I recently spent significant time with the Ford Ranger FX4 for Trail Trek Tour’s Midsize Truck Off-Road Challenge at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA).
While I drove all of the vehicles taking part in the event including a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, and the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the Ranger FX4 was my commuter to and from the event.
The model I drove was the Ford Ranger according to the sticker is available from base price of $38,385, while the version I drove was optioned up to $44,960. Some of the options included were of course the FX4 Off Road Package available for $1295 and the Sport Appearance Package for $895 to name a few.
Let us get the elephant out of the room. The Tacoma TRD Pro, ZR2 Bison, and Gladiator obviously give off a more visible aggressive vibe where as something like the Ranger Raptor available across the sea would be more comparable to keep up, but being the less aggressive looking of the bunch it held its own.
The Trail Trek Tour started by trekking with the Ranger FX4 from my Hanover, PA home to make it 2 hours away to Danville, PA where the Trail Trek Tour was calling homebase for the event at the beautiful Pine Barn Inn.
Very off road capable, but on the two hour drive to Danville I was able to test out the Ranger where it would spend most of its time – the road.
On the way to Danville Android Auto was my guide for the journey which worked flawlessly, but on the road back from the event I had used the standard navigation on the car and overall it did not perform to the same level. It could have been a combination of GPS signals, but it wanted me to do some wonky turns. But it has Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, so even mentioning the “meh” standard navigation feels like pulling hairs, but it is noteworthy being there were not many negatives with the truck.
The Trail Trek Tour started early in the morning with an awesome breakfast and driver meeting then we hit the road to where we would be testing out the trucks.
Our off road play area was the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) located in Coal Township, Pennsylvania. We were fortunate to have an expert guide, Kyle from Off Road Consulting, show us the trails to allow for the most fun and more importantly to not damage the Ranger.
We air’d down the tires on the Ranger and off we went.
On the trails, there was not one obstacle that the Ranger did not handle. If the aggressive looking trio of Tacoma, ZR2, and Gladiator could do it, the Ranger stepped up to the plate as well.
With my short time with the vehicle, my only gripes with the little Ranger that could was the standard navigation issues, the tame appearance in comparison to what it was up against, and particularly when I was riding in the passenger seat there is no “performance” or “off road info screen” on the main display for both the driver and passenger to see.
While up on the cluster the driver can cycle through some screens to see things like pitch, roll and yaw, the passenger does not get to see anything. Big deal? No, but now a days everything is about the theatre of a vehicle.
I will leave you with a few point of view minutes of hitting the trails in the Ford Ranger. Enjoy!