2023 is the year of the midsize pickup truck in America, and we plan to test every new truck to the limit. We start with the current Ford Ranger crew cab to set the baseline. I max it out with a 7,300+ lbs trailer. It’s our Aluma car hauler with our Ford Bronco First Edition on top.
Thanks to our friends at Aluma and Rifle Truck & Trailer for lending us the trailer for the long term.
The current version of the Ford Ranger came to the United States in 2019, and it was the first midsize pickup with a small displacement 2.3-liter turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder engine. It’s rated at 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque and it’s backed up by a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The upcoming all-new 2023 Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon are switching to turbocharged gas power (with a 2.7-liter turbo-4). The upcoming 2024 Toyota Tacoma is rumored to have a 2.4-liter turbo-4 engine. Nissan, Jeep, and Honda are still staying with larger displacement V6 gas engines.
The Aluma (aluminum) trailer weighs about 2,000 lbs, and the 2021 Bronco 4-Door First Edition weighs close to 5,300 lbs. The Ranger has a maximum towing rating of 7,500 lbs, so we are very close to the maximum.
The Ranger XL 4×4 STX FX4 has a plentiful payload rating of right around 1,400 lbs. The rear parabolic leaf suspension is both comfortable and did not squat very much after putting approximately 750 lbs of trailer tongue on the back. We always test our truck in Colorado at a mile above sea level (about 5,000 feet above sea level). The air density is less here and engines struggle to make power. Turbo charging always helps, but the best towing 0-60 MPH I got was 18.92 seconds. It’s an OK acceleration with such a heavy trailer, but I could feel this turbo-4 struggle to get going.
The towing MPG was surprisingly great. I registered 14.2 MPG at the Sinclair Fuel station after towing for 24 miles in mixed driving. Check out the video below for all the details.