2019 Ford Ranger: F-150's Little Brother Comes Home

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Competes with: Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma

Looks like: The global Ranger, as seen everywhere else in the world since 2011

Drivetrains: Turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder, 10-speed automatic transmission, rear- or part-time four-wheel drive

Hit dealerships: Early 2019

Fans of smaller pickup trucks, rejoice — the Ford Ranger is back! After an eight-year absence from the U.S. market, Ford decided last year that it could no longer ignore a mid-size pickup segment that was attracting a half million buyers annually. So during the 2017 North American International Auto Show Ford announced it would bring the Ranger back in 2019 and the Bronco SUV a year later. Now Ford has brought the 2019 Ranger to the 2018 NAIAS, intending to sell it next year. We've had a look at what the Blue Oval brand intends to put up against the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.

Exterior

If you've spent any time outside the U.S. or Canada in the last decade, you've likely seen a new Ranger — it's the best-selling pickup in Europe. With plants in several locations around the world, it has become something of a global workhorse. Designed originally in Australia, it's now become a truly global vehicle with its arrival in North America.

It should be noted up front that the new Ranger is most definitely a mid-size pickup, much larger than the old compact Ranger we knew, and it's nearly the same size as a mid-1990s Ford F-150. Looking at the new truck, however, it's not all that apparent what's changed to accommodate U.S. concerns. It looks mostly the same as the global truck, with some slightly different headlights, grilles, taillights and a taller hood. It comes in two cab styles, SuperCab (extended cab) and SuperCrew (four full doors), but one wheelbase, which means two bed lengths will be present depending on cab style.

What differentiates the North American Ranger from the global model is the bumpers: Ours are steel and are mounted directly to the frame for superior durability and crashworthiness. This is a class exclusive for the Ranger; all other mid-size pickups feature plastic body-mounted bumpers. Ford says this was driven by customer demand, but we suspect U.S. crash requirements also may have been a factor, though Ford denies this.

Other minor changes come through on the exterior, such as a different tailgate with a higher-mounted handle, bed lights from the F-150 and two different appearance packages. Sport features body-colored trim, while Chrome blings everything out. Three trim levels will be available as well: XL, XLT and Lariat, with the FX4 Off-Road Package available on any of them. That package provides part-time four-wheel drive, a steel skid plate up front, other steel underbody skid plates, off-road shocks and tires, and Magnetic Grey trim accents.

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Under the Hood

There will be one powertrain at launch, a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels through a standard 10-speed automatic transmission. If you think this combination sounds familiar, it is. It's the same set-up you'll find under the hood of a 2018 Mustang, with the appropriate changes to gear ratios and tuning to make it suitable for truck duty instead of track duty. While Ford made no mention of a diesel engine, the rest of the world enjoys their Rangers with a turbo-diesel 3.2-liter five-cylinder engine, which wasn't rated by the EPA until the new Ford Transit van showed up sporting one. That makes us wonder how long before it shows up in the Ranger here, too.

The standard Ranger is rear-wheel drive, but part-time shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive is optional. It comes with a two-speed transfer case, Dana electronic locking rear differential and Ford's Terrain Management System. That electronic system enables the driver to choose one of several modes: Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts and Sand. Those last two will automatically engage 4-High, but Mud/Ruts engages maximum power to all four wheels while Sand mode allows for the most slip before engaging the traction control system.

A new low-speed off-road cruise control (similar to Toyota's Crawl Control) is also standard on four-wheel-drive models. Called Trail Control, it engages at speeds from 1 to 20 mph and can be slowed to a new speed (instead of disengaged) by applying the brake. It's meant to enable the driver to concentrate on the terrain instead of varying the throttle over terrain like a two-track dirt trail through the woods.

The Ranger's suspension is a dual A-arm with coil springs in front with a solid Dana rear axle with leaf springs in back. A locking rear differential and a new fully boxed frame will be unique to the North American model. Steering is electrically power-assisted, but the novel Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist is not yet available (Ford says it's under development for Ranger).

Interior

The smaller SuperCab Ranger has two small clamshell doors and two upright jump seats, while the larger SuperCrew four-door model is more reasonably sized and seats five. Despite the 10-speed transmission where a rotary control selector could be possible, the Ranger gets a sportier transmission lever in the center console. The dash and doors are hard plastic in the XL and XLT, with the Lariat getting a padded, stitched faux-leather dash topper. Two different gauge clusters are available: one with traditional gauges and one with the Ford-style central analog gauge flanked by two reconfigurable display screens.

