done without having to pilot something that should require a tender.

However, this truck doesn't have a small price. Yes, you can blame the off-road add-ons, but as JG noted, it's not a bargain-priced truck.

One bright side, though: I really want to drive the Maverick. Is that the correct answer here?

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/14/22 2:16 p.m.

And doing some truck stuff with the truck. (This is how you do truck stuff, right?)

the_machina Reader
2/15/22 9:40 a.m.

I can understand turning your nose up at an expensive Tremor, but I somehow feel like this is comparing apples to oranges.

A Ranger Lariat 4x4 with no other options stickers just over $38k

An F150 Lariat 4x4 with no other options stickers just over $50k

That feels like a pretty big gulf to me, but maybe make that case instead?


rothwem Reader
2/15/22 10:44 a.m.

I think the issue with the gas mileage is comparing apples to oranges too, you're looking at actual mpg vs EPA ratings.  I don't know anyone in real life with a full size truck that gets better than 19mpg combined on a regular basis.  Sure, they'll eek out 23-24 on the freeway on a long trip and brag about it, but cruising around town almost always results in 14-17 whether its a V8 or a TTV6.  

And if you compare 19mpg combined to various vehicle efforts throughout the ages, its actually pretty solid.  This is a 300hp, 4500 pound vehicle.  The 230hp, 3400 pound, 2WD, low ride height vehicle from ten years ago that I own gets 18-20 around town on premium gas.  

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