Blasting through the desert is more fun with rear-wheel-drive; just ask anyone with a purpose-built pre-runner. However, most trucks that have the off-road gear to make that desert-blasting possible come with heavy four-wheel-drive systems, meaning you're often left with some sort of half-baked compromise. So what if you want a new pickup truck with some of that capability but don't want the expense of weight? Meet the Ford Ranger FX2.
“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.
Think of the FX2 package as a two-wheel drive FX4. You get the locking rear differential, off-road tires, and underbody protection. You also get the more aggressive looks of the FX4—all while saving money.
The FX2 package, which is available to order now for deliveries later this year, is only $595 extra. To get a four-wheel-drive Ranger over a two-wheel-drive, you're spending $4,160 before the cost of the FX4 package on top of it.
You get essentially all of the same features with the FX2 as in the FX4, sans four-wheel-drive, of course. Ford has decided to leave out the off-road cruise control called Trail Control and Terrain Management System in the rear-drive-only variant, however.
The Ranger FX2 isn't the only mid-sized truck of its kind—Nissan's Frontier Desert Runner adopts a similar philosophy.
Ultimately, the take rate for the FX2 will likely be small, as many pickup truck buyers want the capability of four-wheel drive. Even if they don't need it in the day-to-day, four-wheel-drive trucks command higher resale values when it comes time to trade-in or sell third-party.
But there are some parts of the country, like Southern California, where four-wheel drive isn't necessary and that's where you're most likely going to see these trucks roaming around. Plus, you'll be able to rip some mad donuts out in the sand, which will always be, until the end of time, fun.