Ford Ranger Wheelbase

A vehicle’s wheelbase affects your handling on the road, and the Ford Ranger has a commendable length of 126.8 inches.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The distance between the center of the front and rear wheels on your car, or the wheelbase, significantly influences your car’s handling. If you’ve got your eye on the ‘ole reliable Ford Ranger, you’ll want to take the wheelbase measurements into account, starting with the current generation’s 126.8-inch length.
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What is the wheelbase of a Ford Ranger?

Regardless of the cab size or drivetrain, the Ford Ranger has a wheelbase of 126.8 inches. With that length, a 7/10 rating from Car and Driver, and a 2.3 L four-cylinder engine, the Ford Ranger is a respectable ride with decent handling.
While we can attribute the Ranger’s smooth ride to its wheelbase, what exactly does it mean for your vehicle? Let’s break it down.

Why is wheelbase important?

First of all, what does wheelbase actually mean? The distance between the front axle and back axle is a vehicle’s wheelbase. If you’re a visual learner, picture a line beginning and ending at the center cap of the front and rear wheels. 
The wheelbase measurement isn’t just important to know for parallel parking purposes. It determines how much legroom you’ll have, and it plays a major role in steering your vehicle. Comfort, style, and the type of ride you’ll get from a vehicle can all be traced back to its wheelbase.
The longer the wheelbase, the less likely it is to pitch and roll, which is crucial to your safety on the road. Lengthier rides also make for more spacious cabins to accommodate passengers and cargo. 
Conversely, a shorter wheelbase can handle sharper turns at higher speeds, so if you’re a thrill-seeker, that could be the better option for you (more on that later).
Key Takeaway Beyond comfort and handling, the wheelbase determines how safely your vehicle can maneuver in different road conditions.
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How to measure the wheelbase

Wondering what your vehicle’s wheelbase is? Whether you’re considering springing for a Ford Ranger or are just inspired by curiosity, let’s break down the steps for how to measure it on your own.
First, you’ll need to round up a tape measure, chalk, and a square measure. Park your vehicle on a level surface, set the gear in park, and make sure the wheels and steering wheel are pointing straight ahead. Then, follow this guide:
  • Line up a square measure against the wheel and make a mark on the ground with chalk to indicate where the square edge meets your wheel’s surface.
  • Follow the same process for the rear wheel, so you’ll be able to see two marks made on the ground.
  • Once you’ve got your marks, measure the distance between them with a tape measure. You’ll now have the wheelbase metric.
  • Repeat this on the other side of the vehicle, and keep an eye out for any discrepancies that could point to misalignment or tire wear.
  • Compare notes with the sticker inside of your door to find the manufacturer’s wheelbase measurement.
If your measurements are done on an uneven or bumpy surface, your measurements won’t be accurate. A smooth surface is crucial to taking the wheelbase measurement successfully. 
It’s also essential to take action if there are differences between the measurements on each side of the vehicle. If you’re able to replace a damaged tire or realign the front end yourself, that’s great—but you might want to take your vehicle to a body shop to make sure it’s safely repaired.

Long wheelbase vs. short wheelbase: which is better?

Picture a limo: it can fit a whole party of people and allow them to stretch out, pop champagne, and even dance if they want to. That’s an extreme example of a vehicle with a long wheelbase. On the other hand, a sprightly hatchback can zip through streets and cut corners, which can be ideal for speed lovers.
Luxury cars generally have longer wheelbases to create space for amenities and elevated comfort for passengers. Ultimately, your driving habits and preferences will determine what’s best for you. Manufacturers lean toward long wheelbases for safety ratings, since cars are less likely to lose control when the weight is distributed evenly throughout a longer cabin.
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How has the wheelbase changed over the Ford Ranger model years?

Onto the Ford Ranger! Like most vehicles, the Ranger has transformed with time—especially when it comes to its wheelbase. 
Here’s how the wheelbase for each Ford Ranger generation has evolved:
  • First generation (1993 to 1997): 108 inches
  • Second generation (1993 to 1997): 108 inches
  • Third generation (1998 to 2011): 111.6 inches
  • Fourth generation (2019 to 2022): 126.8 inches
  • Fifth generation (2023 and beyond): 128.8 inches  
There’s an eight-year gap of note in the Ford Ranger generations due to a hiatus after Ford closed its Ranger plant in St. Paul, Michigan in 2011. Once the
F-150
stepped on the scene, it filled the Ranger’s shoes—until it became too pricey and large.
Once customers were feeling like the F-150 became too big for its britches, the Ranger got its revival in 2019, and a significantly longer wheelbase at 126.8 inches. The newest, upcoming installment of the Ford Ranger is expanding the wheelbase by two inches.

How does the Ford Ranger wheelbase compare to other models?

There’s not much comparison between Ford Ranger trims, since the XL, XLT, and Lariat all have a 126.8-inch wheelbase. However, its pickup cousins, the Ford F-150 and
F-250
boast more impressive lengths. 
Here’s how other Ford models and trims stack up to the Ranger:
Model
Cab size
Wheelbase
Ford F-150 XL
6.5 ft. Styleside
145 inches
Ford F-150 XL
8.5 ft. Styleside
163.7 inches
Ford F-150 XL
5.5 ft. Raptor
134.2 inches
Ford Super Duty F-250 XL & XLT
Regular Cab
141.6 inches
Ford Super Duty F-250 XL & XLT
Super Cab
148 inches
Ford Super Duty F-250 XL & XLT
Crew Cab SWB: 6.75 ft. box
159.8 inches
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How to save money on car insurance for your Ford Ranger

While we’re on the topic of handling and maneuvering safely, let’s talk about protecting your Ford Ranger. No matter how your vehicle is manufactured, accidents happen, and having the right insurance coverage is your best defense against pricey
car repairs
following an accident.
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