There is a lot of excitement surrounding the 2024 Ford Ranger as the new model makes its way Stateside after being an international sensation and racking up quite the fandom overseas. The new generation Ranger has an all-new design, frame, features, and some new engines that have had the trucking world buzzing since its announcement. You may have noticed our coverage here at Car Life Nation outlining some of the great features of the Ranger, such as the Ranger Raptor or the overhauled powertrain line-up. However, there are quite a few new low-key features that may not be receiving quite as much press as the big ticket items that make for great headlines.
Integrated Box Side Step
In some cases, it’s the simple things that can help add a lot of value to a truck, and one of those is a bed-step. Recent model year pickups have been wisely adding side cargo box side steps to the offerings, which enable you to step up and reach inside of the cargo box without having to climb up on the tailgate. Even when you do climb up inside the cargo box, the side step can help make that giant leap from the tailgate to the ground a much easier one, something Neil Armstrong probably wished he had on the moon. It’s a super addition, and an available option for the XLT and Lariat trims of the 2024 Ranger. The side step is rated at 300 pounds, designed for all manner of utility. Those who need to quickly reach items in the cargo box will definitely appreciate this feature.
The new C-clamp light array for the Ranger’s headlights melds with the all-new front hood and grill, which are much more bold in appearance than the previous model. This is particularly relevant to those of you who like the way the F-150 and Maverick look. Now all of Ford’s trucks share a similar appearance in front, one that others on the road can easily recognize as a Ford. If design language and style are important to you in how a truck looks, then the Ranger’s new fascia with its unique styling to match the rest of Ford’s latest generation trucks will definitely appeal to you. It’s not a huge change, but it’s definitely a noticeable one that style-enthusiasts will appreciate.
Lights are not always a big focus when it comes to a new vehicle design unless they’re rocking some snazzy LED designs. But in this case, it’s a feature that will definitely appeal to those who really weren’t all that fond of the old Ranger’s front fascia, and the truck’s mostly forgettable design.
This might be one of the most important, yet understated features for the 2024 Ford Ranger. The truck rides on an all-new high-strength steel frame that widens the track by two inches. A wider track means better handling and more stability, which is something anyone would want from a pickup truck. This rings especially true for those who are interested in an off-road vehicle. This also changes how the suspension is designed, as well as the vehicle’s stance. As a result, the 2024 Ford Ranger handles much better than the previous model, whether driving to the grocery store or heading to a far-off destination across dirt, mud, snow, or sand.
Working in conjunction with the wider track and all new chassis, the 2024 Ranger has a completely different suspension setup. Unlike older Rangers utilizing a traditional leaf spring suspension, the new Ranger utilizes a coil-over suspension with double wishbone control arms, similar to the Bronco. With the wider track, the outboard shocks, and coil-over design, the Ranger now has much better wheel travel articulation. This provides a much better ride on the street, as well as better handling off-road or on slippery surfaces. It’s not a feature that you might see advertised everywhere, but it’s one of those low-key features that makes a huge difference in terms of how a vehicle like the 2024 Ranger handles across all manner of different surfaces.
Rock Crawl Mode
Drive modes are nothing new. Many vehicles, even compact daily drivers, are known to have drive modes. These are easy to switch through depending on where you’re driving and what the road conditions are like. The 2024 Ranger is no exception to this, and it comes with a total of seven different drive modes across its entire trim line-up, including the Ranger Raptor. However, one mode in particular that is quite the standout is the Rock Crawl mode for the Raptor.
Rock Crawl mode is specifically designed to take advantage of the Raptor’s off-road tuned suspension and four-wheel drive powertrain to crawl across rocks. This is in addition to having dedicated drive modes for Baja, Off-Road, and Sand. Rock Crawl, in particular, engages the Raptor’s electronic locking differential, and optimizes throttle response and transmission shift points for rock crawling conditions. This mode is designed for those hardcore off-road enthusiasts who love to push their trucks to the limits. Having a dedicated mode specifically for rock crawling means that whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, you have an opportunity to take advantage of the Ranger Raptor’s design to not only venture off-road, but venture up some challenging rocks as well.
400-Watt In-Bed Power Inverter
It’s an easy feature to overlook, but the 400-watt power inverter in the bed of all but the XL trim is an awesome source for turning the Ranger into a mobile power generator. While you may not be able to set up an outdoor concert using the Ranger to power multiple megawatt amplifiers and flame throwing electric guitars like the Doof Wagon from Mad Max, you will be able to use the inverter for simple amplifiers and more commonplace things, like air compressors, camp lighting, or laptop workstations. You can even use it for powering work tools.
The inverter is also designed with safeguards so that you won’t find yourself stranded with the Ranger drained of all its juice. When battery power runs low, it will turn itself off to ensure that you have enough left to start the engine. The fact that the inverter outlet is easily accessible from the tailgate is an extra bonus.
Tailgate Work Surface
It’s easy for us to take tailgates for granted these days. Every truck has one, and most of the big truck brands have special tailgate functionality, from the MultiFlex Tailgate on the Chevy Silverado to the Multi-Function Tailgate on the Ram. Not every tailgate needs to open six ways from Sunday or work as a Swiss Army knife, but the 2024 Ford Ranger does include a bottle opener, perfect for a tailgate party. The new Ranger’s tailgate has been redesigned to be highly functional and utilitarian without being overbearing.
It’s a simple design that contains a great deal of embedded utility, such as a bag holder, measurement markings, clamp pockets, and even notches for sorting or separating supplies. It looks simple, but it offers plenty of utility, which is great for those who plan on using the truck for more than just a daily driver. As a work truck or recreation vehicle it offers plenty for enterprising truck drivers, and for an affordably priced midsize pickup, what more could you possibly ask for?