Ford hasn't skimped on the available tech features, offering FordPass Connect Wi-Fi with 4G LTE connectivity for up to 10 devices, a B&O Play premium audio system and the Sync 3 multimedia system. Two interior colors are available as well: Ebony and Medium Ash. The second row in the SuperCrew also features underseat storage that's waterproof. If you've got muddy or wet gear, tilt the seat bottom up and drop it in the bins.

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Safety

The new Ranger will offer nearly as many electronic safety systems as the rest of the Ford lineup, including standard forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. A blind spot warning system will be offered, combined with LED taillights, that also includes trailer coverage. The owner can store three trailer profiles in the system, choosing the length of the trailer and extending the blind spot detection to that desired distance. Lane keep assist and lane departure warning will be standard on the XLT and Lariat, and automatic cruise control will be standard on the Lariat.

Missing from Ford's information about the new 2019 Ranger are numbers — any of them. No mention yet of horsepower, torque towing capacity (although Ford insists it will be "best in class"), ground clearance for 4x4 models or fuel economy. No mention of price either. This data will come closer to the truck's official launch, which is still a year away. Ford says that the truck will not be in dealer showrooms until early 2019, giving competitors another year to solidify their gains in a class they currently have to themselves.

Manufacturer images

 

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Comments

It’s an updated version of the one overseas. Barely.


Just seen the new Silverado. Not the Boss version. But the other trims. And I got to say, it’s the best looking truck out there. Love the curves on the body. They should of did better job updating the interior. But overall, the 2019 Silverado is a Homerun. Hope Dodge did it’s homework with the Ram. Fingers Crossed.

It’s an updated version of the one overseas. Barely.


Just seen the new Silverado. Not the Boss version. But the other trims. And I got to say, it’s the best looking truck out there. Love the curves on the body. They should of did better job updating the interior. But overall, the 2019 Silverado is a Homerun. Hope Dodge did it’s homework with the Ram. Fingers Crossed.

The Silverado is a meh update at best. Controversial front end, old interior, old 5.3 adjusted for economy, more tie downs, diesel (if diesel is your thing, and not much else.

Looks good. But not having an option for a 6 foot box on crew cab models sucks. GM mid size and Tacoma booth offer a long box crew cab. The 5 foot box just doesn't make sense to truck duty. I also hope it comes with a Diesel or I won't even bother trying one out. I like the looks of it, looks a lot like the Colorado.

@ Aaron Bagman
Would not be a fan of rhe 2.3 Ecoboost. In 2 Litrecform.for the now defunct Falcon it was nothing to write home about.
Can add those Bumpers are illegal here, not passing ADR regulations. Australian Design Rules.
Outside of that almost identical to the Australian model. Although I suspect is a lot lighter probably 3800-4000lbs

Silverado is a meh update at best. Controversial front end, old interior, old 5.3 adjusted for economy, more tie downs, diesel (if diesel is your thing, and not much else.


Posted by: Chris | Jan 13, 2018 11:15:09 PM

Say what???. The new Silverado body lines are awesome. Hardly a refresh, have you seen side by side comparison, huge difference in body (rounder wheel wells is one), and the interior is not the same at all. Absolutely the nicest looking truck I have seen in a long time.

It looks better because of the round wheel wells. The other trucks already had them rounded. The overall update says nothing new to me.

Nice Dodge Durango with a Chevy grille!

Silverado is awesome, can't wait to drive that diesel. I actually don't see anything wrong with interior, glad they left the shifter alone, much better then that dial crap!

This truck is beautifully engineered and there are lots of great ideas that have gone into it. Only two things would keep me from buying it. first there is no V6 engine offering. I don't want an ecoboost engine under any circumstances. A buddy of mine has one and its been an issue for him and in general has been problem plagued. Secondly a hard plastic dash? That's just a little to cheapskate for me. Especially for the money i would be paying. Ford throw some damn quality into your dashes for christ sakes. This segment is heating up and your late to the game. Poor quality is the last thing you want if your going to be competitive.

All truck dashes are plastic.

I-4 Turbo, the 2.3 EB + 10 AT= perfect in this class.

It will spank the V6s in this class...

