2019 Ford Ranger Driving Impressions: Video

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If there's been a new vehicle introduction with more expectations focused on it than the 2019 Ford Ranger, we don't know what it is. No doubt, Ford has been watching the competition for quite a while, and there's always opportunity (and precedent) for a manufacturer to screw things up, but after driving this new mid-size pickup truck, we predict the 2019 Ford Ranger will be the class leader in just about every category.

Related: We Sneak a Quick Drive in a 2019 Ford Ranger

Beyond the Ranger's small (yet powerful) turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with the factory 10-speed transmission, the standout feature is its suspension. The front end keeps most bad road inputs smooth and calm, while the rear axle barely shakes or stutters when running on high- or low-speed choppy roads. The way the monotube shocks work with the arched leaf springs (basically just one with a short overload spring underneath) is a wonder to experience, especially fully loaded or towing.

The off-road system, as we noted in the our First Drive story, is also well-done, integrating a multiterrain management system with four distinct settings — Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts and Sand — along with a low-range gear and Trail Control. Trail Control is a slow-go cruise-control system that works in both high- and low-range and allows the computer to take over throttle and braking while the driver simply steers. It's not a perfect system (we'll have more to say about that in our next report), but it does compete pretty well with Toyota's older Crawl Control setup.

For now, the video below showcases some of the features and details we thought deserved to be called out after we did some on- and off-road exploring near San Diego in the 2019 Ford Ranger.

Cars.com photo by Mark Williams

 

 

 

Comments

It's not all new. This Ranger is based on T6 Ranger and there are common elements.
Ford failed to read the market when it ended Ranger production at Twin Cities assembly in 2011. Costly error.

Glad to have the Ranger back. Competition results in better products.

Now, if the Chicken Tax was eliminated there would be even more competition.

Only Ford guys try and hide behind some designation like full size trucks.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Dec 20, 2018 10:59:56 PM

Full-size truck sales Ford compared to GM.
2015 GM 105%
2016 GM 97%
2017 GM. 90%
2018 Q3. GM 85%

Posted by: Just the truth | Dec 21, 2018 8:34:58 AM

Called it. HAHAHA! What a loser that JTT is. HAHAHA!

There is no hiding it, Ford is #1 in Full Size trucks, clearly surpassing the combination of both GM brands.
GM enjoys an overall lead in total truck sales of Full Size and mid size combined, no hiding that or attempt to do so.
This overall lead is very likely to disappear with GM having competition from Ford in the mid size arena.
The lukewarm response in the motoring press and public reaction to the " new" GM full size 1/2 tons cast further doubts in the possibility of Chevy maintaining lead over Ram, never mind going after Ford for the lead.
Looking forward to the 1st quarter numbers. I believe there will be some GM humble pie being served.

@gm blows...

Please tell us which year you correctly predicted that GM would sell more trucks than Ford. I'm not remembering it. Can you?

Papajim
Do you know what a trend is? Will you seriously not just admit that you were mistaken when you called out JTT and called him an as* because he posted factual data to show what the trend is? Do you still dispute his data? Do you still dispute the trend that Ford has been gaining on gm? Will you dispute it IF Ford outsells gm in the last quarter this year? (I don't know if it will happen but it IS trending that direction) You sure seem like a reasonable person sometimes, but I cannot stand by that statement if you cannot admit you are wrong or give some logical explanation. Come on. Just do it. I think you'll gain back some respect if you do.

Why yes that would have been 2015.
Sorry to hear of your faulty memory.


Since 2015 Ford gained 5% per year in truck sales. In the third quarter of 2018 Ford came within 205 units of outselling GM in pickup trucks (actually out sold in trucks). The trend is Ford will outsell GM in trucks...Posted by: Just the truth | Dec 21, 2018

Complete wishful thinking and mental rubbish, courtesy of the arrogant as* who calls himself Just The Truth.


Posted by: papajim | Dec 21, 2018 6:45:05 AM

Will you admit THIS was wrong? Do you REALLY not see that the factual data jtt posted supports exactly what he said? Can you really not see the trend in that data???? Or are you still saying his data is wrong?

So doesn't it seem logical that if the ranger sells well it will boost Ford ahead of Chevy?

