Ford Ranger in 4X4 bid with Tremor

The 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor in offroad testing. (Bud Wells photos)

Fortified with a new offroad package called Tremor, the Ford Ranger ventures into the wilds of the west against roughest of terrain and toughest of weather.

With Tremor, the Ranger is a competitor of the Chevy Colorado ZR2, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, Nissan Frontier Pro-4X, Jeep Gladiator and GMC Canyon.

The Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison is competitor for the new Ranger Tremor.

The 2021 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4X4 Tremor, a compact/midsize pickup delivered to me, in 422 miles averaged 21.8 in overall fuel mileage; its EPA estimate is 19 mpg. Fuel tank is 18 gallons.

It performs with a turbocharged, 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine generating 270 horsepower, 310 lb.-ft. of torque and tied to a 10-speed automatic transmission with the stop/start feature.

When properly equipped, the Ranger’s tow rating is 7,500 pounds. Maximum payload is 1,860 pounds, highest among the compact pickups.

Preparing the Ranger on the road for off-the-road adventure is as simple as twisting a dial for four-wheel-high range or four-wheel-low, then pushing a TM button (terrain management) in the middle of the dial and moving from Normal into Grass/Gravel/Snow or Mud/Ruts or Sand.

It was tested among sagebrush, sand and mud, into dips and draws and ascents, as well as two drives to Denver and back home.

But, basically, purpose of the review is to detail the new Tremor package, which emphasizes a lifted suspension, achieved through offroad Fox 2.0 monotube dampers, tuned front coilover and redesigned rear multileaf springs.

A wider stance, benefitting from Continental General Grabber all-terrain LT 265/70R/17 tires, has improved the Ranger’s handling. The Ranger Tremor’s 9.7 inches of ground clearance is almost an inch more than the standard SuperCrew 4X4.

The turbo boost provides excellent acceleration and highway passing capability. Some occasional jerkiness is felt during upshifting or downshifting in lower gears

A convenient hoop-style step rail is positioned at each of the four doors. The 5-foot-long box with spray-in bedliner has a remote lock for the tailgate.

Inside, fairly firm front bucket seats are finished in a suede/leather combo. The rear seating is all leather; it is a little short on legroom. The navigation/audio infotainment screen is easy to use.

With a near-$5,000 tab added for the Tremor additions, this Ranger’s sticker price soared to $48,100. Base price for the Lariat SuperCrew 4X4 is $38,785.

Besides the Tremor buildup, other options included Bang & Olufsen audio, rain-sensing wipers, rapid red exterior finish, the bedliner. Among safety items are adaptive cruise, forward-sensing system, cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping, precollision assist and reverse sensing.

The Ranger nameplate on the Ford compact pickup dates back to early 1982, when it was introduced as an ’83 model to replace the imported Ford Courier. From 1987 to 2004, the Ranger was the best-selling compact pickup in the U.S. It was discontinued after 2012, then introduced as 4th-generation Ranger for the 2019 model year. The fourth-gen Ranger is built in Wayne, Mich.