The Ford Ranger, a compact pickup truck that Ford discontinued in the U.S. market in 2011 is making a comeback. After its discontinuation, Ford customers looking for something smaller than the F-150 were left with no choice but to opt for compact pickup trucks from other automakers. The 2019 Ford Ranger is, however, making a comeback but not as a compact pickup truck but as a mid-size model which Ford intends to use to compete with the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma. In 2017, over 452,000 units in this segment were sold making Ford decide to bring back the Ranger to get a piece of the market. The model which Ford had officially confirmed last year made an official debut at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.
2019 Ford Ranger Exterior
The new Ranger features a boxed ladder frame that has 6 crossmembers; although the frame looks identical to the one on the Ranger model sold overseas, the frame has been configured differently to suit the U.S. market demands. Atop the frame sits an almost fully steel body (the hood and tailgate are made of aluminum). Generally, the body features short overhangs which have helped improve its approach as well as departure angles. It also features steel bumpers with an option for an incorporated trailer hitch receiver to ease towing. Compared to the global Ranger, the U.S.-bound model looks more aerodynamic.
According to Ford, the new Ranger has been subjected to the same rigorous testing as the F-150 to prove its toughness.
The Ranger will be available in 8 exterior color options to choose from as well as a similar number of wheel designs available in 17-inch or 18-inch sizes. LED lighting for the headlights and taillights is optional. Other available options include cargo lighting, puddle lamps as well as the automaker’s Smart Trailer Tow connector that notifies a driver when the trailer connection is disconnected or not working as it should.
The 2019 Ford Ranger will be offered in SuperCrew and SuperCab cab configurations and in three trim levels, base XL, mid XLT and the top Lariat trims. Two appearance packages i.e. “Chrome” and “Sport” will also be offered.
The cabin layout is good and Ford designers used quality materials and nice color finishes. The cabin of the new Ranger will accommodate five passengers. The model will also feature an 8.0-inch touch-screen as well as dual LCD displays for the driver. Ford’s SYNC 3 is also available; it is supports Alexa-device connectivity as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto Smartphone apps. A navigation system is optional. A Wi-Fi hotspot that can support 10 devices is also optional. One can also opt for multiple USB ports, extra AC power outlets and a B&O PLAY sound system.
For safety, the truck features an array of advanced driver-assist systems such as Lane Keeping Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, Reverse Sensing, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Monitoring with trailer coverage. These features are standard on the XLT and Lariat trims and optional on the XL trim. Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision Assist that integrates Pedestrian Detection is standard on the Lariat trim and optional on the XLT trim.
There is also an option for an off-road package that offers the automaker’s Terrain Management System. The system features four modes (normal, grass/snow/gravel, sand and mud/ruts) which the driver can switch between based on the terrain the vehicle is driving on. The system also allows the driver to alter transmission shift points and throttle response. A Trail Control system is also offered; it supports low-speed crawls of between 1- and 20mph by sending power or applying brakes on each wheel independently.
Engine and performance
Under the new Ranger’s hood is a solitary powertrain; Ford has hooked up the model with its tried and tested 2.3 L, EcoBoost 4-cylinder mill. The engine mates to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The 10-speed automatic gearbox is similar to the one on the F-150 but on the Ranger, it has a smaller case. The Ranger will be offered in both 2WD and 4WD.
The powertrain features a forged crankshaft as well as connecting rods to make the engine good enough for truck responsibilities. Ford is however still secretive about the power rating of the mill. Elsewhere in the Explorer, the same mill produces 280 hp while on the Mustang it produces 300 hp; using these numbers, a power output of about 300 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque would be a good guess for the mill in the new Ranger truck. Actual details on the engine’s power output, performance as well as fuel economy will be released later on.
Price and release date
Although the model was unveiled this month at Detroit, we will have to wait until early next year to spot the new Ranger in U.S. dealerships. Information on pricing will be released later on when it nears it on-sale release date.
The 2019 Ford Ranger will go to war with the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma.