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Battle of the Trucks: 2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150

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The midsize 2021 Ford Ranger and the full-size 2021 Ford F-150 are both excellent choices if you’re looking for a capable pickup—but the truck that’s right for you depends on what you need it for.
The Ford F-150 is the most popular car in America, and for good reason. It’s a true workhorse with an impressive towing capacity, strong off-road capability, and excellent safety ratings. Plus, it's available with no fewer than six different engines.
But if you need a vehicle that’s a little smaller (or a little cheaper), the durable Ford Ranger could be worth a test drive.
If you can’t decide between the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Ford F-150, don’t worry.
Jerry
, the trustworthy super app that saves you money on car insurance, is here to help you out. In this guide, we’ve got the rundown on how these pickups compare in terms of performance, trim levels, towing capacity, reliability, and more. We'll also show you how to get the lowest
Ford car insurance cost
.
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2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150: the basics

Want to know how the
2021 Ford Ranger
and the
2021 Ford F-150
compare? Here’s an overview:
  • Size: The F-150 is a full-size truck that could be up to 39.5 inches longer and 6.6 inches wider than the mid-size Ranger, depending on its configuration and trim.
  • Price: The 2021 Ford Ranger’s starting price of $26,015 is almost $5,000 less than the F-150’s base cost of $30,985.
  • Customization: The 2021 F-150 is available with six engines and three cab configurations, while the 2021 Ranger only has two body styles and a single engine.
  • Towing: The 2021 F-150 can tow huge loads of up to 14,000 pounds! The 2021 Ford Ranger has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.
If you’re trying to decide whether the 2021 Ranger or the 2021 F-150 meet your needs, those differences are a good place to start. But if you’re looking for a comprehensive breakdown of how these two trucks compare to each other, read on!

2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150: power & performance

If you’re buying a pickup, chances are your vehicle’s power and performance are top priority. Let’s start with the powertrain options for the 2021 Ranger and the 2021 Ford F-150. 
The Ranger is only available with a single engine: a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That’s a capable engine, but if you want more variety (or more power) here are the six different powertrains—including an eco-friendly hybrid—available for the 2021 Ford F-150.
Engine
Horsepower
Torque
3.3-liter V6
290
265 lb-ft
5.0-liter V8
400
410 lb-ft
Turbocharged 2.7-liter V6
325
400 lb-ft
Turbocharged 3.5-liter V6
400
410 lb-ft
3.0-liter diesel V6
250
500 lb-ft
3.5-liter turbocharged V6/35kW electric motor hybrid
400
570 lb-ft
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Both trucks come with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and can be optioned with either rear- or four-wheel drive. The 2021 Ranger gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22 to 23 mpg, while the F-150 gets between 20 and 25 mpg, depending on its powertrain. 

2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150: interior & storage

Perhaps the most obvious difference between the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Ford F-150 is size. The midsize Ranger offers an extended cab to seat four people, or a crew cab to seat five. The extended cab comes with a 6-foot truck bed, while the crew cab has a 5-foot truck bed.
The Ford F-150 comes as an extended cab with a 6.5-foot bed and as a crew cab with a 5.5-foot bed. It also includes the option of a regular cab for drivers who only need seating for three. The regular cab configuration comes with a spacious 8-foot bed.
Both trucks feature comfortable seating and a clean, modern interior layout. The Ranger is a bit more minimalistic, but still comes with convenience features like power-adjustable and heated front seats, underseat storage, and dual-zone climate control. The F-150 on the other hand, adds useful amenities like a collapsible cargo box, and a fold-flat shift lever that allows you to use the inside of the truck as a workspace.
Here’s how the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Ford F-150 stack up in terms of interior dimensions.
Model
2022 Ford Ranger
2022 Ford F-150
Wheelbase
126.8 inches
122 to 163 inches
Length
210.8 inches
209.1 to 250.3 inches
Bed length
60 to 72 inches
66 to 96 inches
Headroom (front/rear)
39.8 inches/35.9 inches
40.8 inches/40.3 to 40.4 inches
Legroom (front/rear)
43.1 inches/30.4 inches
43.9 inches/33.5 to 43.6 inches