Disappointed there is no regular cab and no bench seat. I'd like to have a midsize truck for running around the farm but for the price it just doesn't work. The days of a cheap compact pickup are long gone. I'm better off with a good side by side.

@Alex
A non event in Australia with those specifications, , but would definitely have a greater impact in the US

That copper color looks amazing. Of all the current mid-size trucks this would be my next choice just on looks alone.

Rob, TFL Truck says the 2.3 EB 10 speed has a good chance to top the other trucks. Educate yourself and stop spreading fake news.

@Alex
No they did not and the specs are pretty undedine

Whatever. You are one of the single biggest liars on here.

@ Alex
Get off your meds and look at the website again. No payload or towing numbers said by Andre. on the video. The Colorado Diesrl makes more torque. We had the 2litre Ecoboost a total waste of time. So it maybe a guge disappointment. Please no more psychotic outbursts

Without the diesel...forget it!

Without the diesel...forget it!

1 powertrain? hahaha. Same old garbage from Trash Motor Company. GM has nothing to worry about!

4 cylinder is the only powertrain. Must wait to 2019.

Doesn't look that promising. Too little too late.

GM wins again.

I am certain the 4 cyl 2.3 Eco-Boost will have MORE power than the Chevy 5.3 V8
PLUS it will get better gas mileage
win-win for Ford

WOW!!!
Of course I'm gonna buy one..., it uses my namesake!!!
The Lawn Ranger drives a Ford Ranger..., and so should you...
Pretty good advertising there..., (insert HUGE smiley face)

Just 1 engine choice. That's all you get when you rush a product to market. Get ready for all the exhaust smoking 2.3 ecoboost complaints.

@GMSRGREAT..., Ya need to lay off the Silverado Kool-Aid..., 30 years of drinking that stuff has left you full of jealousy and envy..., not to mention a dozen made-up characters to talk with...
Open up and Post Responsibly...

I wonder if Ford is paying FCA a royalty fee for the rights to use the Durango front end on the ranger.

http://hanabi.autoweek.com/sites/default/files/styles/gen-1200-675/public/611009999-4_3.jpg?itok=8-DgR871

It's not even close in size to a 90's F150. Full size trucks have and always are right at 80" wide. This thing is way narrower.

Been out of the US for some extended travel and I took the opportunity to drive all the trucks we don't have back home including the Ranger, Nissan Navarra, VW Amarok, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200, Mazda BT20 and the Isuzu that seems to be a clone of the GM midsize twins.

The Nissan and the VW were my favorites, the ride was better than the rest (my wife can confirm that), top spec versions of both are the most comfortable trucks I've ever been in, the Nissan's interior could be lifted from an Infiniti and the VW's its really tight. Both had great diesels we'll never see.

The Ranger and Isuzu were pretty pedestrian, lots of cheap plastic and so-so ride quality. The Mazda was really nice, but it has the goofy old smiley nose - if it gets the CX9 treatment it'll be a stunner. The real surprise was the Mitsu, it has a really short wheelbase so it handles great. Its very nimble off-road, I'd buy one. The Hilix is nicer than the Tacoma back home, has a better looking front clip too - wish they'd dump the Tonka Truck look of the Taco or just sell the Hilux alongside it, it would do really well. Same for the Landcruiser Prado and Fourtuner (4runner clones).

Anyway, I'm passing on the Ranger and waiting for the Navarra to reach the states to replace the dinosaur Frontier. If VW brings the Amarok or Mercedes brings the reimagined Nissan, then I'll have a tough decision to make. I'd love to see the stupid Chicken Tax disappear so Mazda, VW and others would bring their trucks stateside.

Cheers

No thank you!

One engine option and only an automatic, an unnecessary 10-speed at that, NO THANK YOU!

GM and Toyota have nothing to worry bout here. No diesel only one engine, No manual transmission only a ten speed, and no zr2 or trd fighter. LOL! They shouldn't of even trying to make the Ranger again with it lacking so many things the other truck makers are offering. That's Ford though cheap cheap cheap!

For months I've been pounding the drum for Ford to offer the 4 cylinder Ecoboost and they did!

With the 10 speed trans and turbo boost the Ranger's straight line performance should be solid.

The narrower north/south engine profile should make any task under the hood a lot less stressful, and if I'm remembering correctly the 2.3 Ecoboost should be offering something on the order of 300 hp and 300 torque, certainly enough to be competitive in the class.