Posted by: Beebe | Dec 21, 2018 8:24:02 AM

Where in your logic do all these customers come from? Are they currently a F-150 owner? Will most of those F-150 owners keep their current vehicle and take possession of a second pick-up? (Ranger) Just curious.

When the current colorado and canyon came out where did all those customers come from? I don't know. I have been told a lot of them came from other brands but maybe a significant portion of gm full size customers went to the mid size trucks instead. Could explain why gm full size market share has been slipping at the same time mid size has been gaining. I think probably a lot of f-150s will get traded in for rangers. But you know what else? Probably a lot of Colorados and tacomas and some frontiers and some ridgelines will too. There are still a lot of 2011 and older rangers on the road today, some of those might finally get a new ranger too. Lots of places for ranger customers to come from. And certainly there will be some that buy a ranger in addition to their other truck (I know multiple farmers that have a mid size truck in addition to full size). The thing is unless the ranger takes a huge chunk out of f150 sales it seems very likely that Ford will pass gm next year in total truck sales. That's just an unbiased observation based on the facts and current sales trends. Not wishful thinking as I really don't care much. I may even buy a Chevy next time I buy a truck.

I'll bet dinner time at Beebe's house is a real riot, especially when the in-laws come over.

I think probably a lot of f-150s will get traded in for rangers. But you know what else? Probably a lot of Colorados and tacomas and some frontiers and some ridgelines will too.

Posted by: Beebe | Dec 22, 2018 12:47:50 AM

On your first point, Yes.
On your second point, knowing brand loyalty, No.

So in conclusion, based on your own explanation, you now know why Ford will remain a second place truck manufacturer.

Don't forget that Ford is getting ready to pour cold water all over the new Ranger when it rolls out the all-new, completely redesigned RWD Ford Explorer next month.

The first real Explorer in about 20 years. Expect to see the Ranger looking like a jilted bride in a few months, because there is real excitement in suburbia over a new Explorer SUV.

Gmsrgreat

So where did all the Colorado buyers come from then? Silverado?
You never answered. I don't think truck owners are as loyal as you think. Maybe most of ranger sales will be to f150 owners. But believe it or not there will be a lot from other places too.

IF Ford sells more than gm next year will you man up and admit you were wrong? Obviously papajim would never do that. He just ignores what I said and changes the subject. I'll gladly admit I am wrong without anyone ever confronting me about it. It really helps a person grow to admit he was wrong. It also makes them a whole lot more agreeable and easy to work with.

I don't think truck owners are as loyal as you think

@Beebe

How does it feel having an opinion so completely outside the mainstream?

Answer: Having read some of your other opinions you probably won't even know.

Does it really matter who is Number 1 in truck sales? How about both GM and Ford both being profitable and their stock going up in value. Is it more important to be Number 1 or is it more important to be profitable? Most of you are too blind to your brand loyalty to see the big picture.

@Jeff S

There are legitimate and very distinct corporate strategies and attaining big ROI is certainly one of them. The other might be a strategy where investors only show interest in firms that rank number one in their respective market, i.e., the king of market share.

Since tier-one Detroit automakers have seen such a reduction in their ranks during the last 70 years, market share still means a lot in those board rooms. Ford or GM will suffer some bad quarterly reports if they can steal some share from a competitor.

Guys I saw a pic here:
https://www.dealerfireblog.com/houstonford/wp-content/uploads/sites/347/2018/02/2019-Ford-Ranger-FX4-OffRoad-CAS2018-wheel-side_df.jpg

That shows the FX4 with a 3 or 4 leaf spring pack. I am not sure if this is pre-prod model or if it will in fact have a different suspension than the non-FX4 model (which has 2 leafs in the pack).

ScottH

I didn't say truck shoppers aren't loyal. I said "not as loyal as you think". Papajim still won't admit he was wrong and continues to straw man and change subjects

I agree with Jeff. Doesn't really matter who is number one in sales. But the trends certainly do matter......

Nobody ever answered. Where did all the Colorado and canyon sales come from the last few years? Care to answer that one papajim? Were they all from Silverado and Sierra??????

Don't forget that Ford is getting ready to pour cold water all over the new Ranger when it rolls out the all-new, completely redesigned RWD Ford Explorer next month. The first real Explorer in about 20 years. Expect to see the Ranger looking like a jilted bride in a few months, because there is real excitement in suburbia over a new Explorer SUV.
Posted by: papajim

This is some serious flailing in the wind. You are doing breast strokes in a puddle. The Explorer is going to further erode Chevy Traverse and GMC clone.
The buyer demographics of Ranger and Explorer are light years apart.
On the other hand the comedy you bring is priceless. Looking forward to more wacky, keep up the good work.

