In June 2020, Ford announced three different Ford Performance packages for the Ranger FX4. For $2,495 before installation, buyers can spec the Level 1 package which includes an off-road leveling kit, Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks tuned by Ford Performance, unique 17-inch Dyno Gray wheels, as well as a Ford Performance bedside graphic and windshield banner. The Level 2 package for the Ford Ranger will include all of the content from Level 1, but will also add quite a bit more performance hardware, including a unique performance calibration that boosts the engine up to 315 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. The tires are also switched out for a set of extremely popular, extremely competent BFGoodrich KO2 tires measuring 265/70R17, while a Rigid off-road fog light kit, blue tow hooks, and a Ford Performance stainless steel license plate frame round things out. MSRP before installation for the level 2 package is $4,495 – a few hundred dollars more than the 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor package.
Then there’s the Ford Performance Level 3 package for the Ranger.
This rugged upgrade takes all of the Level 1 and 2 content, and then adds a Rigid 40-inch LED light bar kit, red tow hooks, a Ford Performance by ARB front bumper ready for a winch, the Ford Performance chase rack, and a sports exhaust system for the 2.3L motor. All of these accessories combined will run you $8,995 before installation. Apples to apples, this accessories upgrade is cheaper in total than the MSRP 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor package. And in some ways, it’s better.
Take a close look at the front bumper of the Ford Performance Ranger with the Level 3 kit. It’s a pure steel protrusion, and definitely the most aggressive we’ve seen from the likes of any automaker offering warranty-backed accessories. So if banging out new trails is something you’re into, this big bumper makes for a perfect battering ram. And yet it comes complete with integrated fog lights and factory parking sensors. It’s hard to find that sort of thing from a third party, to be frank. This feature alone separates the Ford Performance Level 3 accessories package on the Ranger from the Tremor package, as well as its rivals from Chevrolet, Jeep and Toyota.
The suspension upgrade, combining a lift with Fox 2.0 shocks, doesn’t have the same levels of deep engineering as the Ford Ranger Tremor, which gets its own unique ride calibration, and as such can come off as a little jostling to some. A fair bit of noise over road bumps travels through the cabin as well, but for the more analog among us, it’s kind of cool.
Of course when off-road, the package shines. There was next to nothing the suspension couldn’t handle at Holly Oaks ORV Park, just an hour north of Detroit. The park features a small baja track, complete with jumps, embankments, and ruts. As you can see from the photos, the Ford Ranger with the Ford Performance Level 3 accessories kit took everything like a champ. We’re sure it would do just as well at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, or Drummond Island, should the occasion call for it.
We recommend leaving the assist steps at home, however. Off-roading can sometimes test the break-over angles of a vehicle in ways not previously imagined, and at some point, the minor convenience of having the running boards becomes a major headache. If it were up to us, we’d rather have low-clearance tubular rails lining the bottom of the cab, as seen with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison.
In all, the Of course, if you’d rather have a more comprehensive turn-key solution straight from the birth canal of the Michigan Assembly Plant, the Ford Ranger Tremor is available now. And much of the kit from the Ford Performance Level 3 package can be installed onto this truck to make an apex predator of a mid-size off-road pickup. Truthfully, you can’t go wrong either way.