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2019 Ford Ranger Overview
The Ranger nameplate was introduced to the Ford lineup in 1983, gracing the brand’s small truck line from that time until its retirement in 2011. For 2019, the Ford Ranger returns as an all-new and completely different product. A reflection of the times, the Ranger is now part of the growing mid-size segment.
Design-wise, the Ranger carries styling that blends Ford’s passenger car design language with that of its trucks. The raked-back front end carries a unique interpretation of the octagonal grille found on the Fusion and 2019 Edge with R-A-N-G-E-R spelled across it in wide-set type. Front and rear bumpers are either chrome or painted gray, depending upon the configuration. A domed hood, high beltline, and aggressive wheel flares make up the truck’s shape. At the rear, there are tall bi-level taillights, and the nameplate is spelled across the tailgate. Overall, the new Ranger’s styling echoes its adventurous nature.
The interior is car-like as well. Although the surfaces are vertical and high-set, the shapes are softer and more inviting than those of similar trucks. Indeed, some shapes are shared with those of Ford’s cars and car-based products. The steering wheel and instrument cluster, for example, will be mostly familiar to drivers of the Taurus, Flex, and Explorer. Still, since the Ranger is a truck, its interior doesn’t neglect features that are important to truck owners. The physical controls are large and well-placed, and important functions like the four-wheel-drive selector are prominent and easily gripped by gloved hands.
Where the Ranger truly branches out on its own is in the powertrain department: the Ranger’s sole engine is a 2.3-liter inline 4-cylinder mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. While Ford hasn’t yet released any figures for this combination, it promises that it is competitive with V6 performance while maintaining 4-cylinder fuel economy. Like most trucks, the Ranger rear-wheel-drive by default, but four-wheel drive is available with a two-speed transfer case for 2-HI, 4HI, and 4-LO modes.
Buyers will be able to add an FX4 Off-Road Package. In addition to standard 4WD and aggressive styling, it adds off-road-optimized shocks, all-terrain tires, a heavy-gauge front bash plate, and skid plates mounted directly to the frame. The FX4 Off-Road Package also gets a Terrain Management System system that allows drivers to switch between four different driving modes on the fly and an innovative Trail Control function that, during off-roading, handles acceleration and braking so that drivers can focus on steering through the trail.
The new Ranger comes in two basic body styles: an extended cab with two partial rear doors and a crew cab with full rear doors. There are three basic trims: XL, XLT, and Lariat, each progressively nicer than the last. Chrome and Sport appearance packages offer Standard features across all trims, which include an 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa connectivity as well as a dual-LCD instrument cluster. Options include everything from 4G LTE Wi-Fi capable of supporting up to 10 devices to additional AC power outlets and even exterior mirror puddle lights or LED headlights and taillights.
The Ranger also offers a decent amount of safety technology. A reversing camera is standard fare for the whole lineup. XLT units get standard automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage, and reversing sensors. Lariat tacks on adaptive cruise control and front pedestrian detection. There’s also a Smart Trailer Tow option, which alerts drivers to improper or malfunctioning trailer connections.
The Ranger’s reincarnation moves it up a notch in terms of class segment and presents itself favorably against the existing competition. Moreover, it steps out from behind the shadow of other successful Ford trucks with styling and personality all its own. Look for it to arrive later in 2018.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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