Where did all the Colorado and canyon sales come from the last few years? Were they all from Silverado and Sierra??????


Posted by: Beebe | Dec 22, 2018 5:13:05 PM

If what your suggesting is correct, there will be a blood bath of F-series defections in favor of the Ranger. Either way, the trend is for GM to continue as the top selling truck manufacturer.

GMS, yo bro you gotta stop huffing the paint. " Blood bath" really, ????Challenging Papa for who can be funnier. Why on earth would you set yourself up for such a big fall. I get brand loyalty, however your ignoring history, ignoring segment share erosion says either you have completely different information than what is available or having an outloud conversation with yourself. In any case we shall see in the 1st quarter numbers.
Until then keep the one ups with Papa, the race to absurdity is yours.


I'm not suggesting anything I just asked an honest question. Where did all the buyers of the Colorado and canyon come from the last few years? Did they trade in their Silverados and Sierra's (that would mean gm made a huge mistake as that would hurt their profits) or did they switch brands from Ford Toyota etc? (Kind of negates the whole recent argument about truck buyers being too loyal to switch brands in significant numbers)

There was a void in the market that Colorado/Canyon trucks addressed back when the Gen 2 models arrived. Not so today.

Because Ranger pricing is skewed to the high end---bargain priced Rangers will not be abundant during 2019---the sales WILL come at the expense of the F150

If the Ford boys are expecting a rout they will be disappointed. GM and RAM brand loyalists are probably not going to be ditching their current trucks in droves. The fact that Jeep is coming with an exciting new truck also affects the tallies.

Brace yourselves!

Well finally a good answer. Sort of. I still don't know where those buyers came from. A void? So were these all young people that had never purchased anything before? The Tacoma and frontier just weren't good enough but the Colorado was? And now that these people choose the Colorado they are just so in love they won't even consider the ranger for their next truck?

I talked to the only two people I know who own a Colorado. One says he likes the diesel (this guy is hardcore GM and traded in his gmc for it). The other told me he'll be ready for a new truck in about a year and is excited to see the ranger.

I still don't know where those buyers came from

@beebe

I'll help you. For much of the last 10 years the US economy was struggling with record-breaking numbers of people on food stamps and government disability insurance benefits. Even after the stock market recovered from the worst of its dark days back in 2008-2009, it took almost 8 years for a real recovery to take place on Main Street, not just Wall Street.

I say all that to say this: The "void" I referred to speaks about the awful lack of consumer confidence that did not start to fade until about five years ago. Whether on purpose or not GM's timing in bringing out the Gen 2 mid size twins was perfect and they have since then sold hundreds of thousands of 'em. That's what I meant about void. For reasons never very well explained Ford chose NOT to enjoy that opportunity and missed billions of revenues.

@papajim--Understand your point but from the stand point of the bottom line and remaining viable it is much better not to be Number 1 if you have to sacrifice profits. True if is best to have both. As a consumer I am not going to be as concerned about who is Number 1 as long as the sales of a product are good enough to ensure it will survive and the profitability of the company that makes it are good enough for that company to survive. I don't like that cars like the Impala and LaCross are be discontinued and the same for the Fusion but I fully understand that both GM and Ford are doing this to increase profits and ensure their viability. I am not going to get in a grade school argument that GM is better than Ford and that it will remain Number 1 or Ford is better than GM and Ford will bury GM. Those arguments are juvenile. The big picture is I want both to survive and do well. I want the same thing for FCA, Toyota, and all the other competitors because once you have just one or a handful of auto makers survive then you as a consumer lose along with all those who supply the parts and services for the auto industry. Competition is good for everyone and it forces the manufacturers to make a better product. I don't wish Toyota harm but I would like to see the competition make Toyota improve their midsize truck instead of resting on its laurels. Competition is good.

Jeff, you miss the whole point! Board members and CEOs of big companies like GM and Ford pay other people handsomely to worry about profits.

The elite board-room guys are most concerned about attracting and keeping happy investors. Profits are nice but you cannot fund future products and other strategic initiatives without investors. In the auto industry today, the big investors are big institutions that have millions of dollars on hand to invest.

