Anthony's Analysis: 2021 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 SuperCrew

by  Anthony Fongaro - 07/21/2021 
(this story was originally published on

Do you remember the old Ford Ranger? That dinky little pickup that could do almost everything that the F-150 could do, but smaller? Well, Ford had a bit of a gap when they discontinued the Ranger back in 2011. The old Ranger was your basic small pickup truck. It didn’t have a SuperCrew four-door configuration nor was it the biggest truck, but it just got the job done. Since then, competitors from all over have created their small trucks, so Ford came back with the new Ford Ranger.

This was so needed. If I ever wanted a pickup, the mainstream F-150 is just too big for me and my garage. Smaller picks such as the Ford Ranger can probably do 70% of its big brother while saving tens of thousands. This specific Ranger that I had was the XLT 4x4 SuperCrew. What this means is the XLT is the middle trim with 4x4 and the bigger SuperCrew. Because of this configuration, you can only have a five-foot bed. Is that large enough? It could be depending on how you’re using the Ranger.

Looking at the Ranger from afar, it didn’t look like the bigger F-150. The side profile has black door handles and side mirrors along with Velocity Blue paint. This looks like a good color with the 17- inch aluminum wheels a part of a $4,300 package called the Tremor Off-Road Package. The side-steps are these little hoops that look odd and hard to use, especially if you’re of the shorter variety. The worst part of the Ranger is the rear-end. The taillights are almost too big, along with the huge RANGER stamped on the tailgate. Thankfully, the front end looks much better with a more aggressive look thanks to that Tremor Off-Road Package. I love the little red inserts in the grille. 

Anthony's Analysis: 2021 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 SuperCrew

When I entered the interior, I was shocked. Welcome to 2013! The interior looks are similar to my mom’s 2013 Ford Escape. There are some good things about the interior. This one had adaptive cruise control which had easy-to-use buttons. Also, there are two USB ports and two 12V sockets. The dials are easy to read but that’s mostly because they’re so old. There’s a tiny digital display that shows a lot of off-roading information which I never could use. Next to the steering wheel was a strange place that you’re supposed to put your key into. Really!? In a $44,000 truck, you don’t get a push-button start?

That’s where the many gripes of the Ford Ranger come in. The interior had Ebony W/Miko Insert Seats which were ok but not the most supportive. The Ranger’s regular HVAC has some physical buttons but I mostly just used the touchscreen. There’s also a manual handbrake. Again, $44,000. Why a manual handbrake? Finally, just the build quality. It’s so subpar you would be shocked that this is over $35,000. The exterior is even worse! Just tap the doors and you’d swear that they were made of tin. I almost thought if I knocked too hard on the panels I’d make a hole.

That was a bit rude, so let’s go to the engine where I can compliment Ford. The 2.3-liter inline-four makes a healthy 270-horsepower and 310 lb-ft. With a ten-speed automatic and 4x4, the Ranger gets from 0-60 MPH in 6.5 seconds. This is a good engine and really fits the Ranger. There’s really no need for any sort of V6 because this has plenty of power and this delivered 17 MPG. The ten-speed shifts well, but there’s a catch. There are no driver-select modes. Do you want some sort of Sport mode? Put the large shifter into S. This shifter also has the old plus and minus buttons. The Ranger was adequate with handling but I was thankful for the safety features. 

Anthony's Analysis: 2021 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 SuperCrew

The Ranger XLT with 4x4 and the SuperCrew start at around $35,000. The simpler options include the SecuriCode Keyless KeyPad for $95, remote start for $195, and a spray-in-bed liner for $495. That ends the options and now we have a few packages. First up, the $1,700 Equipment Group 301A. This has a sports appearance package along with rear sensors and both a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. Upgrading to the Technology Package grants you adaptive cruise control, forward sensors, and navigation for $1,000.

Rangers can be equipped with various off-road packages, but mine was the most extreme. The $4,300 Tremor Off-Road Package is extensive. Just to give you an idea of this, there are modifications to the suspension, appearance, six aux switches for your off-road doodads, and a more complicated Terrain Management System. In total, there are over 20 changes to the regular Ranger XLT. I bet this is a great truck to go off-roading, but the only change from tarmac was driving briefly on some gravel. There are some Tremor Graphics for $750. Out the door, this is $44,000. 

Should you get this truck? No. Not this one. Instead, I have two recommendations for the Ford Ranger. First, just go basic. Choosing the XL 4x4 SuperCab starts at $30,000. You still get the utility of the Ranger without a lot of the frills. This would be great if you just want a truck. The other one is going with the top-spec Lariat. The Lariat trim still has the remote start as standard and gets power seats and the ever-needed push-button start. Even with similar options, the Lariat is just $1,500 more and probably feels more up-to-par. 

The Ford Ranger is an interesting truck. Yes, the build quality is subpar and is quite expensive while missing many key features that others in the segment have or can be had with options. If you are looking at the Ranger, I’d also look at the Jeep Gladiator. It’s a more attractive truck with the boldness of the Wrangler and more features as standard. Ford has an even smaller pickup, the Maverick, which will steal the Ranger sales. When Ford redesigns this, I hope it’s similar to the new F-150. The Ford Ranger does need some major changes but I bet this would be close to top-of-the-class.

Anthony's Analysis: 2021 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 SuperCrew

Some Nerdalicious Stats


2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four

Power: 270-horsepower

Torque: 310 lb-ft

0-60 MPH

6.5 seconds

I really like this engine.

Fuel Economy

17 MPG’s a thirsty engine.


10-speed automatic

Let it do its thing and it’s a good transmission.



No. That’s too much for the quality.



I do like my trucks with 4x4

Verdict as a Number


Needs major changes to be competitive