The Ford Ranger always lived up to its name. It’s been one of the best trucks America made, a rough-and-tumble, no-bones-about-it compact 4×4 that just couldn’t seem to be tripped up. It was always a highly capable off-road warrior that eschewed bells and whistles. It favored simple ruggedness, and not much more. We liken it to that magical Hilux the trio over at Top Gear just couldn’t seem to kill. Can the 2019 Ranger live up to its own name?
Spied Shots, First Impressions
We’re quite excited to say it looks like it will. The Ford Ranger is making a return with the legendary Bronco’s reemergence, if that’s any indicator of potential. We’re also here to alleviate some concerns. Some may not know this, but the Ford Ranger continued existing in other markets outside the U.S. after the American truck was killed off in 2011. the new American model will not look like the Ranger currently in production overseas. This is a good thing, considering the international Ranger looks a bit too… “soft” and rounded for us Americans. The front end looks like crossover-ish, certainly not so tough. We want our rugged Ranger.
What has been spied is reassuring: A badass-looking truck with a racked up profile, beefy tires, wide wheel wells, a big bed, and a mean, F-150-like front end. Gone is a curvaceous, softie grille. The new Ranger is hiding something mean under all that wrap, and we like what we can barely see.
Specs and Features
The Ranger will have a traditional body-on-frame platform. We’re confident Ford will continue slamming its Eco branding onto every new vehicle it releases for the next 100 years, so expect a 2.5L i4 motor as a standard option that provides 175 horses and torques. Prospective buyers should also expect a 3.3L naturally-aspirated V6 (thank God). That motor is reported to provide the 2019 Ranger with a broad power band that peaks at 280 horses and 250 torques – big numbers for a small-frame truck. Speculation hints at available EcoBoost motors with turbos and a diesel, but nothing is confirmed.
No Regular Cab
That’s the standard for compact trucks, apparently, and insiders claim the Ranger will be no different. Expect a SuperCab with two doors, and a SuperCrew that adds a few thousand dollars to the MSRP.
Well-Equipped, Ready to Haul
If the Ranger expects to re-take its throne from the Chevys, Toyotas, and other compact 4×4’s grazing the pastures, it will provide at least 7,000 pounds of towing capacity – the same as the Colorado, and a tad more than the Tacoma. Ford’s continued upping its luxury game with its trucks, cramming all sorts of tech goodies and leathery, woody bits into its trucks.
With that notion, prospective buyers should expect an LCD touch screen of around 8”, LED lights, rearview camera, available heated and ventilated seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and other commonalities found in the blue oval’s higher-trimmed Explorers and F-150s.
Commanding the Trails
It’s no mistake the 2019 Ranger gets its release alongside the new Bronco, arguably Ford’s greatest off-road machine ever made in its plants. With stiff competition from the Colorado ZR2 and the Tacoma TRD Pro, we expect the Ranger to pack in some surprisingly capable 4×4 goods. A “mini” SVT Raptor would satisfy our dreams, and the market competition may just necessitate this level of engineering. We’ll find out in about a year and a half.