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What is the Difference Between a Ford Ranger XLT and Lariat?

 Ford Ranger XLT

The Ford Motor Company is on a roll with its 2021 lineup of new Ford trucks. One of the most popular models is the Ford Ranger in the two top trims including the XLT and the Ford Lariat, but what are the differences between the two, and which is better? The answer to that question is simply, the model that meets your needs and expectations best. We examine the fine points of each vehicle. We intend to make it easy for you to compare the two. Here is everything you need to know about the difference between Ford Ranger XLT and Lariat models.

An overview at the Ford Ranger XLT

According to Car Buying Strategies, the Ford Ranger XLT is the trim that offers the greatest comfort and convenience along with the utility that it provides drivers. It's the Ford Ranger edition that is fully equipped with all the bells and whistles for both short and long commutes.

Overview of the Ford Lariat

Ford Lariat

The Ford Lariat is designed with tremendous curb appeal. It's loaded with comfort features as well as luxury components that don't skimp when it comes to utility. The Lariat is Ford's top trim-tier package for the Ranger. It's available in a broader choice of exterior color options. The Lariat offers various upgrades over the XLT package, which makes it in some aspects more luxurious than the XLT.

Ford Ranger XLT vs Lariat similarities

Imlay City Ford Sales, goes into more detail about the similarities and differences between the Ford Rangers XLT and Lariat trims. Both vehicles are powered with the same engine and transmission systems with identical suspension systems. All-season tires are available on both with upgraded 18-inch machined aluminum wheels as an upgrade on each. Under-seat storage is the same for each. The safety features for the XLT and the Lariat trims are the same unless you want to look at optional upgrades which we'll get to a little later. Each offers an available terrain-management system with four varied modes to choose from, customize for specific driving conditions and types of terrain. There are a lot of similarities between the two editions of the Ford Ranger, but the differences are enough to distinguish the two trims in some fairly meaningful ways.

Ford Ranger XLT vs Lariat differences

Ford Ranger XLT 1

The XLT is loaded with a variety of luxury options and conveniences, but it falls short of being the top-tier trim. That's the posturing occupied by the Lariat trim. The Ranger Lariat trim offers a color called White Platinum Tri-coat which is not available on the XLT model as an exterior choice. The Lariat features superior LED headlamps, along with LED fog lamps. The grille is also different than the XLT. It features a bar across the front that is chromed out with the edge trim in chrome. All exterior mirrors, bumpers, and or handles have been painted to match the body color of the vehicles. Additionally, Ford added a heating feature and power adjustment feature for the Lariat's mirrors with a defroster for the rear window. They also took the XLT's under-seat storage area and gave it to the Lariat as an extra upgrade. The Lariat trim offers an available trailer-sway control that is not optional with the XLT.

The XLT offers an optional Tremor Off-Road Package with a blind-spot monitor. It is equipped with dual-zone automatic temperature control, premium cloth seats, a SYNC 3 connection system with an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio with six speakers. The Lariat offers an intelligent key system with a remote start, two 4.2-inch productivity screens to the XLT's single screen. The Lariat also comes equipped with daytime running lights with exterior mirrors equipped with a power-folding feature for fitting into tight spots.

Which is better, the Ford Ranger XLT or the Lariat trim?

Both trims have their benefits. In many respects they're similar, but the marked differences that exist within the 2021 models are in the luxury options that are afforded by the Lariat. It's the top-of-the-line trim for those who demand the very best in luxury and convenience. The Lariat trumps the XLT when it comes to its convenience features such as the folding adjustable heated exterior mirrors, the eight-way power-adjustable heated front seats with leather trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, superior LED headlamps, and fog lamps, running lights, ambient interior lighting, and more.

The XLT is equipped with its share of special options which places it just a step below the Lariat in terms of luxury features, but it does come with the same engine and transmission configurations. It's the same model without all of the bells and whistles you'll find in the Lariat. The two perform in the same manner, and each offers the same degree of utility.

Final thoughts

Ford Lariat 1

The 2021 Ford Ranger is available in three trims with the base XL model, the XLT, and the Lariat editions. The Lariat offers the greatest number of creature comforts and attractive good looks if you're a driver who prefers all of the bells and whistles. The XLT is also an attractive vehicle however it lacks some of the exterior enhancements such as the chrome features and special matching painted components. The XLT is no slouch with its premium cloth seats, its share of power and safety features, and the same amount of under-seat storage space.

In many respects, it's equal to the Lariat trim, without some of the higher-luxury features that are not necessary for comfort and convenience. Performance-wise, the two trucks are equally matches. The Lariat and the XLT are not far apart in pricing. The XLT has a starting cost of $29,120. The Lariat starts at $33,160. The difference of a little more than $4,000 is a reasonable jump considering all of the exceptional extra features offered in the Lariat, but you can't go wrong with either of them.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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