This paper presents a study of how empirical ranging characteristics affect multihop localization in wireless sensor networks. We use an objective metric to evaluate a well-established parametric model of ranging called Noisy Disk: if the model accurately predicts the results of a real-world deployment, it sufficiently captures ranging characteristics. When the model does not predict accurately, we systematically replace components of the model with empirical ranging characteristics to identify which components contribute to the discrepancy. We reveal that both the connectivity and noise components of Noisy Disk fail to accurately represent real-world ranging characteristics and show that these shortcomings affect localization in different ways under different circumstances.