What You Need to Know Before Buying a 2019 Ford Ranger

2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Side Mirror

Cars.com photos by Aaron Bragman

By Brian Wong

The return of the Ford Ranger for 2019 was a welcome one, as the mid-size pickup truck class is long on competitors but short on innovation, and arrival of the Ranger could spur a new wave of one-upmanship to benefit shoppers. Our impressions of the Ford Ranger since it came back have been positive, and PickupTrucks.com/Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman recently published his full review of the Ranger calling it "seriously compelling." We also tested the Ranger head to head with the Toyota Tacoma at the end of last year where the Ford came out on top against the most popular truck in the class.

Related: Find a 2019 Ford Ranger for Sale Near You

There are a few things Ranger shoppers should know before buying the truck — it has a few quirks that will either endear it to shoppers or cause others to take pause.

Limited Configurations

2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Instrument Panel

The 2019 Ranger is offered with only a single powertrain and one wheelbase. The only thing you're choosing between is a SuperCrew cab (crew cab) with a 5-foot bed or a SuperCab (extended cab) with a 6-foot bed. Neither offers a large amount of space for backseat passengers, but if you're going to be putting people back there regularly you pretty much have to go for the SuperCrew version; the quarters in the SuperCab are extra tight.

One Powertrain to Rule Them All

The Ford Ranger offers only a single engine and transmission pairing, but thankfully it's a good one. The 270-horspower, turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine makes 310 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. You do get a choice between rear- or four-wheel drive, but other than that, this is it.

The powertrain is very responsive and while it does shift a lot to use all of those gears, it doesn't take away from the Ranger's smooth power delivery. Bragman wrote that the eagerness of the engine makes the Ranger "a genuine joy to drive" and I concur. It absolutely crushes the base powertrains (and even some optional powertrains) of competitors. Hearing about a four-cylinder engine in a truck may cause some to wrinkle their nose, but it's only because they haven't tried this four-cylinder.

Dated Interior

2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Cockpit

On higher trim levels, the materials and technology offerings (an 8-inch touchscreen with Sync 3, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available) are modern, but the overall design and feel of the cabin is not, especially compared to other Fords that have been recently redesigned. Lower trim levels lose out on tech offerings, as the XL comes with a 2.3-inch monochromatic display and the XLT has a 4.2-inch color display. Things are better on the top trim level, the Lariat, but there is a big variance in the features and materials quality between the trims.

Normally, being so limited in cab and bed choices would cause me pause, but the strength of the powertrain and the fact that the Ranger's bed lengths and cab size mostly fall in line with the rest of the class helps mitigate that concern. Ford has delivered a mid-size truck that is instantly competitive and among the most fun to drive — on the road at least. For off-road chops, the Ranger's FX4 Off-Road Package doesn't offer nearly as much capability as the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 or the Tacoma TRD Pro. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed for the Ranger Raptor to eventually make the same journey to American shores, as it's currently only slated for Asian and European markets.

Read our full-length review of the 2019 Ford Ranger, and be sure to check out the rest of PickupTrucks.com's coverage of the reborn Ranger below:

2019 Ford Ranger Review: It's New to You

2019 Ford Ranger Crash Tests Well, but Misses a Top Award

2019 Ford Ranger MPG: Real-World Fuel Economy

New Ford Ranger Package Does Its Best 'Back to the Future' Impersonation

2019 Ford Ranger Pricing Breakdown: XL Vs. XLT Vs. Lariat

Hennessey Builds America the Ranger Raptor That Ford Won't

2019 Ford Ranger Photo Gallery: New Kid on the Mid-Size Block

Returning 2019 Ford Ranger Takes on Top-Selling 2018 Toyota Tacoma: Video

We Pit the 2019 Ford Ranger Against the 2018 Toyota Tacoma in a Real-World Test

5 Fixes for the 2019 Ford Ranger

2019 Ford Ranger Driving Impressions: Video

2019 Ford Ranger First Drive: Welcome Back to the Stage

2019 Ford Ranger Vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado: A Classic Ford-Chevy Confrontation Renewed

2019 Ford Ranger Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma: Mid-Size Matchup

2019 Ford Ranger Pulls Ahead in Gas Engine EPA Ratings

2019 Ford Ranger Vs. 2020 Jeep Gladiator: Tale of the Tape

Ford-Yakima Pact Improves Reach of 2019 Ranger

We Sneak a Quick Drive in a 2019 Ford Ranger

Employee Party Kicks Off Production of 2019 Ford Ranger

Ford Exec Confirms: No Ranger Raptor for the U.S.

2019 Ford Ranger XLT STX Photo Gallery: Ready to Play

Ford Releases 2019 Ranger Towing, Payload Numbers

Towing Tech Will Give 2019 Ford Ranger a Competitive Edge

Production of Global 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor Begins in Thailand

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