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2019 Ford Ranger Returns – One Engine, New Off-Road Tech, Two Cabs


2019 Ford Ranger Returns - One Engine, New Off-Road Tech, Two CabsMaking a big splash at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, the 2019 Ford Ranger is making its grand return. With one engine, a new off-road feature and two cabs, it is a conservative as well as exciting return for the truck.

Ford says the new steel-bodied 2019 Ford Ranger, no mention of aluminum for the truck, will feature a bolder look like the Global Ranger and will come with a 2.3L EcoBoost engine mated to a 10-Speed transmission. This combination should provide really good fuel economy for the midsize truck.

Another surprise is the announcement of a new off-road technology called Trail Control. Available on the FX4 Off-Road Package it is like cruise
control for the highway but designed for low-speed, rugged terrain, Trail Control takes over acceleration and braking – sending power and braking to each individual wheel to allow drivers to focus on steering along the course.

When the Ranger arrives late this year, it will be offered in a Super Cab and a Super Crew configuration (extended and crew cab). This is on par with other midsize truck makers who have also scrapped the regular cab like the Toyota Tacoma. The truth is there just isn’t enough profit and demand for automakers to continue building it.

Here is the official press release for all the details:

DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2018 – Ford today reveals the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger for North America, bringing midsize truck fans a new choice from America’s truck sales leader – one that’s engineered Built Ford Tough and packed with driver-assist technologies to make driving easier whether on- or off-road.

Production begins late this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant as customer demand is growing for midsize trucks. U.S. sales are up 83 percent since 2014 as a new generation of midsize truck buyers seek more maneuverable, fuel-efficient pickups.

The 2019 Ford Ranger answers the call with an all-new midsize pickup featuring a new exterior design, chassis and powertrain developed specifically for North American truck customers. Powerful and strong, with a high-strength steel frame, Ranger is equipped with a proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine mated to the only 10-speed automatic transmission in the segment.

“Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, 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.”

Ranger comes in entry-level XL, mid-level XLT and high-level Lariat trim series with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations.

Built Ford Tough

Built Ford Tough is engineered in Ranger’s DNA – from its high-strength steel frame backbone to its frame-mounted steel front and rear bumpers. Ford engineers put Ranger through the same torture testing as the legendary F-150 goes through.

Even its design is tough. Ranger’s muscular body features a high beltline that emphasizes strength, while a raked grille and windshield provide an athletic appearance – designed to aid in aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. Short overhangs are functional off-road for clearing obstacles.

From the rear, the Ranger nameplate stamped in the tailgate conveys strength, and the tailgate itself is designed to handle people and cargo. A rugged steel bumper with an available integrated trailer hitch receiver helps make towing campers, ATVs or watercraft a breeze.

Inside, Ranger blends comfort and functionality with room for up to five people, their gear and accessories. A center stack includes an 8-inch touch screen for the available SYNC® 3 system, while the instrument cluster features dual LCD productivity screens for real-time vehicle, navigation and audio information.

Ranger’s twin-power dome hood houses its 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine designed for efficiency and capability thanks to direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger and 16-valve design. For added durability, the engine features a forged-steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and chain-driven dual overhead cams.

“Ranger’s proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost provides a torque target on par with competing V6 engines, but with the efficiency of a four-cylinder,” said Thai-Tang. “When you pair that with its 10-speed transmission, you’ve got one of the most versatile, powerful and efficient powertrains in the segment.”


Ranger is designed for a new generation of midsize truck customers who head off-road to recharge.

Ranger prioritizes ground clearance to help climb over off-road obstacles. The FX4 Off-Road Package provides additional trail capability with off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a frame-mounted heavy-gauge steel front bash plate, frame-mounted skid plates and FX4 badging.

To give customers a great all-terrain driving experience, Ranger’s FX4 Off-Road Package features an innovative Terrain Management System similar to the F-150 Raptor’s. It includes four distinct drive modes – normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand. The system can shift on the fly to automatically change throttle responsiveness, transmission gearing and vehicle controls to tailor traction, driveability and performance to any given terrain or weather condition.      

The FX4 Off-Road Package introduces Ford’s all-new Trail Control technology. Like cruise control for the highway but designed for low-speed, rugged terrain, Trail Control takes over acceleration and braking – sending power and braking to each individual wheel to allow drivers to focus on steering along the course.

Power is distributed through Dana®Trac-Lok differentials on both 2WD and 4WD models with an available electronic-locking rear differential (standard on FX2 and FX4) for increased all-terrain traction. Ranger four-wheel-drive versions feature 2-high, 4-high and 4-low.

Innovative technology

Ranger incorporates smart driver-assist, passenger convenience and connectivity technologies. Advanced driver-assist technologies include standard Automatic Emergency Braking, while Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, a Reverse Sensing System and class-exclusive Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage are standard on XLT and Lariat trim levels. Additional driver-assist technologies standard on Lariat include Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Available SYNC® 3 features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Ford+Alexa personal assistant functionality and optional navigation. An available FordPass™ Connect 4G LTE modem provides Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices. Available AC power outlets allow for charging of laptops and USB outlets provide more options for passengers to connect. Available B&O PLAY premium audio is specially tuned for the Ranger cab to deliver a rich and engaging listening experience.

Additional features include optional LED headlamps and taillamps. Optional exterior lighting includes puddle lamps and lighting for the cargo bed, while Ford’s available Smart Trailer Tow connector alerts drivers to faulty trailer connections.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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1 Comment

  1. Trent January 19, 2019

    Decent truck. But I don’t like how Ford bundles the B&O only in the lariat and also the leather can only be added on the higher trimmed lariat as well. With the competition, I can get a nicely trimmed truck with nice audio and leather for over 5K less then the ranger. I just could not see the value. Sure it has some good tech and tech the others don’t offer. But the price point is off in the mid size segment. As for it being a “home run”. Well see. If ford maintains this pricing I see it being a harder sell. The segment is getting crowded again and the competition has some great products. I’ve driven them all. I can’t see one brand commanding 5K more. And I wish Ford had remade the front end on the ranger. The XLT looks the best but you can’t get the goodies on it. The front, mostly unchanged from the global mid cycle refresh made it look worse My XLT 2014 looked tougher then this. No matter how you option this truck, its still not as nice looking as a tacoma or ZR2 etc.. And the most expensive one, the lariat, is the most boring one of them all. Ford spent too much time with the new motor/transmission. They should have also reworked the tail gate to have a dampened close. Allowed the back seat to fold flat like the rest of the competition. And please, rework the front end so it does not look so drap.


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