2019 Ranger: 5 Things Ford Needs to Get Right

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By Aaron Bragman

At the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford confirmed many truck fans' hopes and dreams by announcing the return of the mid-size Ranger pickup truck and a new Bronco SUV. Ford said the Ranger will be available for model year 2019 and the Bronco will follow a year later.

Ford has been selling a mid-size global Ranger for several years. It's almost the size of a mid-1990s F-150 and within an inch of every dimension of the Chevrolet Colorado sold in the U.S. We, along with much of the pickup truck community, have been begging Ford to bring the Ranger back to the U.S. to provide a less expensive, more maneuverable and easier-to-park alternative to its larger pickups, but the company has maintained that the Ranger wasn't right for North America anymore. Ford said it was too close in price and size to the F-150, that there wasn't demand for such a truck and that buyers' needs were being met with base models of the F-150.

So what changed Ford's mind? We think it's the success of the Colorado and GMC Canyon. GM doesn't break out the sales numbers for its light-duty and heavy-duty pickups; they are lumped into one number. But we think that the sales success of the mid-size Colorado and Canyon (the plant can't build them fast enough) has not come at the expense of Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra sales, as some had predicted. That apparently convinced Ford business planners to bring the Ranger back to its country of origin, accompanied by a Bronco variant as well.

With little information available regarding what will actually hit showrooms, we've come up with five things that we think Ford needs to get right in order to make sure the Ranger is a success when it arrives.


1. Take Advantage of Pickup Buyers' Long Memories

The excitement across social media and at the Detroit auto show after the Ranger announcement was palpable. Folks really miss the Ranger, and fans of the nameplate have been lamenting that there hasn't been one in the U.S. since production of the previous one ended with model-year 2011. Perhaps the only thing more anticipated than the new Ranger is the new Bronco, which has the internet running wild with speculation on what it will look like.

2. Make Sure the Bronco Is Legit

The Bronco will be based off of the Ranger, much like the international Everest SUV is based off of the current global Ranger. Ford insists that whatever Bronco arrives in the U.S. in 2020 will not be the Everest. Ford promises a true off-road machine in the style of the Jeep Wrangler, and intel has surfaced that it will be equipped with Dana solid axles front and rear (just like a Wrangler) to back up that claim. If the Bronco is legit and popular, that will only help the Ranger's business case, as the incremental volume added to the plant to produce the Bronco on the Ranger line will help drive profitability for Ford.

3. Price It Differently Than the F-150

Ford has been worried that it can't build the new Ranger cheaply enough to keep it from encroaching on the F-150's price range, and that's a real concern. But the buyers of the Colorado and Silverado have turned out to be two different animals, looking for different things in a truck. Buyers aren't afraid to spend some coin on a well-equipped Colorado (loaded, it can easily top $50,000), so some overlap is inevitable. But charging too much for the smaller truck could be an issue.

4. Don't Make It Too Big

The current global Ranger is much bigger than the previous North American Ranger, but it's a completely different truck. The global Ranger is just a hair smaller than the Colorado in nearly every dimension, so keeping it the same size would probably be the best idea. There's a real demand for a much smaller, simpler, less-expensive truck (which is why Nissan sells tens of thousands of tiny, decade-old Frontiers every year), but it's unlikely the Ranger will follow this path.

5. Have a Good Explanation for the Delay

The gap between the last U.S. Ranger and the new U.S. Ranger will be nearly eight years — eight years of Ford telling us that nobody wanted a new Ranger, that buyers were happy with base-level F-150s and Ford Transit Connect vans instead. Ford has to come up with a good reason for why it's taken so long to bring us a new Ranger, and why Ford suddenly changed its mind. We're looking forward to hearing that explanation, but we're even more excited about having a couple of serious new trucks to play with.

Manufacturer images


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It should be smaller, there's no true compact truck anymore like the Ranger used to be.

If it's the same size as the global Ranger, it will be an also-ran in a crowded mid-size market. Mostly only the fan boys will be snapping them up.

If they can come out with a true compact pickup, then they could have a hit on their hands. The old Rangers were popular because they had a large bed on a small platform, very utilitarian and useful. They handles like crap, rode rough and were a pain to drive by today's standards, but their utilitarian attributes kept them selling.

