A red 2024 Ford Ranger is shown driving off-road near a river towards the debate of a 2024 Ford Ranger vs 2024 Toyota Tacoma.

What Sets the Next-Generation Ford Ranger Apart From Other Midsize Trucks?

Ford’s midsize pickup, the Ranger, is entering a new generation with the 2024 model year. This all-new iteration has an exterior redesign and plenty of upgraded features across all trim levels. A rough-and-ready Raptor edition is also coming to the lineup, giving off-road enthusiasts a voracious version of this midsize marvel. Whether your priority is style, tech, or performance, there’s something for everyone in the 2024 Ford Ranger.

Of course, the Ranger doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are other midsize trucks out there vying for the attention of drivers, from the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma to the Honda Ridgeline and Jeep Gladiator. So instead of comparing the fifth-generation Ranger to the iterations that came before it, we’re going to take a look at how it sets itself apart from the competition. Does the Ranger stand out from the pack or blend into the background? Let’s find out…

A silver 2024 Ford Ranger Sport 4x4 is shown parked near an ocean.


Most midsize trucks are specialized vehicles—designed to serve a particular function particularly well—and thus, as a consequence, they suffer from drawbacks in those areas outside their niche.

For instance, the Jeep Gladiator is essentially a Wrangler with an open bed in the back, so it’s great for cutting up the dunes—but getting there won’t be half the fun since its ride on paved roads can be noisy, unrefined, and uncomfortable. The Honda Ridgeline’s unibody construction gives it a more car-like feel on paved roads, allowing for a smoother ride than the typical body-on-frame trucks can offer—but that strength weakens its ability to handle off-road conditions and lowers its towing capacity compared to other options.

By contrast, the Ford Ranger is designed to tackle both the highway and the trail. Across all trims, it features a ten-speed automatic transmission, so it can give you a smooth ride with optimal settings in a wider variety of situations than would trucks with fewer gears; for instance, the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado both use an eight-speed automatic transmission. On top of that, the Ranger’s new design features more ground clearance and improved shocks to help you tackle rough terrain with a more comfortable ride and better control.


While the base Ranger is a well-rounded option that acts as a jack-of-all-trades, the all-new Ranger Raptor is a dedicated off-road trim that can take your next adventure to the next level.

This in and of itself isn’t enough to make it stand out from the competition, though; it has to set itself apart from the Colorado ZR2 Bison, Tacoma TRD Pro, and Frontier PRO-4X. All of these trucks have plenty of things in common—beefier shocks than you’ll find on their on-road counterparts, skid plates to protect underbody components from damage, and locking differentials to improve traction—but that doesn’t mean that they’re all the same.

One major factor to consider is power. Most off-roaders are looking to feel some thrills out on the open terrain, and being able to accelerate quickly and get that adrenaline rush is all dependent on how much horsepower their truck’s engine can provide. So let’s dig into the stats and put these three midsize beasts head to head to head to find out who brings the most horsepower to the table…

With its 2.7L Turbo I-4 engine, the 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison provides 310 hp; the 2023 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X can match that figure with its 3.8L V6, and the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro’s 2.4L turbo hybrid powertrain surpasses them both with 326 hp. But the 2024 Ranger Raptor’s 3.0L EcoBoost V6 produces an outstanding 405 hp, making it far and away the winner in this category. That power can come in handy on the pavement, too, making it easier to pass with confidence on two-lane roads.

A gray 2024 Ford Ranger Sport 4X4 is shown parked near a river.


In addition to the Raptor trim and several other updates, the Ranger has received a front-end redesign for the 2024 model year. This new face clearly takes inspiration from its older brother, the full-size F-150.

It looks rugged yet refined—and distinctly “Ford.” Even if you covered up the emblem, most truck enthusiasts could easily identify the new Ranger as part of Ford’s lineup. For fans of the brand, this cohesive sense of style—visually tying the Ranger to the F-150—is a definite draw and something that other automakers simply can’t provide.


Since midsize trucks are designed to take you through both busy highways and tricky trails, it’s important for them to have features that help keep you alert, attentive, and out of trouble.

When looking at its standard and available options, the new 2024 Ranger features 31 driver assistance features. Some—like forward collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control—are easy to find on other midsize trucks, but other features are unique; for instance, Active Park Assist 2.0 uses advanced automation to help you park—either parallel or perpendicular—in tight spaces.

Since driving with a trailer in tow can make things more dangerous and difficult, the new Ranger has several features designed with towing in mind. Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Trailer Reverse Guidance both use a variety of camera angles to keep you fully aware of your surroundings during tricky maneuvers and give you coaching in real-time that can help you smoothly get into position.

The Ranger also features a blind spot monitoring system that has trailer coverage, keeping track of the extended blind zone that exists when you have a large trailer in tow. These advanced features will also be able to keep up with technological improvements that may come in the future since the Ranger can receive over-the-air updates to constantly keep its software at the cutting edge.

A blue 2024 Ford Ranger Sport 4X4 is shown parked off-road near a dirt bike.

Some Final Thoughts

While the Ford Ranger has been a major player in the midsize truck segment since it returned to the American market for the 2019 model year, the 2024 iteration stands apart from the competition more starkly.

Rather than just offering a Tremor equipment package for off-road action, the Ranger is now getting the Raptor treatment, giving it a truly rugged version that can run with the best of them. And while some midsize trucks are dropping their V6 options, the Ranger is bringing a powerful V6 into its lineup, giving drivers more horsepower to work with.

When it comes to building trucks, Ford clearly knows what it’s doing. The F-150 has topped the list of best-selling vehicles in America for decades, retaining loyal buyers throughout changes in public tastes and changes to the F-150 itself. That experience makes this automaker uniquely positioned to deliver trucks that answer the needs of the American public.

With this update to the Ranger, Ford is aiming to take some of the things that make the F-150 a perennial favorite—like its variety of capable powertrains and rugged Raptor variant—and apply them to the midsize segment.

The 2024 Ford Ranger might have a lot in common with other midsize trucks, but its unique combination of characteristics helps it to forge its own path. We’re excited to see what future model years will add to this new generation of the Ranger; whether it’s new tech, improved powertrains, or even more off-road capability, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on whatever comes next.