The 2019 Ford Ranger is here, and it’s entering into the most competitive mid-size truck market in decades. Given Ford’s hallowed place in the world of pickup trucks, we were anxious to get our hands on the new rig to see how it stacked up. But first, a little history.
When the Ford Ranger was introduced in North America back in 1983, it brought with it a combination of size, utility and most importantly, value. By all reports, they were great little trucks, and could be had with a a wide variety of drivetrains and cab configurations. But in 2012, production ceased, and Ford was left with a seven-year gap in the light-duty truck segment. For 2019, the Ranger features a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a 10-speed transmission, and a host of new technology we expect folks will love.
2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4X2 Exterior
With modern styling and a rugged presence, the 2019 Ford Ranger comes to us ready to take on the likes of Toyota, Nissan, and GM. Its proportions are on par with others in the segment, and whether configured as a 4×4 or 4×2, the Ranger always seems to look burly.
Our tester came in the form of a 2019 SuperCrew 4×2. It sits on a 126.8-inch wheelbase, wears 17-inch aluminum wheels sporting 255/65-series tires, and was equipped with the optional Sport Appearance Package, along with Hot Pepper Red metallic paint. With that package comes Magnetic-painted color matched wheels, a mesh grille, matching color wheel lip moldings, and body-side “SPORT” decals.
Dropping down the automatic-locking rear tailgate revealed Ford’s Tough Bed spray-in liner and four usable tie-down points. The optional Trailer Tow Package also meant a Class IV trailer hitch receiver is located underneath the rear bumper, along with four and seven-pin wiring harness connections.
Other niceties found on our tester were the inclusion, special XLT quarter badges, recessed auxiliary driving lights, and twin tow hooks located in the lower fascia. From a styling perspective, the new 2019 Ranger is one of the best looking in the segment. The new sheet metal is thoroughly modern, and with a decidedly European flair, Ford is hoping that prospective buyers will flock to showrooms and check it out.
2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4X2 Interior
Climbing into the cabin of the Ranger XLT SuperCrew revealed a host of standard and optional features consumers are sure to enjoy. Premium cloth seats come equipped with eight-way power adjustment, heat and power lumbar. They provide nice support and the heating elements are some of the best we’ve experienced. Rear seating is adequate, and offers space for up to three adults with storage pockets located under the foldable cushion. The rear of the center console includes multiple USB and one 110v inverter for mobile device charging as well.
Up front, a clean dash layout combines both analog gauges and a digital readout along with a thick-rimmed leather-wrapped steering wheel with embedded controls for cruise, voice-activated mobile devices, and the center-mounted readout screen. On the Ranger, Ford’s SYNC 3 system with an eight-inch touchscreen is the gateway into your vehicles interior functionality. With a responsive interface, clean graphics, voice recognition software and an intuitive learning curve, the SYNC 3 system makes navigating features like audio, navigation, mobile device setup, and climate controls a snap.
A large shifter in the center console allows drivers to cycle through the driveline, while a small switch on its side allows for manual cycling through the ten-speed transmission. The materials used are all of good quality, but there were some hard plastics throughout the cabin. Overall, the interior is nicely executed and is a pleasure to reside in for extended periods.
2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4X2 Performance
With best-in-class towing, fuel economy and payload capacity, the new 2019 Ford Ranger seeks to put others in the class out to pasture. Under that stylized bonnet sits Ford’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The output is rated at 270 horsepower and and 310 lb-ft of torque, with power being put to the rear wheels via the smooth-shifting ten-speed automatic transmission.
Step on the gas, and the Ranger shoots forward with authority. With the traction control off, it will spin the rear tires with ease. And while power delivery is linear, there are points at low speeds where it seems the transmission is hunting for the correct gear.
On the highway, the Ranger exhibits decent ride quality while always feeling surefooted. For a pickup with a curb weight of around 4,000-pounds or so depending on the configuration, mileage is actually quite impressive. In fact, with an EPA-estimated rating of 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway*, it is the class leader.
The Ranger also wins when it comes to payload and towing capacity, as it’ll haul a maximum of 1,860 pounds and tow up to 7,500 pounds. For those unfamiliar — that’s quite good for a truck of this size. Suspension-wise, we’re treated to independent A-arms up front with monotube shock absorbers, and a solid live axle with parabolic leaf springs in the rear. FX4 off-road equipped models see tuned off-road shocks, all-terrain tires, an electronic locking rear differential, and heavy-duty skid plates along with Ford’s special Terrain Management System and Trail Control.
2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4X2 Safety
With safety items like Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning with Brake Support, Pre-Collision Assist Emergency Braking, and a great rear view camera, Ford ensured the 2019 Ranger is equipped with the latest and greatest in safety features. To learn more about the safety features on the 2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4X2 please visit Ford.com.
2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4X2 Overall
With its stylish exterior, economical engine, and comfortable, well-designed interior, the 2019 Ford Ranger will be hard to beat in the segment. Our 2019 Ford Ranger had a base price of $30,115, and an as-tested price of $36,190,** and proved to be a great balance of utility, payload capacity, and towing ability. Of course, if you needed it, four-wheel drive is available.
For anyone who grew up with Ford trucks, this little rig is more proof that the Blue Oval knows pickups inside and out. Drop by your local AutoNationFord dealer today to check one out today!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $36,190.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.