By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 9, 2021
About the video
The most capable off-road Ford Ranger you can buy in the U.S. is here — and no, it’s not the Ranger Raptor. This is the 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor. Watch our video to find out more.
Hey, truck fans, we have something special for you today. It is the most capable off-road Ford Ranger that you can buy in America. And no, it's not the Ranger Raptor. The Raptor is not coming to America. You keep asking Ford, Ford keeps telling you.
Maybe when they do a full redesign of the Ranger in a couple of years, but not anytime soon. No. Instead of what we have is the new Ford Ranger Tremor, a new package for 2021. And like the Tremor packages for all of the other Ford pickup trucks, it basically is a more off-road capable version that slots in above the FX4. So it's got some updated suspension bits. It's got some updated cosmetic bits. And so we really wanted to see what it was like out in the dirt. However, this is Michigan, and it's February. We don't have any dirt. We've got snow. Let's play in the snow. (upbeat music) So what makes a Tremor? Well, it starts with you picking either a crew-cab Ranger XLT or a Ranger Lariat 4x4, depending on which trim level you want and how many luxury appointments you need. The Tremor package adds a bunch of off-road features to that. And like it does for its bigger brothers brings a thorough redo to the Ranger's suspension, more than you might expect. The changes start with the adoption of Fox 2.0 shocks front and rear with the rears getting piggyback remote reservoirs. The front coil-over and rear leaf springs are thoroughly reworked, adding to a nearly one inch lift for the truck overall. The track is an inch wider, too, thanks to revised control arms which means you get some mild fender flares to cover the wheels and tires. Those wheels are 17-inch alloys in Magnetic gray, and they're wearing 32-inch Continental General Grabber all-terrain tires. You might not expect an off-road truck like this, meant for running through the dirt and down muddy trails, to do well in these super-low-friction environments like deep snow and ice, but the Ranger Tremor actually performs beautifully in such situations. Part of the credit goes to the tires, the General Grabber altering rubber is blocky like a rock and mud tire, but it's also siped like an all-weather tire. Meaning it has enough grip to get you down icy streets and over powdery fields. The other component of the Ranger Tremor's excellent traction is its Electronic Terrain Management System. You can select from a number of different drive modes that change aspects of the throttle, traction control, stability control, and engine and transmission computers to select the environment you're trying to roll through. For conditions like these, the Mud/Ruts/Snow setting worked very well if you wanted maximum traction, but the Sand setting was the one that turned out to be the most fun. With the computer keeping the transmission in a lower gear and the revs boosted towards the upper limits, you can throw the Tremor around like a Baja racer over the snow-covered moguls. What you feel in the cabin is an exceptionally well-damped ride, regardless of terrain. Over bumps, ruts, and furrows that would have your teeth chattering in Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the Ranger Tremor just sails along, its suspension doing its thing to keep cabin dwelling passengers calm and comfortable. Part of the changes to the suspension have accounted for increased suspension travel over a Ranger FX4, according to Ford's engineers on the Fox 2.0 shocks with remote reservoirs helping keeping the shock absorber fluid cool for better performance during punishing use. The anti-roll bars have actually seen their stiffness decreased in order to improve compliance and soak up bumps. All I know is that the Tremor package turns the Ranger from a capable off-road truck and FX4 trim to a truly impressive off-road machine that can rival the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 or Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro when you decide to leave the pavement. And unlike those other competitors, the Tremor package is designed to not compromise the main reasons you bought the truck. The Ranger retains its 1,430-pound maximum payload capacity and 7,500-pound maximum towing capacity. The powertrain is unchanged from the rest of the Ranger lineup, meaning you get the powerful turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that's also present in the Ford Mustang and Ford Explorer. It pumps out 270 horsepower and 310 pounds-feet of torque on premium fuel, routed through a 10-speed automatic transmission. The transfer case is a part-time four-wheel-drive setup, so you can only engage it when you're on terrain that offers some slip, there's no for auto like you can get in the new GMC Canyon AT4. The Tremor package comes with an electronic locking rear differential which can be engaged in any mode, even two-wheel drive, according to Ford engineers. There are some cosmetic changes to the Tremor as well. Up front, you get a new grille with reddish-orange inserts and a Magnetic gray bumper with tow hooks. The back bumper gets the same treatment, Magnetic gray with retrieval hooks. Down the sides, there are hoop-style steps covered in bedliner paint for durability and grip. And there's an optional retro-styled graphics package that can compliment the Tremor badge on the rear fenders. Headlights can be conventional projectors or LEDs, but that depends on whether or not you've opted for an XLT or a more expensive Lariat trim. Inside, it's pretty much standard Ford Ranger, which is to say it's the nicest 2014 Ford Fusion interior you can buy today. Nothing shows off just how old this version of the Ranger is like it's thoroughly last generation Ford-bits interior, but it's still functional and comfortable. The Tremor package does bring some goodies, however, such as a truly handy six-unit auxiliary switch panel hardwired into the dash and custom Tremor-embroidered seats. If you want fancier spiffs, like a digital gauge cluster, leather trim or power seats, you'll have to again opt for the Lariat over the XLT. My test truck was the XLT and I can't say it really lacked anything that made life harder, but having also viewed the Lariat interior, it did seem like it might be worth a few grand more to upgrade yourself. How much does the baddest off-road Ranger in America cost? Well, it starts with the XLT 4x4 crew-cab which stickers at $35,940 to start including destination. The Tremor package itself costs $4,290, but that's a bit misleading as selecting, it also requires you to select the $1,670 XLT Equipment Package 301A which adds the Sport Appearance Package which is how you get the great bumpers and wheels. Auto-dimming rear view mirror, reverse sensing system, 110-volt outlet, and a couple of other things. The Tremor package brings all of the off-road goodies that make the Ranger more capable than an FX4 package. And my test truck also featured a few stand-alone options like remote start, spray-in bedliner, and the technology package that brings adaptive cruise control, navigation, and forward sensing to the party. The grand total for my test truck came to a well-equipped $43,680, including destination which is actually a very decent value for a truck that can do what the Ranger Tremor can do. So for the money, the Tremor package is a really good value addition to the Ford Ranger. It increases its off-road abilities. It's still is comfortable and it can still do all of the trucking things that you'd buy a Ranger to do. If you'd like to learn more about the new 2021 Ford Ranger or any of the new Ford pickups, you can look everything up on cars.com.
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