Today's Ranger needs to be as utilitarian (large bed, small platfirm), but also with modern ride/handling/comfort standards. The easiest way to do that would be to build a unibody truck. However, that would be admitting that Honda had a good idea and would alienate many truck fans. OTOH, that type of truck, if sold in the mid-$20s, would sell like hotcakes to college kids, blue-collar workers, small contractors, etc.

Unibodys have great packaging and payload capacity, as evidenced by the commercial van market. They typically don't tow as much as BOF vehicles, but how many people would want to tow more than 3500lbs in a compact truck? Maybe they need to base the Ranger off of the Transit?

You seem to forget about the sales leader in this segment, the Toyota Tacoma and the fact Toyota's factory cannot build enough of them to keep up with demand nor the fact the Tacoma is the world's best vehicle when it comes to retention of value!

Colorado is second rate after KBB results and Ford is nervous looking at what Colorado sales have done to their Silverado sales as grand pa Joe trades in the full-size Silverado for the smaller Colorado!

Ford does not want to make that mistake as GM is learning!

Colorado/Canyon is far from a mistake as GM is running the Colorado/Canyon plant at full capacity.

Ford does not want to make that mistake as GM is learning!

Posted by: oxi | Jan 27, 2017 8:14:16 AM

Wait! What? Explain the mistake again. I believe the truck market is continuing to grow and GM has positioned itself to take advantage of this by offering customers choice.

I do believe the Ranger in some markets starts out at less than 20k American dollars and the fully blinged, leather appointed Ranger can be had for 40k American dollars. How can this be expensive compared to equivalent full size pickups? They are over 25% cheaper. This makes them a very attractive proposition.

Ford needs to produce a Mini Me Ranger Raptor fitted with a 2.7 EcoBoost.

Go home Ford your drunk and 5 years to late like normal

Ford junk

Ford should build a true compact, the same size as the outgoing Ford Ranger. The Bronco is going to Kick Butt!!

"GM doesn't break out the sales numbers for its light-duty and heavy-duty pickups; they are lumped into one number. "

What? Check the goodcarbadcar.com website.


I say forget about the I-5 diesel, just offer the 2.3EB, 2.7EB, and 3.0 V6 Power Stroke all with the 10-speed, with a manual option on the 2.3.

It doesn't need to be smaller.

If they size it like a Colorado it would mean good competition.

But Ford will probably go all aluminum, so now it gets expensive.

Here's an idea, make the inside of the bed steel.

Make it have a crew cab version that has at least a six foot bed as an option. ( instead of the puny little bed that is pictured ).

I would like to have a truck that allows me to reach the floor of the bed from the side with my feet on the ground. If I can't do that I will probably just stay full sized.

The old Ranger would work but no bigger. It was a surpisingly large vehicle that only look small compared to a full size truck. If you park one next to a Grand Marquis and see how close they are in size you will probably be as surprised as I was. And that was with the standard cab.

If it comes with the crew cab long bed like you can get with the Canyon and a diesel engine it will sell great. The GM midsize can't keep up with demand, so i think there is plenty of room for the Ranger to sell well.

The solid front axle on the Bronco is just a rumor. There's been zero confirmation beyond Dana's press release about them being chosen as the supplier.

And you called the Nissan Frontier tiny? LOL! It's inches smaller than both the Tacoma and Colorado. You make it sound like it's a mini-truck from the 80s.

#6: Make a regular cab.

I'm sure the new Ranger crew cab would come with a 5 or 6 foot box, as do the other medium size pickups. Just make sure the base-grade extended cab model comes mostly hollowed out with vinyl, stick tranny, small normally aspirated I4, mechanical features and the like for the budget conscious. Now it's FCA's turn to explain why they've got no truck in the market they've essentially created in the 80s.

@ LOLWUT.. you asked about new Ranger front axle...

"As Larry Vellequette reports at Automotive News, axle manufacturer Dana revealed in an investor presentation this month that it's been chosen as the driveline supplier for both the 2019 Ford Ranger and the 2020 Bronco. In the presentation, Dana indicated that both vehicles will have "front and rear axles featuring our latest AdvanTEK gear technology,"

Laughing so hard right now.