2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150: technology & trims

For many truck owners, access to cutting-edge tech is pretty far down on their list of priorities, so both the base 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Ford F-150 keep things simple.
The 2021 Ford Ranger XL includes little more than the bare necessities. Drivers who want a larger touchscreen with smartphone integration have the option of purchasing Ford’s STX package.
All Ranger models come with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Higher trims like the XLT and the Lariat get access to Ford Co-Pilot360 for more driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring. The Lariat also gets some luxury tech like remote start and a premium sound system
The 2021 F-150 is available in seven trims, and they all come standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a WiFi hotspot, built-in navigation, keyless entry, remote start, and driver-assistance aids. Stepping up to the XLT gives you the option of a larger touchscreen and a better sound system. The Lariat trim adds Ford’s Active Driving Assist hands-free driving system.
Arguably the most interesting upgrade available for the F-150 is the Pro Power Onboard,a built-in mobile power generator that can be optioned on hybrid models.

2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150: towing & off-roading

When it comes to towing capacity, the 2021 Ford F-150 is the clear winner. Ford’s full-size truck is capable of towing a whopping 14,000 pounds, while the 2021 Ranger can only haul 7,500 pounds
That makes the 2021 F-150 the clear pick if you’re looking for a towing workhorse, but these two trucks are actually pretty similar when it comes to payload capacity. The Ranger’s truck bed can handle up to 2,128 pounds of cargo, and the F-150 can hold 2,238 pounds.
If you need to drive your truck off-road, both models are capable of hitting the backcountry roads—especially when equipped with four-wheel drive. However, optimizing your off-road performance requires the Tremor Off-Road Package, which includes necessities like all-terrain tires, extra ground clearance, upgraded damping control and shocks, an electronic locking rear differential, metal side straps, and off-road drive modes.
The Tremor Off-Road Package can be optioned on the 2021 Ford Ranger XLT or Lariat. It's also available as a separate trim for the 2021 Ford F-150. The 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor starts around $51,200.

2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150: safety

Safety is another area where the 2021 Ford F-150 comes out on top. Not only did it perform well enough on crash tests to earn five stars from the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
, it earned an overall rating of good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was named a Top Safety Pick
The 2021 Ford Ranger, on the other hand, was only awarded four stars from the NHTSA, and while it earned an overall rating of good in the IIHS crash tests, it was given a score of marginal for its headlights in the crash mitigation category. 
Both trucks can be improved with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 driver-assistance safety tech, but it doesn’t come standard on either vehicle.

2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Ford F-150: reliability 

J.D. Power and Associates gave the 2021 Ford Ranger a score 83/100 for quality and reliability. The 2021 Ford F-150 earned a rating of 77/100.
This means owning a 2021 Ford Ranger might lead to fewer trips to the mechanic and lower repair costs, especially when you consider that Ford has only issued three recalls for the Ranger. The F-150 has been recalled 12 times.

Which is better: 2021 Ford Ranger or 2021 Ford F-150?

Now that we’ve gone over some major differences between the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Ford F-150, it’s time to make a decision.
If you’re on a tight budget, need a smaller truck, or prefer a vehicle with higher reliability ratings, then the 2021 Ranger could be your perfect pickup.
On the other hand, for drivers who need a full-size work vehicle with a variety of customization options, a huge towing capacity, more standard tech, and high safety scores, the 2021 F-150 is the obvious choice.

How to find cheap auto insurance for your Ford

Whether you choose the 2021 Ford Ranger or the 2021 Ford F-150, your truck deserves great car insurance. Protecting yourself and your vehicle after an accident doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little help from
Jerry
, you can get
cheap car insurance
without sacrificing coverage.
Here’s how it works: Download the trustworthy super app and enter your information. Then, in just 45 seconds, Jerry scans coverage options from the nation’s top insurance companies and generates a list of affordable quotes that meet your needs and your budget. Just tap your preferred policy and Jerry takes care of the rest—all the phone calls and paperwork needed to secure your new plan, and canceling your old one.
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Reviewed by Jessica Barrett.
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