At long last, the Ford Ranger returns to the U.S. market.
Ford gave the 2019 model year of this mid-size pickup, which disappeared from U.S. shores after the 2011 model year, a grand debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Ranger has an all-new exterior design, chassis, and powertrain. It will be powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine paired to the only 10-speed automatic transmission in the segment. This twin-scroll turbocharged engine is designed to be efficient and durable with a forged-steel crankshaft, connecting rods, and chain-driven dual overhead cams.
“Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of product development and purchasing. “The all-new Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability, and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends.”
Available in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations, the new Ranger will include the XL, XLT, and Lariat trims for those seeking a more premium experience. There will also be Chrome and Sport appearance packages to tailor the look of the Ranger as well as FX off-road packages for those with serious off-road intentions.
Ford gave the Ranger a high beltline with a raked grille and windshield that not only gives it a more rugged look, but also helps to improve aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. There are short overhangs to further enhance performance by providing better clearance for off-roading and maneuvering around obstacles.
When it comes time to take the Ranger off-road, the FX4 Off-Road Package offers multiple enhancements to make this truck more capable where the pavement ends. It includes off-road tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a frame-mounted heavy-gauge bash plate, and frame-mounted skid plates. There’s also unique FX4 badging to help the Ranger stand out from the crowd.
This package includes Ford’s Terrain Management System, which is similar to what’s found in the F-150 Raptor. It features four drive modes of normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand. This system can be changed on the fly, so there’s no need to stop the action to adjust to the terrain. Switching modes alters throttle responsiveness, transmission gearing, and vehicle controls to provide the best performance no matter the conditions.
The FX4 Off-Road Package also includes all-new Trail Control. Think of it like cruise control, but for off-road driving. It’s specifically designed for low-speed, off-road terrain and takes over acceleration and braking. It sends power and braking to each wheel so the driver can instead focus on steering.
There are Dana Track-Lok differentials on two-wheel and four-wheel drive models and an available electronic-locking rear differential that’s standard on select trims. Every four-wheel drive Ranger also includes 2-high, 4-high, and 4-low.
Additional features include LED headlamps and tail lamps with optional puddle lamps and cargo bed lighting. Around back, the Ranger nameplate is stamped boldly into the tailgate, and there’s a steel bumper with an available integrated trailer hitch. The available Smart Trailer Tow connector makes towing safer and easier by alerting the driver of any faulty trailer connections.
Inside, there’s room for five passengers and an 8-inch touchscreen for the available Sync 3 system. This system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Ford+Alexa personal assistant and the option for navigation. Also available is FordPass Connect 4G LTE with Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices to keep everyone connected. There are multiple USB outlets and available AC power outlets to charge larger devices like laptops.
On the safety front, automatic emergency braking is available, and XLT and Lariat trims come standard with lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, a reverse sensing system, and blind-spot warning with trailer coverage. The Lariat also features pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.
The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger goes into production at the end of this year.