Ford Ranger Packages Aim for Off-Roadability, but There's Power to Be Had, Too

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford ranger packages aim for off roadability but theres power to be had too

If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup and possess an irresistible urge to tackle the worst terrain you can find, chances are the most rugged variants of Chevy’s Colorado and Toyota’s Tacoma top your list of maybes. Ford would like a word.

The Ranger didn’t enter the segment with the brawniest hardware in tow, but the passage of time has a way of correcting mistakes (if you want to look at it that way). On Tuesday, the Blue Oval debuted a trio of packages designed to deliver more off-road capability — and even power. Raptor Lite?

Apparently, Ranger buyers bought, on average, $650 worth of accessories in 2019, so Ford opted to give them more choice. These packages cost way more than that, but they’re not just appearance-only frills.

Nor does the EPA need to know about them.

The dealer-installed Ford Performance Level 1, 2, and 3 packages all contain a leveling kit (one assumes a 2-inch lift in the front, like with the ROUSH kit already favored by some owners), beefy monotube FOX shocks (tuned by Ford Performance) front and rear, 17-inch Dyno Grey wheels, and look-at-me Ford Performance graphics. That’s all you’ll get on the $2,495 entry package, but the other levels dial up the noise.

Level 2 brings a power upgrade for the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, bumping output to 315 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque (up from 270 hp and 310 lb-ft), with tow hooks, off-road fog lights, and chunkier BFGoodrich KO2 265/70 R17 tires tossed in the mix. Minus the rugged add-ons, it’s reminiscent of the EcoBoost Mustang’s High Performance Package. Price tag: $4,495.

Moving up to Level 3 ensures the most stares, as the package adds all the aforementioned kit, plus a 40-inch LED lightbar (make sure you have this on at all times, to ensure urban safety), red tow hooks, a winch-capable front bumper, a performance exhaust courtesy of Ford Performance, and a chase rack for that Mad Max vibe. Prepare to spend, as all of these goodies carry a cost of $8,995.

Blue Oval fanatics might just feel such expenditure is necessary to rival various ZR2s and TRD Pros. It’s worth noting, too, that these packages can be added to all existing 2019 Rangers, as well as new buys.

If this thing turns your crank, Level 1 and 2 packages will be available come August, but the full-tilt Level 3 won’t be along until next summer. That’s a drag.

[Image: Ford]

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3 of 13 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jun 30, 2020

    A leveling kit is useless. You carry any gear and the back end squats. This is just a street queen appearance package. Where are the lockers and skid plates?

    • DenverMike DenverMike on Jun 30, 2020

      I sense there's a real Raptor II coming up. So this is just an appetizer. Yeah for girls only. With the 2.7TT V6 too, I hear. A real animal. But 2 inch blocks in the rear are just as easy (to do) as a "leveling kit". With enough lift (not too much), plus slightly bigger tires, it avoids a lot of belly scrapes.

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Jun 30, 2020

    Meh I'll just take an XLT crew cab 4x4 with the "tune". Oh and some steps, my 5'3" wife bought steps for my old 4x2 F150 when we were seriously dating because she felt she needed assistance to get in.

  • Jeff S I haven't seen one of these since the 90s. Good find.
  • William Piper Ditch the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance for starters….Mitzu has probably benefited less than the other two partners and it has shackled any brand creativity moving forward.
  • Tassos I knew a woman in the area, a journalist (at least she claimed to be a reporter of some kind) who owned one of these tiny pickups with a manual transmission. SHe was only 40 at the time, but she must have been hard of hearing, because she would routinely forget to shift and we would go at fairly high speeds in very low gear, which made a huge racket, which did not seem to bother her (hence my deafness hypothesis). Either that, or she was a lousy driver. Oh well, another very forgettable, silly car from the 80s (and if my first and LAST VW, a 1975 Dasher wagon, was any indication, a very unreliable one too!)
  • Tassos Now as for the Z specifically, Car and Driver had a comparison test of the new Z400, a car that looks good on paper, with plenty of HP etc, but, despite the fact that the cars that win in those tests are usually brand new models that are more up to date than their aging rivals, the Z finished DEAD LAST in the test, to my ovbious surprise.
  • Arthur Dailey Sorry but compare that spartan interior to the Marks that Corey is writing about. 'A cigarette lighter'. Every Mark had 4 cigarette lighters and ashtrays. And these came standard with 'a 3.4-liter, 182-horsepower straight-six in the engine compartment and a five-speed manual transmission'. Those do not tick off many of the luxury boxes aspired to by 'the greatest generation'.Not sure about the 7 series but one of My Old Man's associates showed up once with a brand new 5 series circa 1977 and they gave him such a bad time that he traded it for a Fleetwood within a week.