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A red 2023 Ford Ranger STX is shown parked near mountains.

Off-Roading With the 2023 Ford Ranger

The 2023 Ford Ranger is built for adventures off the pavement. With a powerful turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost engine underneath the hood, you’re destined for more than driving from point A to point B, especially when adding the Tremor Off-Road Package. As the weather turns warmer and the itch to explore the great outdoors increases, the Ranger may just be the perfect travel companion for venturing into the unknown.

While the Ranger is already packed with exceptional performance and capability, the Tremor Off-Road Package equips the Ranger with an extensive set of off-road-ready features like increased ground clearance, off-road-tuned suspension, and a Terrain Management System to give you the confidence you need to tackle any challenges while exploring the great outdoors. Let’s take a closer look at the 2023 Ford Ranger and how this midsize truck might be the adventurous off-road companion you’re looking for.

A silver 2023 Ford Ranger STX FX4 is shown off-roading.

A Closer Look at the Tremor Off-Road Package

The Tremor Off-Road Package is available on the XLT and LARIAT trims with the SuperCrew 4×4 configuration. The package includes a modified heavy-duty suspension that provides a higher ground clearance often needed for traversing over rockier terrain, which is complemented by skid plates and FOX shocks. Also included in the package are tow hooks and six upfitter switches. The upfitter switches can increase idle speed, control after-market lighting, access the rear view camera without being in reverse, and more. Essentially, they turn key components on and off for easier management.

The Tremor Off-Road Package also comes with a Ford Trail Control and Terrain Management System that offer confidence while heading off-road, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned vet. Ford Trail Control allows you to set speed and forget it. The system will adjust speed and brake when needed, allowing you to focus on off-roading. Ford’s Terrain Management System provides support with four different drive modes, including normal, grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, and sand.

This system takes the guesswork out of driving through various terrains by auto-calibrating the truck to tackle these off-road challenges with ease. Ford makes it easy when shifting on the fly with an electronic dial that responds quickly and smoothly so you and your passengers never miss a beat. Ford offers two four-wheel drive modes, each offering full capability when off-roading or when caught in an unexpected snowstorm.

Available Performance Parts Packages

In addition to the extensive Tremor Off-Road Package, the 2023 Ranger offers even more off-road customization with three additional performance parts packages, which can be installed at the dealership upon purchase, giving you even more off-road features, performance, and unique style.

The Ford Performance Parts Level 1 Package features a FOX Off-Road Suspension Leveling kit, premium aluminum wheels, and “Ford Performance” graphics for a sharp, eye-catching look on and off the pavement. Level 2 features all the benefits of Level 1, plus Ranger performance calibration, blue tow hooks, an off-road fog light kit from RIGID, and all-terrain truck tires from BFGoodrich. Besides the features listed in the first two packages, Level 3 offers a chase rack, red tow hooks, a heavy-duty front bumper, and a sport exhaust system.

A black 2023 Ford Ranger FX4 is shown driving on the snow.

How Does the 2023 Ford Ranger Perform on Different Terrain?

As noted above, the 2023 Ford Ranger can be loaded with off-road features to make traversing more challenging terrain much more manageable. With its 9.7 inches of ground clearance, the truck can quickly move around obstacles, regardless of the terrain. The Ford Ranger provides an excellent ride over moderately sized bumps and rough terrain, especially at higher speeds when paired with the truck’s precisely adjusted front and rear springs and FOX shocks.

The Ranger also comes fitted with various electronic gadgets designed to help during off-road adventures. Most important among these is the electronic locking rear differential, which allows Ranger drivers to utilize the locking differential in all drive modes. Ford is also the only truck that allows rear locker use in two-wheel drive. With the Ranger’s intuitive Ford Trail Control, drivers can feel comfortable no matter what terrain they find themselves in. The truck tests well when climbing hills and navigating rough and rutted roads. It also handles rocks and sand with ease, never compromising on comfort.

Preparing for an Off-Road Adventure With the 2023 Ford Ranger

Now that you have the ability to venture off the pavement, where do you start? Although off-roading may seem like the perfect spontaneous adventure, there are a few tips and tricks to consider, especially if it’s your first time. Before you head out in your new 2023 Ford Ranger, a little preparation will help you enjoy yourself and avoid common mistakes.

Take a Friend With You

Off-road driving takes practice. As a beginner, the last thing you want to worry about is being alone in a remote location without a plan for returning to safety. Getting trapped, lost, or dealing with broken parts are all possibilities. When you go off-road with another person and their vehicle, you increase your odds of getting home safely. Plus, off-roading is more fun when other people are along for the ride, regardless of whether it’s your first time. Checking out local off-road groups is a terrific way to meet other off-roaders and assures that you get regular driving time.

Don’t Tackle the Hardest Trails First

Part of successful off-roading requires understanding how your vehicle responds in certain situations and what will be required of you. You might think that all trails are created equal, especially when you’re not going that fast in the first place. But starting on easier trails allows you to get used to driving off-road and getting accustomed to the abilities of your Ford Ranger.
Beyond knowing the vehicle you’re driving, you need to understand the Ranger’s lowest and highest points, width, and how it behaves in various terrains. Begin with easy terrain and gradually improve your driving skills before progressing to more challenging trails. Driving skills and confidence in off-roading take time to develop.

Pay Attention to Your Tires

Many new off-roaders make the mistake of not paying attention to their tires. This means they fail to decrease the tire pressure when off-roading. Why does that matter? Reducing the air pressure will considerably increase trail traction in most instances. It’s thought that a tire with highway pressure will not grip uneven surfaces as effectively as one with lower pressure. Reducing the tire pressure also helps to increase the tire’s off-road footprint, which improves traction. Additionally, it helps to widen out the contact patch of the tire. How low should you go? If you’re using standard wheels without a bead lock setup, start at 20 PSI to get a feel for the decreased pressure. It’s not advisable to go lower than 15 PSI.

Stay On the Trail

If you enjoy off-roading, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep trails on public lands open. This means following a few simple rules. When you start off-roading, you might hear the phrase “tread carefully.” The phrase refers to driving properly off-road, which helps to reduce the environmental effect. Following certain unwritten rules is good for the land and contributes to preserving public lands for recreational usage. Considerations include:

  • Not spinning tires.
  • Using only as much throttle as needed.
  • Taking the path of least resistance.

The Ranger’s Ford Trail Control makes it easier to stay on the trail while the system adjusts to the terrain. Staying on the trail set for off-roading is best, especially while on public land. Driving off the route and building your own can disrupt ecosystems and ruin the environment, making it easier for certain groups to justify banning places for motorized activity.

A white 2023 Ford Ranger FX4 is shown parked near cliffs.

It’s Time to Explore With the 2023 Ford Ranger

Now that you know more about what the 2023 Ford Ranger offers in the way of off-road capability and some simple tips for off-roading, you’re ready to start your next adventure. Grab a few friends and check out public off-roading trails near you. Consider spending the day outside exploring your new truck and all it can do. Don’t forget to have fun, be careful, and enjoy the ride.