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Ford Ranger Lariat ready to roll

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2020 Supercrew FX4 will take you from street to trails

By Jim Mahoney

Get your crew rolling stylishly with this urban pickup truck.

Featuring a nice combination of agility, toughness and curb appeal, the 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat Supercrew 4×4 continues make a mark in the small-midsized pickup market.

Throwing elbows with the beast of the small to midsized pick up category Toyota Tacoma, popular GMC/Chevy entries Canyon and Colorado, and another rejuvenated truck the Jeep Gladiator, the second-year Ranger has quickly made strong inroads on market share.

With muscular Ford styling, this pickup does resemble its popular big brother, the F-150, and handles all the same rough and tumble environments but with a smaller footprint.

Equipped with the upgraded FX4 off-road package, which includes bigger shocks, skid plates, electronic locking differential and a four-mode terrain management system, the Ranger easily tackles trails and worksites.

What caught me off guard was how easy it is to maneuver the truck. The steering is light and responsive. Step on the gas, and the urban pickup really gets moving. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo engine mated to a 10-speed transmission produces 270 HP, which helps tow up to 7,500 lbs. while averaging 23 mpg. The crew cab comfortably seats four adults; five gets snug but not jammed. The 5-foot short bed does a good job hauling gear for your worksite, over 1500 lbs., or getting to the home goods store on the week- end. Good sight lines ease parking, and excellent front and back sensors keep you off someone else’s bumper.

Despite its nearly 9 inches of ground clearance, sliding in and out of the well-equipped cabin doesn’t require running boards. Not that they wouldn’t look good, though.

The interior is rugged enough to handle the dirty days but cleans up for a night out. The tailored cross-stitched leather front bucket seats and rear bench seat wrap around the center console and its large storage cubbie, USB connectivity and cupholders.

Most of your electronics can be controlled from the steering wheel. The 8-inch “SYNC 3” infotainment touchscreen displays a full complement of features highlighted by a nifty 10-speaker stereo. Not to be overlooked is the nice array of safety features available too.

Running at a MSRP of $44,965 the maxed- out Ranger FX4 competes pretty comparatively with in the segment but you start building your Ranger from about $26,000.

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