2021 Ford Ranger Tremor review: Prepper’s delight

In modern yrs, not only have revenue of pickup vehicles enhanced, interest in overlanding — the phenomenon of off-grid journey journey to distant locations in specifically ready vehicles — has skyrocketed. This off-road pastime’s dramatic rise in acceptance predates COVID-19, but present-day pandemic someway would make the thought of zombie-apocalypse-all set 4×4 ownership all of a sudden seem like a practical financial investment.


  • Beefier suspension and tires insert capacity
  • Torquey engine = fantastic tow/payload scores
  • Course-foremost floor-clearance
  • Visible tweaks seem sharp

Never Like

  • Dated interior
  • No front locking differential
  • Sizeable fuel economic climate penalty
  • MSRP is competitive but fees as a lot as an F-one hundred fifty

In any situation, the Blue Oval’s item planners failed to essentially have Armageddon in thoughts when they came up with the 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor, but that doesn’t suggest this pickup would not make for a fantastic truck upon which to make out an finish periods overlanding rig. Even if you happen to be not a prepper, as far as social-distancing equipment go, Ford’s go-farther 4×4 is improved suited than most.

Soon after a lengthy hiatus, the Ranger reentered the North American market place in 2019 and its acceptance has been attaining steadily. Last calendar year, inspite of the coronavirus hamstringing new-auto revenue, Ranger revenue essentially enhanced, with the model saying the midsize pickup segment’s 2nd-spot revenue slot guiding Toyota’s Tacoma. There is certainly continue to a good deal of daylight involving the Ranger and Tacoma on the revenue charts, nevertheless, and Ford figures a lot of the hill it has to climb is with the kind of buyers who gravitate toward the Taco’s quite a few TRD off-road types.

Now, the Tremor is not a standalone model, it is really essentially a $4,290 deal that can be added atop the truck’s mid-quality XLT and array-topping Lariat trims. The Tremor commences by incorporating most of the effectiveness and aesthetic hardware from present-day existing FX4 off-road deal and including Ranger’s Sport Look trimmings. Combined, those people two option teams commonly whole about $2,000, so after investing a pair of weeks with this model both on and off-road, the approximately $2,three hundred cost high quality for all of the Tremor’s supplemental equipment feels like a very sound value.

Like other Rangers, the Tremor uses the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo I4 mated to a ten-pace computerized transmission. Very good for 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, this is continue to a person of the torquiest and most contemporary drivetrains out there in a midsize truck. The engine has more than sufficient oomph to tote this 4,571-pound pickup about and the stop/begin tech is very well behaved to boot.

The Tremor deal is out there solely on 4-wheel-drive SuperCrew types with a five-foot mattress.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Cunning suspension and a geometry lesson

The Tremor’s major upgrades are centered about the Ranger’s suspension, with the headliner becoming a established of high priced Fox 2. shocks, such as more sophisticated distant-reservoir models on the rear axle which pair with Tremor-particular leaf springs. The front finish receives new springs, much too, together with various manage arms and a thinner anti-roll bar for improved off-road articulation. The steering process is tweaked, much too, with exceptional knuckles to support accommodate the calls for of the Tremor’s larger 32-inch Normal Grabber off-road tires which wrap a established of Magnetic-painted seventeen-inch wheels.

All of this new hardware yields a modest .eight inches of supplemental floor clearance for a whole of nine.seven — a bit improved than a Tacoma TRD Professional. Most of that boost is owing to the larger tires, which also lend this truck a a bit more planted, 1-inch-wider stance. So geared up, the Tremor’s solution angle is thirty.nine degrees, departure is established at 27.1 degrees and breakover angle is 24.2. People are advancements of 2.2 degrees, 1.seven degrees and 2.seven degrees, respectively.

Spendy Fox 2. monotube dampers element distant reservoirs for improved thermal management on the rear axle.


On-road manners and visual tweaks

Whilst these modifications are built for off-road use, most of these vehicles will continue to live on pavement for the large the greater part of their times, so it is really fantastic to know that this is not these types of an intense setup that the Ranger’s on-road demeanor has been ruined. The experience is a skosh softer, and you can find a bit more physique roll when attacking corners on dry pavement, but the big difference is neither alarming nor offputting. If something, the experience high-quality is essentially more agreeable than the final Ranger I recall driving. Superior continue to, the truck’s all-terrain rubber doesn’t drone on the freeway the way a good deal of large-lug off-road tires can. The Tremor may perhaps be an off-road-focused deal, but about the program of several weeks, I observed it more than livable as a every day driver. 