Posted by: Nitro | Jan 27, 2017 11:23:50 AM

I am glad you are able to laugh at yourself. I'll laugh at you also.

I vividly remember shopping for a Ranger in 1984 as a 17 yr old with dad. Same dealership he bought his 1962 Falcon (3 on the tree). The Ranger didn't come with a rear bumper, or dual sport mirrors, sport stripes, or sport rims, or 6' 2.5" bed, and cost more than the Mazda B2000. So for ~$6000-6100 OTD, we went with the Mazda. Got 320k miles on the Mazda. I miss that utilitarian Mazda! Need me another truck! I think the Transit has some kind of slight cab forward design which would help with keeping it compact. I just hate when a bed is less than 6' 2.5" when measured at the top. So slightly narrower, and short engine bay is how a midsize should be, then the bed and crew cab doesn't have to be less than 6'2.5" and 36" respectively to keep it compact and fitting in garage. And yes the B2000 was low enough to easily load things in and out of from the side. Not like many of today's trucks. The Ridgeline is 36.7" rear legroom at the expense of a shallow, short, wide bed. Not for me.

Dimensions below organized as: Rear Legroom, Bed length, Overall length (235” std garage):

Ram Quad__34.7"__6'4"__229.0"
Ram Crew__40.3"__6'4"__237.9" Only 1/2ton real Crew w/traditional 6’ box almost garageable.
Colorado___35.8"__6'0"__224.6". (6' 2" at bottom only!)
Tacoma____32.6"__6'1"__221.3". Bed actually 6'1.5".
F150 Crew__43.7"__6'6"__243.7"
F150 Quad__33.5”__6’6”__231.9” (250.5”, 8’ bed)
Ridgeline___36.7"_4’11.5”_210.0" (5' 3.6" at bottom only!)
Titan_Crew _38.5”__6’6”__242.8” (38.5” small for 242.8”?)
Titan Quad__38.5”__5’6”__228.7”
TundraQuad_34.7”_ 6’6”__228.9”(247.8”,8’box)Cab forward snub noise. 5” more legroom =234”
Tundra Crew_42.5”__5’6”__228.9” (crew cab with 6’6” not avail?)

Bronco with danas that's going to be soo sick. Aluminum body, swb, removable top. I want one now

Dana "advantek" axles are solid axles and independent axles.

Nowhere on any pressers does it distinguish.

Don't get your hopes up.

I really don't care to get an explanation from Ford, I think it's obvious.
Ranger will have to pick up steam but I think it will do well. The size of the Colorado is a good size to me. As for pricing, if you look at the apples to apples comparison, equiptment, there is a significant difference in the prices of the Silverado to Colorado.
I am really looking forward to it.

Ford should build a true compact, the same size as the outgoing Ford Ranger. The Bronco is going to Kick Butt!!

Posted by: Frank | Jan 27, 2017 9:34:23 AM

I think I saw one of those Rangers or Broncos at Walmart today. It was parked over in the toy section. Nobody was buying it there either.

Now watch the Ford girly men get mad.

Math does not work. Equipped with popular options this T6 based vehicle becomes an expensive truck.

Modern engine options like the Ecoboost drive the cost of the powertrain through the roof. Ditto for the current generation of transmissions.

Ford would be super smart to promote a manual transmission option, not just the stripper work trucks either.

I am proposing that Ford would be smart to build the Ranger on a FWD transverse engine platform like the Ridgeline. It would cost more, but it would be a very user friendly product that young couples might buy in place of a CUV.

Diesel, manual, regular cab. Don't miss those 3 and you'll have a winner on your hands!

Make the new Ford Ranger truck like the popular old Ford Ranger or Mazda B 3000 small truck not mid size, good power above average, good gas millage above average, good maneuverability above average, old school drive line, rear wheel drive and part time 4 wheel drive with Hi Lo and Full lock diffs. Off road package avalible with skid plates and real roll bar, avalible 6 speed manual shift. No slider rear window but electric fully retractable rear window, like the door windows, led light bar along on top of tail gate so when down person behind can see it is down at night.

