Originally Posted by dbir
Having owned a 3.0L ranger before i'd be hesitant to tow any significant weight
any distance. That 145hp motor will be under significant strain with any major wind or hills, I remember my AC kicking out on uphills and it struggling to keep up with traffic, all while drinking as much gas as a full size and punishing me for having a small fuel tank.
Honestly my 06 jetta with a gas turbo motor was a more comfortable tow vehicle.
The 3.0L Ford is a great engine with incredible reliability. Ford even makes a blower kit (apples and apples) for it which adds about a hundred HP.
Sounds like your penalty was the automatic transmission and that supercab,and maybe 4X4??(am I right?)... not so much the engine.
I know of several 16 Scamps which have been or are being pulled satisfactorily with 4CYL Rangers.
Of course, this is all contingent on what the definition of is is!
Like what constitutes "significant"... weight
, distance, strain, wind, hills or struggling!
Your point is well made though, because you relate how your particular truck felt to you under what you described as a significant load and so you have provided a valuable opinion which should cast its share of light
on the question.
The problem is that while an '06 Jetta turbo is a fairly defined commodity,
Simply saying "a 3.0L Ranger" leaves us with nearly a quarter century of production with dozens of variations for each year, not to mention age and condition.
The Ranger (all years and variations)certainly provided a better chassis and had more appropriate mods available for towing than the Jetta.
This all makes for an interesting discussion, but it illustrates the limitations imposed by the OP's inquiry.
One fact remains, The Ranger has been one of the most popular tow vehicles for small fiberglass RVs(I.E.Scamp sized) literally for decades.
[perhaps even the most popular overall]