Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2022 Ford Ranger Lariat is shown parked on a riverbank.

The Happy Medium: The 2022 Ford Ranger

Looking for a pickup? But maybe something not too overwhelming? You’re not alone. Sometimes it can seem like the only pickups on the market are huge trucks. While there are a great deal of those, there are also a great deal of midsize pickups that make for a much more manageable driving experience and are a much easier place to start if it is your first pickup. If you’re going to invest in a pickup, you’ll want to go for excellence, and when looking for excellence, a safe brand to turn to is Ford and the 2022 Ford Ranger. As a pioneer in the automotive industry in the United States, the brand continues to be a leader in the industry. Sharing many of the features of the iconic F-150, the 2022 Ranger has all of that mechanical savviness behind it with a more manageable size. Let’s take a closer look.

A white 2022 Ford Ranger Lariat is shown from the front driving on a forest trail.

Best-In-Class Performance

With the only turbocharged gas engine in its class, the 2022 Ranger does not cut corners when it comes to engineering and performance. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine (with 10-speed automatic transmission!) gives the Ranger 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Those are not bad numbers for a midsize pickup. But when it comes to engineering, performance specs are not the end of the line; efficiency is also of great importance. The Ranger is highly responsive, thanks to the Ecoboost engine’s twin-scroll turbocharger, which virtually eliminates turbo lag for responsive acceleration. Going fast with a lot of power is great, but if the vehicle isn’t cooperative, it will quickly get frustrating. This fantastic engineering will give you a ride you will want to come back to time and time again.

Responsiveness is key indeed, and while we are on that topic, let’s focus on the 10-speed automatic transmission. We often hear about transmissions without really considering the implications, but this feature has important benefits. The Ranger’s 10-speed automatic transmission is equipped with Ford-patented technology that optimizes gear progressions; this technology delivers quick and smooth shifting, meaning the vehicle responds quickly to your inputs. So, that’s your part of the job. When it comes to the vehicle’s part of the job, wide-span gear spacing makes for highly-capable transmission that maximizes engine power at any speed. Even if you are not a car buff and not all of this makes sense to you right now, you will appreciate it once you are behind the wheel. The transmission is a huge part of the driving experience.

Now, if you’re looking for a pickup, chances are that at least part of your motivation is the ability to haul stuff around, whether in the cargo bed or on a trailer. Whichever you may prefer (and maybe you prefer both), the 2022 Ranger is ready to haul your stuff. With a best-in-class payload of up to 1,905 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds (which is also best-in-class for gasoline-powered midsize trucks), the Ranger certainly does not cap out at small loads.

If you want to see the Ranger perform at a whole different level, the Tremor Off-Road Package will show you just what the truck is made of. The Ranger is truly transformed into a whole new vehicle with the Tremor package, including modified off-road suspension. Off-roading requires different equipment than on-roading, and this off-road package provides you with what you need to hit the trail. With this new version comes a change in design cues. But before we can talk about the design cues of the Tremor package, we must talk about the design of the Ranger itself!

A Traditional Ford Design

Design begins with the exterior. You can’t go inside until you’ve been outside. The 2022 Ranger provides two radically different exteriors, which leads to two radically different interiors. With the SuperCab, the emphasis is all on the bed; the cab comes with coach doors and provides seating for two in the front with bucket seats and two in the rear with a bench seat. You’ll have under-seat storage, and the bench seat can be removed on the XL trim if you need more cargo space.

Alternatively, the SuperCrew is a four-door cab that seats up to five. With this increase in interior cab space comes a slight decrease in the bed, which measures 5 feet in length. This is not a huge difference in bed size by any means, and if you need an extra seat, then that’s your answer.

Inside the 2022 Ranger, you’ll find simple yet classy design features. It is not necessarily the most creative or exciting color scheme you’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t need to be. The Ranger’s design serves functionality while providing some good styling; if you’re looking to use this pickup for functional purposes, you will likely find that the Ranger’s functionality outweighs any lack of fashion. When it comes to interior fashion, all of the design features point toward the in-vehicle technology. Speaking of which, let’s see what the Ranger has going on in the tech department.

A close up of the shifter in a 2022 Ford Ranger is shown.

Easy-To-Use Technology

The 2022 Ranger offers Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment technology. This hands-free system provides the foundation to make Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available to drivers; once connected, you’ll be able to make calls, play music, access navigation, and a whole lot more. With an available 8-inch color touchscreen, you’ll be doing it all on a user-friendly interface. You’ll even be able to connect with available in-vehicle WiFi through the FordPass Connect system. This WiFi is not joking around, seeing as it can host up to 10 devices at once and can be accessed up to 50 feet outside the vehicle. It makes sense, though, seeing that vehicle connectivity is one of the Ranger’s strong suits.

With the FordPass app, you and your vehicle will stay in good touch by way of vehicle health alerts, parking information, and fueling updates, all by way of your phone. You’ll even be able to schedule service appointments and seek roadside assistance right from the app! Taking care of your vehicle will never have been easier than it is on the 2022 Ranger!

In-vehicle technology is now to be expected in most vehicles. Infotainment screens, and even Bluetooth capability, are no longer new or exclusive features. They are, for the most part, relatively standard. However, it is not always easy to find a vehicle with such unique and practical driver-vehicle connectivity features as you will find on the FordPass app. If you spend some time working with the capabilities of this program, I think you will find it to be a huge asset to your Ranger experience.

The Happy Medium

A pickup does not need to be large to be mighty. The Ranger, while not a “large” pickup, it certainly is not a small pickup either. In fact, you may just find that it proves to be the perfect happy medium you’re looking for. With very impressive performance and engineering capabilities, versatile design elements, and amazing connectivity features, the 2022 Ford Ranger is a highly-capable midsize pickup. Ford knows what they are doing, and you can go find out for yourself whether or not you agree.