Test drive: The 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor can pound ground

·2 min read

The Maverick may be getting all of the attention right now, but Ford’s other small truck has an earth-shattering development. In name, at least.

The Ford Ranger Tremor is a new take on the midsize pickup with even better off-road capability than the popular FX4 package offers.

Rather than being its own thing, the Tremor is $4,290 package available on XLT and Lariat Rangers that brings a 2-inch suspension lift and a set of 32-inch tires on unique 17-inch wheels that increase ground clearance from the FX4’s 8.9 to 9.7 inches. It also includes skid plates, a set of hoop side steps, a locking rear differential and a rack of six auxiliary switches on the dashboard.

Ford’s low speed Trail Control cruise control system, Tremor body decals and seat logos, and a set of all-weather floor mats round things out with lowest priced version checking out at $41,900.

Front and rear wheel articulation increases to 6.5 inches and 8.1 inches, respectively, which doesn’t quite put it into F-150 Raptor or even Chevy Colorado ZR2 territory, but a set of high performance Fox shocks and hydraulic jounce bumpers helps you make the most of it.

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The Tremor is only available on four-door 4x4 Super Crew trucks and is matched with the Ranger’s standard 270 hp 2.3-liter turbocharged four cylinder and 10-speed automatic transmission.

The updates don’t ruin the on-road ride or refinement and you can still get all of the Ranger’s electronic driver aids, including lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. The maximum tow rating also remains 7,500 pounds.

The jacked up, fat-tire profile does contribute to knocking the EPA combined fuel economy rating down from 22 mpg to 19 mpg, however.

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In its dirty, dusty and bumpy element, however, the Tremor proves to be a significant upgrade over the FX4. The extra ground clearance opens up new roads and there’s plenty of traction to go around on slippery ones. Hardcore off-roaders will be looking for even more ground clearance and articulation, of course, but you can slam the ground with it pretty hard and keep on going.

Maybe that’s where the name comes from.

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2021 Ford Ranger Tremor

Base price: $41,900

Type: 5-passenger, 4-door, 4-wheel-drive pickup

Engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

Power: 270 hp, 310 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

MPG: 19 city/19 hwy