GM presently counts about 75% of its investors in the platinum class of big pension funds, big global funds and other huge investors. This is an area where Ford is present hobbled by less than 60% of its capital coming from similar investors.

Market share is the center of the bullseye for Ford, FCA, Toyota and the rest. Investor satisfaction cannot be sustained without profits, but market share is the big trophy.

@papajim--You miss the point. Competition is good. You also miss the point of what I stated. I said there is nothing wrong with being Number 1 as long as you are profitable. Also as a consumer I am less interested in buying a car or truck just based on the fact it is Number 1 in sales. When I buy a vehicle I am more interested in if it fits my needs and less interested in being loyal to a brand. I might be more interested in GM if I still owned GM stock but not enough to buy a GM product just based on that.

Papajim--you cannot attract investors if you are bleeding money. Without profits you don't attract investors and without profits and investors there are no future products. Also without profits a corporation cannot pay dividends which for most investors including me I want a stock that pays a good dividend.

If you are so concerned about being Number 1 GM has given up that spot when they sold Opel, Vauxhall, and reduced their global presence. With your philosophy GM is losing investors because GM has given up its Number 1 Global Sales position (GM is not even Number 2 or 3 in Global sales. If being Number 1 is so important than GM has ceded that position to VW and Toyota Globally. That is a lot of sales and a lot of lost investors if you are using just your philosophy. If anything one could analyze this as GM being more concerned about short term profits and just trying to survive. It is not long term planning to give up a complete sector of the automotive market if you are just interested in being Number 1 period. GM market share has been shrinking from at one time selling over half the new vehicles in the US to just 17.6 percent that is not being Number 1. There is more to it than just being Number 1 in sales.

Jeff, you're wrong and you don't know it.

Look at Netflix. They were on the verge of crapping out a few years ago. A new CEO and new leadership in the boardroom and they're now one of the top tech companies in the whole world.

re: Your illustration regarding GM's smart decision to get out of the EU.

Exiting that market was strategic and long overdue, and only partly a reflection of concern about profit. The future of the personal automobile in Europe is dismal for all but the very wealthiest people.

There's a reason that companies like Daimler and BMW are moving so aggressively into the US. As soon as GM's decision to dump Opel was announced GM stock went through the roof. The reaction was immediate.

Please try to understand the difference between operational efficiencies and GM's concern for deploying stockholder resources in it's most strategic markets. Not about sales or profits.

Papajim
I Still don't feel like I've gotten a clear answer to my question. I agree there was a void. My question is who filled it? How about multiple choice?
1. Colorado/canyon buyers are first time truck buyers or purchased in addition to their full size trucks without trading in
2. Colorado/canyon buyers traded in their GM full size trucks for a Colorado instead of buying a new gm full size
3. Colorado/canyon buyers switched brands from other truck makes like Ford, ram, Toyota, etc...

So which of the three would you say best describes Colorado/canyon buyers?

Beebe

Back then GM entered a market that was aching for a midsize truck. Toyota and Nissan had it to themselves but neither product was up to date. Honda was on hiatus.

The GM midsize twins addressed a need. There seems to be a consensus on this site that midsize sales robbed the GM halfton trucks of sales. It's a reasonable guess.

However, GM execs did something right because they've outsold Ford (pickups) every year since. Who cares about the granular analysis you're attempting to make unless you can apply that lesson to Ford's new truck?

Ford is bringing a midsize to fat market. Their midsize will NOT be coming to market in a void.

RAM has popular new trucks in showrooms. GM has new models in the showrooms and Jeep is expected to bring a hotly anticipated new midsize lifestyle pickup to showrooms later in 2019.

For Ford to sell trucks they'll need to find a lot of customers willing to spend north of 35k for a midsize truck.

They'll be competing with RAM, GM and the F150 XLT trucks in that price range. I hope they do well because the Ranger sounds like an important part of their near-term market strategy.

I'm beginning to see more of those new style 2019 full size twins on the street. They have all been either High Country or Denali trim levels. The dealer lots are nearly void of these new styles so they still don't have a large enough selection of trim and colors or they are selling lot hot cakes. I'll have to drop by one of the largest dealers in my area and investigate.

