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Trailhiker

Autoblog’s Midsized Truck shootout

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"My experience with the Ranger is the perfect example of why we do these comparison tests," Kierstein said. "In isolation, I love the Ranger — its torquey, eager powertrain; its comfortable ride; its handsome exterior. I walked into the testing thinking that it'd decimate the competition. But you can't drive the Ranger back-to-back with the other trucks and not see where they best it. The Colorado's got better on-road manners; the Gladiator's powertrain is way more refined; the Tacoma handles better off-road. It was amazing how each truck seemed to have a strength that bested the Ranger. That said, when price is factored in, I think the Ranger might be the best combination of traits of all the trucks here."

That seems to be a well thought out and fair comparison.  Ranger, Gladiator and Colorado are really 1a, 1b and 1c with Tacoma a definite 4th place.

Not bad for a "hack job".

Next gen Ranger should push the bar significantly higher.

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I don't understand why they talked about the interiors in the review of each, and then didn't include any interior photos at all.

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I think this should quiet the critics who suggested the ROW Ranger could not be modified and sold here competatively. It is good to see this model gaining sales, and getting established in the market while Ford works on an even better replacement.

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Gladiator's powertrain more refined?  That weak Gladiator was badly exposed in the TFL Ike Gauntlet - the Ranger had its way with the Jeep - it was not even a fair fight!

What is this guy thinking?  How can there be such opposite opinions?  The Ike does not lie, nor factor in emotions - it's the real deal!

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3 minutes ago, Kev-Mo said:

Gladiator's powertrain more refined?  That weak Gladiator was badly exposed in the TFL Ike Gauntlet - the Ranger had its way with the Jeep - it was not even a fair fight!

What is this guy thinking?  How can there be such opposite opinions?  The Ike does not lie, nor factor in emotions - it's the real deal!

What does refinement have to do with the Gauntlet results?

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We live in an age where comparisons don't change anybody's mind.  Read the comments - All the Toyota fanboys could care less about a 4th place rank and crappy seats.  They brag on with the swagger of NE Patriot fans.... and are not one bit convinced that the Ranger is even in the same class as the Toyota.

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16 minutes ago, akirby said:

What does refinement have to do with the Gauntlet results?


They made that engine work a little and showed ZERO refinement - watch the video. I'm no Jeep fanboy but frankly It was hard to watch -  them begging it to make it to the top - At red line 10 mph below the speed limit it was not displaying any refinement!

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Seemed to be a good comparison test. We are a Ford-first family (two Super duties and two fox body Mustangs currently) with two Wranglers. One is a 2018 Wrangler JLU that will likely get replaced by a Bronco. The other is the wife's favorite- her 98 TJ.

Anyway, regarding refinement of Jeeps Pentastar, I'm mixed. It does deliver pretty good overall power, the 8 speed auto is decent. But the programming is not what Id call exactly smooth . The engine feels at times like it goes through stages of power delivery that isn't linear and the transmission will hold gears at times before commanding an upshift. It delivers pretty good mpg though. Its the rest of the Jeep we have issues with. Love the interior layout and seats. But the hardtop squeaks, the radio has blinked out multiple times, and the steering is horrible. As in her 98 Wrangler steers better. Lots of wandering issues and death wobble (at 5400 miles). Jeep has a ton of documented quality concerns and all of ours are on that list. Ford did good getting this version of the Wrangler to market as a stopgap until the next iteration comes out. I would expect it will address a lot of the concerns noted in this comparison. Id bet a Raptorized version will be out as there is a market for it. AND I would expect a second and maybe a third engine option. Imagine a 2.7 in a Ranger? That would be stupid fun.

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1 hour ago, Kev-Mo said:


They made that engine work a little and showed ZERO refinement - watch the video. I'm no Jeep fanboy but frankly It was hard to watch -  them begging it to make it to the top - At red line 10 mph below the speed limit it was not displaying any refinement!

That doesn’t mean it’s not refined in normal driving which is what they tested.  It’s all in the context of what they were testing.

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1 hour ago, Kev-Mo said:

We live in an age where comparisons don't change anybody's mind.  Read the comments - All the Toyota fanboys could care less about a 4th place rank and crappy seats.  They brag on with the swagger of NE Patriot fans.... and are not one bit convinced that the Ranger is even in the same class as the Toyota.

Ford chevy and Jeep also have the same fanbois.  While I agree the rankings don’t matter the individual comments might make a buyer notice something like hitting their head or the floorpan height.  Not going to make a big difference though.  

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That Tacoma has a sunroof.  They rest don’t appear to.  I have to admit the floor pan is high on my Tacoma.  At 5’9” I have a few inches between my head and the headliner with no sunroof.  A lower step in would be nice but the truck fits me nicely.  After a year and a half the shifting weirdness has resolved mostly and down shifts when coasting to a stop.  It was irritating for a while.  The next generations of the Ranger and the Tacoma should be interesting.  

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I love the ride in my Ranger.  There's really nothing much I don't love about it.  It really is a perfect blend of power, utility, comfort and style.  (Granted style is subjective, but I dig it and that's all that matter to me!).

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19 hours ago, Deanh said:

just me....but did I see mention of how good the ride was compared to the competition?....seem to remember certain OTHER magazines saying it rode too stiff in comparison....hmmmm...

 

As a Ranger FX4 owner suspension stiffness is not an issue. It actually rides pretty soft for a truck. The biggest thing I have had to get used to is the floaty-ness of the ride. The front will squat and bounce quite a bit when you come to a stop. It also feels a bit too soft in corners. It’s almost like they overcompensated in trying to get a smooth ride. The more I drive it, however the more I get used to it’s ride and handling. The non FX4 models might ride differently and have less float. I don’t know because I’ve never driven any other Ranger but my own.

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