2024 Ford Ranger

Midsize Truck Gurus Weigh-in: Building the Ideal 2024 Ford Ranger

After many midsize trucks ran into a sales slowdown in recent years, the lovable and capable category is now back with an adventure-seeking vengeance! Ford, GM, and Toyota have all recently introduced their unique generations of mid-size models. They each have their own attractive traits along with minor drawbacks, which is an excellent reason to round up the experts in a virtual room! Let’s take a look at one of the more favorable truck brands, specifically the 2024 Ford Ranger.

Building the Ideal 2024 Ford Ranger

The Car and Driver team had already enjoyed the opportunity to drive the 2023 Chevy Colorado and the 2023 GMC Canyon, and had only seen official reveals of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger. They eagerly got their hands on the online configuration tool for the Ranger and let their team of car nerds happily loose to build the ultimate mash-up. It’s useful to check out what gurus such as these thinks and get some ideas up your sleeve before hitting the dealership!

Austin Irwin’s Drywall-Hanger’s Dream Ranger Xl:

Austin had his dad as a predominant inspiration for how he’d arrange his 2024 Ranger, who was a drywall expert for over 3 decades. He has fond memories of growing up in Michigan and riding in his dad’s Jewel Green 1991 F-150 Custom cab that was his work truck. Fond memories of fishing trips and camping allowed him to begin his ultimate truck’s blueprint with the lowest XL Ranger trim.

It comes standard with the 270-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission. It also boasts a 10.0-inch infotainment screen, LED headlights, and keyless entry. He’d also add four-wheel drive and the Trailer Tow Package, which comes with a Class IV hitch receiver and wiring harness. The Ranger’s 7500-pound towing capacity is also ideal for lugging a mini camper, or even a smaller fishing boat. The five-foot bed is ample enough to haul supplies for any job and be ready for any weekend adventure.

Joey Caparella’s Ranger XLT:

Joey’s goal was to create the lowest-cost Ranger with the twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6, which unfortunately is not on the market until late fall. Even without this feature on the configurator, he still went for the XLT Trim and then spruced it up with a few extras. Four-wheel drive, a spray-in bedliner, and the keyless entry keypad rounded out his ideal rig, along with the Cactus Gray paint and stealth black interior. Basic but functional, this pick exists as an all-around awesome Ranger with a bit of extra infused bits.

Eric Stafford’s Ranger XLT FX4:

Eric tasked himself with putting together the most affordable off-road capable Ranger and began by bypassing the base-level Xl for the XLT. Then he added the FX4 Off-Road Package, which gets the dirt-conquering party ready with goodies such as 31-inch tires. You’ll also be staring down streams and boulders confidently with exclusive underbody protection, shock absorbers, and driving modes built for the trail.

Not wanting to put a stop to the fun when things just got enticing, he also heaped on the XLT High Equipment Group. This includes very comfy heated and power-adjustable front seats, and a sweet 12-inch digital gauge clusterto pair with the 12.4-inch vertical touchscreen. The upper-end addition of “more cool stuff” was topped off courtesy of the spray-in bedliner. Eric also spruced up the inside with his personal favorite Sandstone cloth upholstery to complement the stealth black confines.

Michael Simari’s Ranger Raptor:

The interest in off-road trucks has been mounting for quite a few years now, and the Raptor has been praised heavily for its penchant for pushing the performance truck envelope. Its third-generation model offers up a wider base and 37-inch tires, with a massive grille and blacked-out headlights. The Raptor comes well-equipped right off the bat, but Michael added his own flair by way of a few unique accessories.

He went for the Shelter Green metallic paint, added 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, and the cargo management rails. What falls under the delightful guise of “no ordinary F150”, the Raptor displays what a difference the shocks and engine can make during a ride. The Raptor’s new shocks build on the previous success of the Live Valve suspension system, allowing for ride adjustment for any sudden terrain changes. The twin-turbo V6 on board cranks out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, along with a 4.10 to 1 rear axle ratio.

The Raptor’s tech-rich domination of its segment:

The Raptor also has very handy seat and steering wheel memory systems that save settings for up to 3 different drivers. The integrated folding under-seat cargo bin in the rear provides extra support for electronics and power accessories, and strategically placed USB ports along with power outlets are plentiful inside the cab. We’d also have to firmly recommend the 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system for the audiophile’s best in-show. The Convenience Package includes a handy workspace and desk for the busy contractor always on the go.

Which of these decked-out Rangers would you prefer?

One can’t help but appreciate Austin’s salute of sorts to his old man, as his Ranger XL was practical yet powerful. Joey’s XLT was a viable exercise in remaining frugal yet keeping a solidified and distinct edge. We must admit that Michael’s Raptor is quite an enticing machine, with its added parts and admirable brute force. Tell us which one you would love to get your hands on in the comments below or check out another article about some awesome aftermarket upgrades for the 2020 Ford Ranger.

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Jon Weirman
I am a freelance writer in the Midwest who specializes in vehicles built for expert-level off-roading, and anything with a staggering amount of horsepower. In my first life I worked in broadcasting for Starz Network and Discovery Channel. I also love retro video games and sci-fi movies. Everything from the loud and burly muscle cars of the late 1970s to new crossover SUVs with futuristic tech features have populated my inbox!

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