@Paul Read

What body styles?

Would you have one like the quad cab S10 V6?

Would you just offer Reg Cab and Super Cab like the old Rangers?

Toyota and Nissan stopped offering a compact Reg Cab because it did not sell well--except as a stripped work truck. GM no longer offers a Reg Cab either.

How about an optional bench seat with a column shifter so that big guys can be comfortable driving it...

Wild Willy - BAFO, is that you?

The price of any mid level trim or fully loaded Colorado/Canyon or Tacoma is comparable to any full sized truck. 40-50 k is full sized truck pricing. I've seen $1500 off the C/C twins. On the same lot a 65k Silverado with 6.2 had a 14k discount. I'd rather spend the extra cash for the 6.2.

Ford is missing the boat.
I would build a modular truck where the bed of the truck can be transformed to a different size like a "drawer" that pulls out or the sides of the bed can be folded down.
,,,,or even a cab with 3 row seats that can be folded into the bed. also a torsion bar spring that transforms it into a dump bed.
,,, a one piece plastic front hood that hinged on the front that opens up similar to a semi tractor truck.
also a unibody design with independent rear suspension with no more solid rear axle
CVT transmission to make it simpler and improving gas mileage

I was inspired by my ideas by looking at UTV designs such as the Yamaha XYZ and looking at one I can't help thinking why can't someone build a full size street legal pickup similar to that design and driveline.

The real killer would be to build the Ranger and the Bronco as modular vehicles like the Scouts, Land Rovers, and first generation Broncos. Make them a unibody on top of a strong frame that runs bumper to bumper. Don't make the beds separate structures. Put a removable bulkhead between the cabs and the beds, and make it easy to pop off the tops for either running open or with a rag top. The Bronco should have a micro-pickup cab top option. And, design the fuel system such that extra tanks can be added for extreme range capabilities. In other words, make it possible for them to be true SUV's and not just wax job urban assault vehicles.

Get rid of the solid front axle. Not a good weight saving option.

Get rid of the cup holder just below the shift in the console. Tall drinks don't make it with manual shift!!

Put cup holders in the door side pockets like Toyota does.

I bought a Toyota Tacoma. It has 4, get it 4 ! cup holders in the console. Would like to see live charging sockets instead of them shutting off when the engine isn't running.

Nissan small pickup has NO LEG ROOM for someone that is just under 6 feet tall. Not good.


Are you saying that the Tacoma has more legroom than a Frontier?

@papa jim--I agree with you about a small truck on a transverse mounted front wheel drive platform but I disagree about the cost. It is actually cheaper to base a small truck on an existing car or crossover platform. Manufacturing would be cheaper as well because you would not have to have a frame and it takes less time to assemble a unibody vehicle. Also you can add a front whell drive truck based on this type of platform to a plant that makes other vehicles with a front wheel drive transverse mounted platform. Not having a separate body on frame makes the vehicle lighter and increases the fuel efficiency. GM maked a small truck as you described in Brazil called the Chevy S-10 and Fiat makes a Strada. These smaller trucks are very popular in South America and they are very fuel efficient.

@ Jeff S,

You forget Toyota is running their two plants at full capacity and 3 shifts and lowering Tundra production likewise!

Colorado is only stealing sales from Silverado and numbers prove this!


So explain why Silverado sales went down last year and Colorado went up?

Grandpa Joe is trading in his Silverado for a smaller truck he can handle parking in the garage and parking lots!

I have not heard of you. The only other person to call Big All is that arrogant guy, papajim. The Dodge and Chev boys are more tolerable than him. He seems to be divisive, causing dissention, an A'hole.

I actually Googled overseas prices for the Ranger. These prices are not with discounts. The Ranger is that popular in many countries discounts are hard to find. I did see other brands with discounts of over $5,000.00 making a high end diesel four wheel drive pick up be had from around $30,000.00.

Your preference for a pickup, like that Silverado has obviously been ignored by hundreds of thousands, even millions if the global market is considered. You are not representative of the whole vehicle or pickup market. Nice talking to you.

