Ford
Ranger
2019
Go
Anthony Sophinos
Automotive Editor - December 27, 2018

2019 Ford Ranger OVERVIEW

It's been eight years since the old but popular Ford Ranger was sold new here. In that time, Blue Oval fans hankering for a less-than-full-size truck were forced to endure the ignominy of buying a Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, or, heaven forbid, a Chevrolet Colorado. That's finally no longer the case. With the mid-size truck market up over 80 percent since 2014, the business case was too strong to keep the Ranger off-limits for Americans any longer. The arrival of the 2019 Ford Ranger marks not only a grand return of a storied name, but also helps keep the flames burning under the bottoms of the competition.

What's New for 2019

The Ranger is all-new for America. Elsewhere in the world, buyers have been able to purchase this same truck since 2015.

Ford Ranger

Choosing Your Ford Ranger

Upon the official opening of the ordering books, buyers will have a choice between three trim levels and two cabs, with the extended cab sporting a six-foot bed and the crew cab a five-footer. Only time will tell if the coming years will bring the excessive level of choice boasted by the F-150.

Regardless of what trim or cab is selected, all Rangers will use the same 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine hooked up to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The motor's 2.3 liters of displacement might seem a little weak-chested for what's supposed to be a butch machine, but this little squirt has gumption – there's 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque hiding in those four cylinders. The power puts the new Ranger at the top of its class, beating out the optional V6s of the Colorado, Tacoma, and Frontier.

With the best-in-class power also comes best-in-class capability. Ford claims 7,500 pounds of trailer-hauling ability when equipped with the $495 Trailer Tow Package and a trailer brake controller, and 1,860 pounds of maximum payload capacity. The closest a competitor comes to touching these numbers is the Colorado's 7,000-pound tow rating or the Tacoma's 1,620 pounds of maximum payload capacity.

Off-road gumption isn't quite the level of the F-150 Raptor – though rumor has it a Raptor version might one day make it stateside – but the Ranger can still hold its own when the going gets rough if it's equipped with the $1,295 FX4 Package. Included with the FX4 are off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, skid plates, and a four-mode terrain management system. There's also what Ford calls Trail Control, which is in essence a cruise control for off-road applications. Set your desired trail speed, and the computers take over acceleration and braking duties, leaving you to focus on steering through the course. The FX4 requires four-wheel drive, which costs $4,160.

All Rangers come equipped with automatic emergency braking, even the base XL. XLT and Lariat models add lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, reverse-sensing, and blind-spot monitoring to the mix of active-safety features. Lariat models go one step further with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.

Widely-available options include Ford's famous door-mounted keypad ($95), running boards ($635), and an electronically-locking rear differential ($420).

XL

The cheapest way into a new Ranger is the $25,395 XL model (all prices include the $1,095 destination charge). The most frugal option here is also the most kindred spirit to the old workaday Rangers with their rubber floors, vinyl bench seats, and AM radios. The new one isn't that devoid of creature comforts, but the standard features list is nonetheless rather short. Buyers get front bucket seats with cloth upholstery, a 2.3-inch driver information center, single-zone manual climate control, intermittent wipers, and a manual tilt and telescope wheel. Audio and connectivity features include a six-speaker stereo with a USB port and SiriusXM, a wifi hotspot, and Ford's Sync infotainment software. The exterior is typical base-spec truck stuff – black bumpers regardless of body color, no chrome to speak of, and 16-inch steel wheels. Lights are halogen, the tailgate is manual locking, and the exterior mirrors are adjusted manually.

The primary package that most buyers will want is simply called the 101A equipment group. For $1,135, it includes power adjustable mirrors, cruise control, an alarm, and a remote key fob with tailgate lock. A $365 Chrome Appearance Package can be had as well if 101A is selected. Those who like the trail-ready style but don't need the hardware might consider the STX Appearance Package. It costs $995 and includes 17-inch wheels, premium cloth upholstery, STX graphics, painted black bumpers, fog lights, and tow hooks. The $735 Ford Co-Pilot 360 brings a small suite of active-safety features to the table, including blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beams, lane keeping assist, and trailer-tow monitoring.

XLT

The $29,035 XLT sits in the middle of the Ranger lineup. Compared to the XL, it offers additional standard features such as power mirrors, a power-locking tailgate, a defrost-equipped rear window, a 4.2-inch driver information screen, automatic high beams, cruise control, and lane-keep assist.

Two value packages are offered: 301A and 302A. The former is $995 and includes the Sync 3 infotainment unit with an up-sized screen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, power-folding mirrors, and SiriusXM radio; the latter is $2,800 and includes all the aforementioned as well as eight-way power front seats, remote start, a manual-sliding rear window, and a sport appearance package that's comprised of painted black trim, unique 17-inch wheels, and a painted black grille. It also can be tacked onto 301A for another $795.

A Chrome Appearance Package is available if 301A has been selected. It's $795 and comes with chrome bumpers, door handles, exhaust tip, running boards, mirror caps, tow hooks, and 17-inch wheels. In other words, anything that can be chromed is given a healthy dose of the shiny stuff. If you're wanting more tech in your truck, there's a $795 Technology Package that includes navigation, Sync 3, and adaptive cruise control.

Lariat

The range-topping Ranger Lariat comes with all the bells and whistles Ford could throw at it for $33,305. There's 18-inch wheels, LED lights, a chrome grille, heated power mirrors, a 10-speaker audio system for Crew Cabs, SiriusXM radio, Sync 3 infotainment, leather upholstery, and eight-way power seats.

The 501A equipment group costs $1,795 and ups the ante with navigation, rain-sensing wipers, remote start, and a windshield-wiper de-icer. 501A-equipped crew cabs also get a 10-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system. Both the Chrome and Sport Appearance Packages that are found on the XLT are available here as well.

CarsDirect Tip

Whatever 2019 Ford Ranger trim tickles your fancy, don't leave the dealer without getting one of the value packages. Besides unlocking access to other desirable options such as the Technology or Appearance Packages, they also include features most would deem indispensable these days.

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