2020 Ford Ranger vs. 2020 Jeep Wrangler

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/25

The Ranger has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats that act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Wrangler doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

The Ranger has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Wrangler offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Ranger’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Ranger offers optional parking sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Ranger’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Ranger and the Wrangler have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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There are over 27 percent more Ford dealers than there are Jeep dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Ranger’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Ranger has a standard 720-amp battery. The Wrangler’s standard 650-amp battery and largest (optional) 700-amp battery aren’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Ranger’s reliability 66 points higher than the Wrangler.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Ranger first among midsize pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Wrangler isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 10 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

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The Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 295) than the Wrangler’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 260) than the Wrangler’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Ranger is faster than the Jeep Wrangler turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Ranger

Wrangler

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.4 sec

15.1 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.4 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.3 MPH

82.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Ranger 4x4 gets better fuel mileage than the Wrangler 4-door 4 cyl. (20 city/24 hwy vs. 21 city/22 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Ranger uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Wrangler with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Ranger has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Ford Ranger comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Wrangler.

A ten-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Ranger, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Wrangler.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Ranger’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Wrangler are solid, not vented.

The Ranger stops much shorter than the Wrangler:

Ranger

Wrangler

70 to 0 MPH

190 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

150 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

150 feet

163 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Ranger has larger standard tires than the Wrangler (255/70R16 vs. 245/75R17).

The Ranger’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 70 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Wrangler Sport’s standard 75 series tires. The Ranger’s optional tires have a lower 60 series profile than the Wrangler Sahara’s 70 series tires.

The Ford Ranger’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Jeep Wrangler only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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The Ford Ranger’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Wrangler’s solid front axle, which allows the Ranger’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Ranger has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Wrangler.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Ranger SuperCrew’s wheelbase is 30 inches longer than on the Wrangler 2-door (126.8 inches vs. 96.8 inches). The Ranger SuperCrew’s wheelbase is 8.4 inches longer than on the Wrangler 4-door (126.8 inches vs. 118.4 inches).

The Ranger Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 handles at .75 G’s, while the Wrangler Rubicon 2-door pulls only .63 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Ranger Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.6 seconds quicker than the Wrangler Rubicon 2-door (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 31.3 seconds @ .48 average G’s).

Chassis

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For excellent aerodynamics, the Ranger has standard flush composite headlights. The Wrangler has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

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The Ranger SuperCab has 1.9 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room and 10.3 inches more rear hip room than the Wrangler 2-door.

The Ranger SuperCrew has 1.9 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Wrangler 4-door.

Cargo Capacity

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The Ranger SuperCrew has a much larger cargo volume than the Wrangler with its rear seat up (43.3 vs. 31.7 cubic feet).

The Ranger SuperCab has a much larger cargo volume than the Wrangler with its rear seat up (51.8 vs. 31.7 cubic feet).

The Ranger has a much larger cargo volume than the Wrangler with its rear seat up (43.3 vs. 31.7 cubic feet).

The Ranger’s cargo area is larger than the Wrangler’s in almost every dimension:

Ranger SuperCrew

Ranger SuperCab

Wrangler

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

61”

72.8”

37”/65.8”

Max Width

61.4”

61.4”

42”

Min Width

44.8”

44.8”

39.5”

Payload and Towing

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The Ranger’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Wrangler’s (7500 vs. 2000 pounds).

The Ranger has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Wrangler (1560 vs. 1233 lbs.).

The Ranger has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Wrangler (1860 vs. 1351 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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The Ranger uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Wrangler uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Ranger’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

The Ranger’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Ranger’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Wrangler’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The Ranger’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Ranger’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Wrangler doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SiriusXM Guardian can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Ranger’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Wrangler doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SiriusXM Guardian can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Ranger Lariat’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Wrangler’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Ranger has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Wrangler has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Ranger detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Wrangler doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Model Availability

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The Ranger is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Ranger is less expensive to operate than the Wrangler because typical repairs cost less on the Ranger than the Wrangler, including $33 less for front brake pads, $6 less for a fuel pump, $13 less for front struts and $178 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends the Ford Ranger, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Wrangler isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Ranger first among midsize pickups in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Wrangler isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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