Well, the wait is over, Ford again has an entry into the midsize pickup truck segment at home in America, with the Ranger making a splashing return to fend off increasing competition in the segment from General Motors and Toyota, among others.
The Blue Oval has kept its promise – last year they were revealing the Ranger nameplate would come back home – and here it is, the 2019 Ranger, featuring a 2.3L EcoBoost, 10-speed automatic, and even a dedicated FX4 Off-Road variant. The 2019 Ranger has been completely optimized for the US market, after being offered overseas in numerous forms over the years. The model is of course part of the Ford SUV heritage, with the front belonging to the latest trends in the design line. At the back there’s even an easy to recognize stamped-in Ranger logo on the tailgate, with the model offered in SuperCab (half rear doors) and SuperCrew (four doors) form.
The frame is mostly made out of high-strength steels, and the front and rear bumpers are also steel, so no F-150 advanced aluminum construction, but under the hood resides a version of the Ford turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four engine, mated to a high-end 10-speed automatic gearbox. For off-road chops the rear- and four-wheel-drive models both feature Dana Trac-Lok differentials, and an electrically locking rear diff is available as an option or standard on the FX2 and FX4 trims. More so, the FX4 Off-Road package arrives with bespoke off-road shocks and tires, steel skid plates and even a Terrain Management System akin to the one in the F-150 Raptor, with Normal, Grass, Gravel and Snow, Mud and Ruts, and Sand modes.
The cabin has room for five people, and gives all the tech goodies – optional 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Sync 3, along with two color displays in the instrument cluster. Optional features include things such as 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot, 115-volt power outlets, a B&O Play sound system, navigation, along with LED head- and taillights, depending on the models. Speaking off, there are XL, XLT, and Lariat trim levels, along with Chrome and Sport visual appearance packages. Driver assistance is top notch – standard pre-collision braking on all models, with the XLT and Lariat also packing lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning (which works with a trailer also), rear parking sensors – the Lariat version also gaining pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.