North America’s midsize truck market is about to get another competitor.
The Ford Ranger returns with a brand new 2019 model, resurrecting the name of Ford’s top-selling compact pickup truck.
Back in the day, if you wanted a reliable truck that you could reasonably expect to park in a grocery store parking lot while still being able to carry your pack of 12 dogs to the cottage, then the Ranger was the truck for you. But they stopped selling them in North America in 2011 because Ford was suddenly convinced we all hated all trucks that were less than two metric tons.
The Ranger stayed on sale in the rest of the world, since Europeans evidently still see the value in a compact pickup, but Canada and the U.S.A had to do without for eight long years. And now, the wait is over.
The Ford Ranger is returning to showrooms with a brand new 2019 model, and along with a facelift, a decade in the making the Ranger is getting upsized. No longer a compact pickup, the Ranger is graduating to the big leagues as a midsize truck competing directly with the Chevy Colorado and the Toyota Tacoma.
The new Ranger will be powered by a 2.3-L turbocharged four-banger, that same engine found in the Mustang and Focus RS. While it propels those cars to fast 60 times, the Ranger’s engine will be tuned for pulling power, putting out 310 hp and 320 lb.-ft of torque. That compares quite favorably to the Colorado’s 308 hp with 275 lb⋅ft of torque, and the Tacoma’s measly 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
It’ll also come with a number of packages, including Chrome, Sport, and FX4 Off-Road, which includes Ford’s “Trail Control” technology, similar to the Tacoma’s “Crawl Control”. Essentially a sort of low-speed cruise control, Trail Control allows the driver to focus on navigation while the computer handles acceleration and breaking.
The Ranger’s FX4 package will also come with upgraded tires, suspension, and the same Terrain Management System as found on the Raptor which allows you to choose the kind of terrain you’re traveling on: grass, snow, gravel, sand, and mud.
In terms of stats and tech, the Ranger is looking very promising, but it’s still a mid-size truck where the old Ranger was a unique product. We’ll have to wait and see if the new boy can steal market from the existing mid-range pickups.