Ford has a new appearance package available for the Ranger midsize pickup that will get you halfway to having a true off-roader.
It’s called the FX2 package, and it’s basically the FX4 package without the four-wheel drive. If that seems odd, that’s because it is.
Before we get to the whys and wherefores, a brief reminder of what the FX4 package provides. You get off-road tires, an electronic-locking rear differential, off-road-tuned suspension, and a new instrument cluster that has off-road info such as pitch, roll, and yaw.
You also get some skid plates, or what Ford prefers to call “underbody shielding,” as well as standard 17-inch wheels wrapped in off-road tires. A set of 18-inch wheels are an available extra.
What you do not get is a second driven axle. The FX2 package is only for the 4x2 version of the Ranger, which makes you wonder just how much off-roading people do in a two-wheel-drive pickup.
Apparently, that might not be what matters here. Ford says that two-thirds of Ranger buyers opt for either the Sport Appearance Package, the Chrome Appearance Package, or the STX Appearance Package, while only one-third get the FX4 Off-Road Package. Providing an off-road-styled package for the two-wheel-drive Ranger just might get that ratio up to two-thirds where all the other packages are.
“FX2 expands Ranger’s options for customers who want tough, off-road style with the functionality of a locking differential but don’t need four-wheel drive,” said Brian Bell, Ford Ranger marketing manager. “This is another way our customers can personalize Ranger to match their lifestyle while getting a great value.”
And that value is indeed great. The FX2 package comes in at just $595, which is worth it for the off-road tires alone. Getting an electronic-locking rear diff and some off-road-capable suspension is a bonus even if you never intend to take the Ranger off-roading. Michigan has plenty of potholes large enough to warrant some beefed-up suspension upgrades.
Ford's FX2 package is available to order now on any Ranger trim, with deliveries beginning later this year.