@papajim--I probably have more invested in the stock market for a much longer period of time. I am not disagreeing with GM's decision just your rational that market share is more important than profit. Let me ask you a question do you buy any consumer profit based on its stock or its market share? If you do I got ocean front property in Arizona that you might be interested in. I don't own any auto stock except Toyota which was bought by my investment company. I did have GM stock for years and sold it before the big crash in 2008. I feel for those who held GM corporate bonds they took a real bath on them.

I would like to know how many on this site have ever bought a vehicle based on that corporation's board, share of the market, or even the corporations profitability. I own Kroger's stock but I don't shop at Kroger's because of their board of directors or their stock. Same thing with Proctor and Gamble I tend to buy store brands if they are just as good. If I bought a Ranger it would not be based on Ford's share of the market or its board of directors. Do you know the Board of Directors at GM except maybe the CEO Mary Barra. I didn't buy any of the new Chevies and Fords that I have owned based on the board of directors or its stock. There are some vehicles I have owned that I would not buy again because of the availability of parts and service (i.e. MItsubishi) but never had that problem owning GMs, Fords, Chryslers, or Hondas. I have never owned a Toyota but that doesn't mean I never will and if I did I would not look at their market position or who they had on their board of directors which I don't have any idea who is on the board of directors of most corporations. I am interested in the earnings per share and what the dividend is and if they are in financial trouble. I don't think most auto stocks are a good long term investment since most pay little dividends and the auto industry is for the most part an old growth industry with the exception of China.

@papajim--The fact that GM sold off their unprofitable companies like Opel and Vauxhall just proves my point. You cannot deploy funds for products in more profitable markets if you don't have the reserves and without profits you don't have investors. As a consumer I don't really care who is No. 1 or No 2. Toyota has the Number 1 selling midsize car in the US and FCA, Ford, and GM have basically ceded the car market to Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia. Sometimes its just better to concentrate your resources elsewhere. Toyota is even losing sedan sales to Tacoma and Rav4 but that is not necessarily bad since they can make more profit on other products. Even Ram who is No 3 is not hurting because they are making plenty of profits on sales. Sometimes it is better not to be No. 1 it just makes you try harder.

I am not disagreeing with GM's decision just your rational that market share is more important than profit.

@Jeff S

I never said one was more important than the other. I said that big companies like GM and Ford make decisions differently than you might think.

Without a doubt some investors are targeting companies based on their PAST performance, such as profits or sales or market share.

Other investors are placing their funds with opportunities that represent the FUTURE potential of a given firm or groups of firms. One thing is certain. Every investor is attempting to "buy" future income streams. The ways that they position themselves for that result vary considerably and countless books have been written about it.

That's all.

@papajim-Ok, agree on that. If GM or Ford offers special promotions on a truck that I am interested in to keep or gain market share then I have no problem. Understand that as well since when I bought my S-10 I came close to getting a Ranger but with factory incentives and a large number of points on a GM Master Card I got a better deal on the S-10. GM used the points on their Master Card and a factory incentive to increase sales. I used a similar program to buy a new Taurus for my wife. Very please with both purchases.

@papajim

So number 2 it is. Have you looked up the definition of a trend yet?

There seems to be an unscientific consensus (with the ford boys on this site) that midsize sales took sales from the GM halfton trucks---it's a reasonable guess.

papajim-Ok, agree on that.

@Jeff S

I read the entire comment and tried to make any connection at all between credit card promos and the discussion we were having.

The connection is that GM used the Master Card to increase sales. When I accumulated 4k in rebate dollars and 1,500 in factory rebate along with a discount I got a pickup at that time that listed for over 16k with a factory bed liner for $10,400 dollars which included tax, title, and licensing. GM offered that not because they are just being generous they offered the card and the discount to keep market share especially when at the time Ford offered a credit card with rebates that could be used to buy any new Ford vehicle. GM's card also applied to any new car or truck. I don't know if GM or Ford offer a similar deal now but I was able to use the card points to purchase a new Chevy S-10, a new Ford Taurus, and later the Ford card became a Citi card that could be used on any new vehicle which I used to buy a new Isuzu. At that time it was a good deal.

Which all had nothing to do with our discussions of corporate boards, CEOs and decisions about the handful of ways that the biggest investors provide financial muscle to the Ford's and GM's of the world.

Here at Ford we have our own video of the new ranger....the video below showcases some of the features and details:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g



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