I even dig the delicate Tremor-particular visual tweaks. There is certainly a exceptional grille with pink-outlined nostrils and the blacked-out bumpers and wider wheel lips give a bit more stance and existence. Seem a little closer, and you’ll likely take note the front steel skid plate, the pair of rear tow hooks and the running boards. The latter sit bigger and tighter than the optional aspect steps you can get on other Rangers, but never fret, you can continue to unbolt ’em for improved off-road clearance. There is certainly also a splashy, retro-seem graphics deal out there, if that is your jam.

The Ford Ranger’s interior is no wonderful shakes, even with some Tremor-particular touches.


Dated cabin with a several extras

Inside, the Ranger’s cabin is largely the same as at any time, which is to say, not very impressive. Yes, there are modest Tremor-particular touches like the script logos and suede-like panels in the seatbacks, furthermore a beneficial established of rubber ground liners and black dashboard trim. I also enjoy the 6-pack of auxiliary electric power switches built to effortlessly accommodate further lights, an air compressor or myriad other beneficial extras. But otherwise, the interior feels very dated. Feel it or not, this XLT essentially continue to has a switchblade ignition key (thankfully, Lariat trims get pushbutton begin).

Even although Ford invested a bunch of money in Ranger when it returned to the US in 2019, it was not a brand name-new truck upon arrival, as the same primary generation experienced been marketing abroad for yrs. Even with a bunch of upgrades meant to provide the truck in-line with the heightened refinement expectations of US customers, the Ranger’s interior is the least difficult way to date this truck. Its plastics are almost universally tricky, its infotainment lives on a modest-ish touchscreen that is not flush mounted and is not running the most up-to-date version of Sync. Even the final-generation F-one hundred fifty feels far, far more sophisticated and considerable, allow on your own the freshly redesigned 2021 blockbuster now wheeling out of sellers.

To be honest, the cabins of midsize pickups are all rather disappointing these times, irrespective of whether you happen to be speaking Ford, Toyota or Normal Motors. Jeep’s Gladiator is relatively improved in phrases of tech, but it is really very high priced. In point, only the Honda Ridgeline actually feels up to snuff all the way about, but since it is really a unibody, quite a few buyers would not even seem at a person. This Ranger’s cabin stays in the hunt, but interior niceness is a key explanation for potential buyers to take into consideration stretching to even a decreased-finish F-one hundred fifty.

Lackluster fuel economic climate

If you happen to be imagining fuel effectiveness is a fantastic explanation to go with this smaller truck, you happen to be heading to want to imagine yet again. Partly since of its larger tires and blockier profile, the Ranger Tremor only manages a straight 19 miles for every gallon across the board (city, freeway and mixed) in accordance to EPA estimates. That’s a astonishingly rigid comedown from the common Ranger 4×4 XLT’s twenty mpg city, 24 mpg freeway and 22 mpg mixed.

By the way, that is also the same mixed-cycle ranking as a five.-liter V8-powered F-one hundred fifty 4×4, which receives 16 mpg city and 22 freeway (allow on your own more efficient F-one hundred fifty selections like the 2.seven-liter EcoBoost, diesel or PowerBoost hybrid). All over again, these quantities are competitive inside of this phase, but not unlike the interior lodging talked about before, the Tremor’s effectiveness comes across as disappointingly yester-tech.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost is not a lot to seem at, but with 270 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque, it doesn’t need to be.

Nick Miotke/Josh Krzywonos/Roadshow

Off-road effectiveness and towing/payload

I used a wintry working day at Holly Oaks, a newly opened quarry-turned-off-road playland in metro Detroit to test the Tremor’s mettle. With a combine of tricky-packed frozen floor and mud-and-snow slurry, this ORV park was a suitably tough test for this pickup. Superior continue to, I relished pretty much absolutely free operate of the spot, as it was shut to the public, enabling me to go again and consider the same trails and obstacles in various drive modes when getting various lines to assess the truck’s whole abilities.

Like the FX4, the Tremor capabilities Ford’s Terrain Management Method, so you can poke a button and enhance the vehicle’s a variety of drive and brake programs for no matter what area you happen to be about to roll about (it is really variety of like the dial-a-nap controller on your vacuum). Ford says it recalibrated the Tremor’s traction manage for this model’s larger, knobbier tires for improved traction on gravel and I observed the process worked equally very well in the slushy stuff as it did on the hardpack.

One particular point that is awesome is you can cycle by TMS’ modes on the fly. I primarily relied on Grass/Gravel/Snow for hills, but when I was just possessing enjoyable deliberately sliding about at pace on the flat stuff, I selected Sand method (and occasionally Mud and Ruts) to allow for for more wheelspin to indulge my adolescent need for rooster tails.