Definitely not a Ford fan but the exterior looks really good. But the controls on that center stack appear low.

And this is exciting why?

Does this engine have PORT fuel injection in addition to direct fuel injection?
250hp & 300ft-lbs is great for the standard engine, but can't compete against 300hp+ V6s.

250hp & 300ft-lbs is great for the standard engine, but can't compete against 300hp+ V6s. Posted by: George_C | Jan 14, 2018

@George C

Let me respectfully disagree!

The much lighter block casting (and cylinder head casting) on the 4 cylinder engine means that the weight distribution on the front and back wheels is closer to ideal.

The modern DOHC V6 engines all have 4 valve heads that are big, bulky and heavy.

The 2.3 turbo should give the Ranger impressive torque and HP without the weight penalty you get with the typical modern V6

I held out on the Colorado until it came with AWD due to the spotty icey roads I drive on.
Talk about late to the party and nothing outstanding to differentiate it from what is already out there, where is the attraction?
Will this be called a 2020 truck since it will not be out until 2019? Looks like the rumored mini-Raptor will not debut until late 2020 or 2021....

No Silverado news. Not hard to tell where this publication is biased .

The Chevy Silverado stuff is on Instagram and Facebook just like I asked them to.

@GMSRGREAT..., Ya need to lay off the Silverado Kool-Aid..., 30 years of drinking that stuff has left you full of jealousy and envy..., not to mention a dozen made-up characters to talk with...
Open up and Post Responsibly...


Posted by: The Lawn Ranger | Jan 14, 2018 7:15:35 AM


Open up?

Your blue bias is no better than anyone else on this site so just stop.

For months I've been pounding the drum for Ford to offer the 4 cylinder Ecoboost and they did!

With the 10 speed trans and turbo boost the Ranger's straight line performance should be solid.

The narrower north/south engine profile should make any task under the hood a lot less stressful, and if I'm remembering correctly the 2.3 Ecoboost should be offering something on the order of 300 hp and 300 torque, certainly enough to be competitive in the class.


Posted by: papajim | Jan 14, 2018 8:28:07 AM

Ford engine packaging from the F150 to the super duty trucks has been horrid the last few years. Dont get your hopes on this one not being shoehorned in as well.

No Silverado news. Not hard to tell where this publication is biased .

Posted by: CU | Jan 14, 2018 10:09:10 AM

Hey, don't be too tough on PUTC. I'm sure the SILVERADO news will be epic. Way more info and technical stuff to present to us loyal PUTC readers then this little Ranger news can offer.

poopajim is wrong. This engine won't work and a steel bumper won't work for crash tests in Australia. We do it right with a car fascia. Next!

Looks good. I like the Dana and the ground clearance on this fx4. Haven’t driven anything with the 2.3 so can’t comment on that but should be pretty solid with a 10 speed. They need to offer regular cab for this model as they sold plenty for personal and fleet use back on the original Ranger. Also, I think they should add a n/a engine to the line up as soon as possible. I guess the 3.3 would be a good option possibly. We will see how it does.

All this hype and this is it? Weak!!

I don't care about brands. I was waiting to preview this before making any purchase decisions and I am disappointed. Ford changed very little from the world version other than some aluminum and fewer and less attractive powertrain choices. I personally feel the styling is better suited to foreign markets. It seems Ford wanted to invest/risk as little as possible and is concerned about cannibalizing F-150 sales. Even without seeing any reviews, this appears to be a mediocre effort. The offerings from GM and Toyota are more attractive even without a refresh.

I guess this is much bigger news than the Silverado reveal yesterday, so that is why it is posted first. I suppose the Silverado was already quasi-revealed in Texas a few weeks ago, that could be why. I kind of like the looks of the new Ranger, should be competitive in the segment with the 2.3 Ecoboost. I would certainly put it on my shortlist if I were looking for a mid-size truck. I would not be surprised if they end up putting the 2.7 Ecoboost in this truck, it would easily outclass everything else in the segment.

Looks ok, 10 speed tranny sounds good, but I'm so tired of those overdone, overboosted, small displacement, buzzy, EcoThirst engines.


The new 2019 Silverado with inline 6 cylinder diesel, 10 speed tranny, will be something! Glad GM isn't throwing a bunch of buzz bomb engines in the half tons.

It already looks outdated. And I was hopeful for this truck.



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