The new Ranger, like the Colorado, the Ridgeline and the Tacoma, has grown too large. Ford was right that it's simply too close in size to the F-150 to be economically practical. But obviously, this isn't stopping them since GM proved even marginally smaller is remarkably popular.

The problem is, this large size "midsizer" simply isn't small enough. The people such a truck is meant to draw in want something physically and visibly smaller than what we're seeing. These people want a true •compact• pickup that they can be comfortable in even while driving in city traffic. They want a truck that can fit next to their CUV in the garage and still offer a reasonably-sized open bed for carrying outsized or dirty cargo you can't or won't carry inside an enclosed cabin. GM makes one; it's called the Tornado in South America and Mexico. FCA makes one; it's called the Fiat Strada/Ram 700, again in South America and Mexico.

Because these things are CUV-sized, they will draw directly from the CUV customer base and have next to no effect on full-size sales--though they might draw down the mid-size sales. It's a far larger market than the current mid-size models are tapping and would inspire a lot of new customers to cross over from those little bubble cars.

Market is changing. Small trucks will dominate. They make trucks that tow. Tow ratings on a small truck shouldn't need to be more than 5k max load. That's a good size boat for that truck anyway. 1500 series trucks are pointless. Midsize, 2500, 4500 those are the sizes in today's model definition for what the future holds. Too many in between sizes in big 3 lineups. The titan, tundra, etc should be the in betweeners that don't match up. Building a heavy half. And keeping along with midsize will keep them in the pie circle. I think the vans that Ford and ram have now are also going to increase in sales with cutaways becoming the norm. Cheapest dual rear wheel dump you can buy new is a transit. Huge size bed with low throw over height. Manueverability a regular truck cant even dream of. Also visabillity is tenfold. Its an awesome work vehicle. Its 2 wheel drive only though. Manufacturers are to blame for what's available and mainstream. Hopefully soon we will see registration and insurance on weight ratings rules , etc, switched around to allow it feasible.

So explain why Silverado sales went down last year and Colorado went up?

Grandpa Joe is trading in his Silverado for a smaller truck he can handle parking in the garage and parking lots!

Posted by: oxi | Jan 28, 2017 9:12:06 AM

I'm not going to argue reasons why Silverado sales slipped, the question is why do you believe there was mistake with GM re introducing the mid size.


It's hurting Silverado sales and Ford F-150 will continue to dominate!

Wild Willy,
I do totally agree with your comment, the US will become more like the French, but with slightly larger vans.

CAFE will choke full size trucks, I can see a way out and that is to use 2.5 to 3 litre diesels in the full size trucks.

I read somewhere in this thread a person disputes my $27 000 claim for the price of a pickup. But that Pentastar, 8spd with the little bed is the closet full size that can be compared to our pickups for FE, not work. This pariticular style of pickup is what will be the norm for US pickups in 5 years because of CAFE. Like I also stated it can't carry or tow much.

Our best performing pickup dual cab is getting 40mpg on the highway and that's US gallons.

I'm even getting 32mpg out of my diesel which is the same diesel that's going into the US Transit. It can tow 7 800lbs and carry 2 500lbs. They are even towing 30' fifth wheelers with the BT50 now.

After using Carilloski's AUD to USD pickup price converter (thanks Carilloski) our cheapest Ranger would cost about $18 000 in the US and it is getting 35mpg on the highway.

All I can say is the US has to change the direction the UAW, Big 3 and government are heading in and adopt the UNECE regs for pickups to remain affordable in the future in the US.

As I wrote before high tech, exotic materials will price them out of reach for most, like that Ram for $27 000. I hope sanity prevails.

I don't want to see the demise of full size 1/2 ton pickups, but the UAW seems to be hell bent on destroying them.

Quit the craap, really.

It's getting long in the toooth.

You want to debaate, but it has to be on your terms.

Learn to debaate with good information, then we might be able to have a decent debaate.

Loook at what you guys have done to Detroit.

Terrorr tactics (union taactics) don't work on me.

If PUTCC wants the UAWW or whatever to control this site I suppose it's their decision.

It's not kids like I've been told by PUTCC.

They don't seem to caare. So thhis will go on.

I just made a post and it is no longer on the site.

I just made a post and it is no longer on the site.

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