Like the FX4, the Tremor also capabilities Path Management, which is Ford’s small-pace, off-road cruise manage for both ascending and descending hills at preset speeds from 1 to twenty mph. It can be actually, actually beneficial and confidence-inspiring tech, as it enables you to concentrate on steering the motor vehicle without having possessing to fret about modulating the pedals. Combined with the Ranger’s other digital aids and the Tremor’s upgraded hardware, the entire deal is so able that these assists finally take away some of the sense of challenge and accomplishment of off-roading. It can be awesome to know it is really there, but sometimes, it is really just more enjoyable to go manual and do it on your own.

At moments like this, a ahead-experiencing spotter’s digital camera would’ve been actually easy.

Nick Miotke/Josh Krzywonos/Roadshow

That mentioned, there are a pair of hardware tricks that I would not thoughts seeing on the Tremor’s spec sheet, such as a front locking differential. A rear e-locker comes common, but you can find no front-axle equal like a Chevy Colorado ZR2 or a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, so you happen to be finally heading to give up some capability when rock climbing. The good thing is, the large the greater part of the time, you’ll under no circumstances know it is really missing.

On the other hand, you can find a person point you will definitely pass up when off-roading: a ahead-experiencing digital camera. I failed to have a pal to stand outside in the blustery chilly to support tutorial me about and about obstacles, and when on steep ascents and descents, you are unable to see about the hood to know what you happen to be about to crawl about. Whilst it is really understandable that an more mature and more-economical midsizer like the Tremor could not however be available with 360-diploma digital camera coverage, a small-mounted front-experiencing digital camera would be mighty welcome and would deliver a even further place of differentiation from lesser Ranger types.

As it is, the Ranger’s tidier proportions are inherently much easier to regulate off-road than a whole-dimensions truck. There is certainly a lot less chance of scraping your extravagant Cactus Grey paint in slender forest passages and limited turns are much easier to negotiate than they’d be in an F-Series, as very well.

Off-road, you actually enjoy that this turbo 4 has so a lot small-finish torque and it is really wonderful that the transmission has so quite a few gears to opt for from you under no circumstances really feel like the EcoBoost is straining to get you by, even if it does sound flaccid as opposed to competitors’ V6 engines. All that torque assists on-road, much too, providing a very best-in-course seven,500-pound tow ranking or 1,430 pounds of payload in its five-foot mattress. People quantities are ideal at the head of the course, and they’re vital metrics when building an overlanding rig laden with a lot of significant equipment.

Pricing and final judgment

So, the Ranger Tremor is not a higher-pace off-roader like a Ford F-one hundred fifty Raptor (or even the abroad-only Ranger Raptor), nor is it a hardcore rock crawler. This truck feels like it is really been built to sit ideal in the center capacity-clever, which could have resulted in a motor vehicle that feels muddled and indecisive, like a person that are unable to determine out what it is really built for. In its place, the Tremor looks like it is really observed a capacity sweet place. It can be rather fantastic at a wide range of off-road disciplines and that would make it a improved baseline platform for customizing if you haven’t decided what variety of off-roading you actually want to commit to, be it desert bombing, overlanding or forested mountain ascents.

If you happen to be a person who off-streets a good deal, the 2021 Ranger Tremor is large enjoyable, but it is not low cost. Whereas a non-Tremor XLT SuperCrew 4×4 commences at $35,940 (such as $1,195 location), an XLT Tremor will operate you $41,900 shipped — without having extras. An option-absolutely free, leading-trim Lariat runs $46,275 in your driveway, but it consists of niceties like a B&O audio process, leather-based seats, navigation, distant begin and adaptive cruise manage. With selections such as the Technological innovation Offer ($995 for adaptive cruise, navigation, and many others.), spray-in mattress liner ($495), distant begin ($195) and SecuriCode keyless-entry pad ($95), my XLT tester rings up at $forty three,680 shipped.

Overall, the Tremor is competitively priced inside of its phase (a Tacoma TRD Professional commences at about $45,000), but this Ford’s base MSRP is also actually close to that of the new F-one hundred fifty XLT 4×4 with a five.-liter V8. The F-Series is a a lot, a lot more sophisticated equipment with identical effectiveness.

Of program, not everybody desires or desires a whole-dimensions pickup and the quantity of buyers splurging on smaller, costlier, manufacturing unit-backed hardcore off-road specials like this 2021 Ranger Tremor seems to be escalating each individual working day. In purchase to continue to be competitive, it is really vital that Ford engage in in this area. And you know what? Even with this truck’s shortcomings, I continue to kinda dig it.