Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we’ll let you know. If not, we’ll recommend one – or the required options – that earns a passing grade.
When the Blue Oval crew reintroduced the Ranger pickup truck after a near decade hiatus, they made the wise decision to only offer it in four-wheel drive here in our country. After all, the take rate of 4×4 in Canada is high for several good reasons, not the least of which is the untold amount of misery that falls from our sky every winter.
The least expensive Ranger in Canada is the SuperCab XL 4×4, priced at $34,923 and equipped with a 6-foot box. This means there is more space for your stuff but less for passengers, since four full doors are swapped out for a set of clamshell-style half-doors for rear seat passengers. under the hood of every 2021 Ranger is a 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder making 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Funneled to all four wheels by a 10-speed automatic transmission, this mill does a good job of hauling the mail and your payload.
Smartly, Ford offers this base trim in all its good colours, including the Velocity Blue shown here. A dead giveaway for the XL is its black trim, though some supply constraints are seeming to force Ford to currently equip every base Ranger with the STX package. This is not a wholly bad thing, as it jazzes up the exterior with better wheels and fog lights while adding the likes of remote entry and cruise control.
Speaking to the latter, even the entry-level XL comes with active safety features like pre-collision assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Inside the cabin you’ll find single-zone air conditioning, wash-em-out floors, and a tilt/telescope steering wheel. While the infotainment screen is sized a lot more like a smartphone than a tablet, it still incorporates important things like Bluetooth capability and a USB port. Those cloth seats adjust eight ways on the driver’s side, six for the passenger.
What We’d Choose
Remember the remark about hauling? An excellent spend of money on the Ranger XL is its Trailer Tow Package which costs just $600 yet permits the truck to tow a total of 7500lbs. Similarly, a manual sliding rear window is available as a $300 stand-alone option, a feature which will greatly increase the functionality of this pickup. The jury’s out on the $500 electronic locking rear axle (since the truck is four-wheel drive anyway), but the $350 LT-rated all-terrain tires might be a good selection depending on where you’re driving. You certainly won’t get a new set of A/Ts after the fact for that price.
But the towing kit and sliding rear window? Check both these boxes on an XL-equipped Ranger and you’ll find yourself behind the wheel of a right-sized pickup truck that has a ton of functionality but won’t break the bank.