Rejoice, ladies and gentlemen, because Ford’s famous Ranger is finally ready for a change!
Yes, with Ford Ranger 2019, the company officially revealed the 4th generation, and with it, introduced a whole bunch of significant updates. It’s been a decade since we’ve seen any serious new developments for this model. And, a lot has changed over those 10 years.
First of all, mid-size pickups aren’t what they used to be: they are much larger, stronger, and better at towing than ever before. Probably the biggest switch happened in comfort quality. Back in the day, coziness wasn’t really an aspect in any truck; these days, it’s just as important as the might of the engine. Finally, there’s enough tech inside to satisfy the pickiest customers.
So, let us see what’s this car all about. Expectations are high – that’s a given.
What Can You Expect From This Pick-Up Truck?
Important note: the company ceased production of this pick-up back in 2011, but only on the American market. For example, folks over in Australia have been enjoying new, overhauled editions for years. In 2015, the engineers found a perfect combination between size (it’s much longer now), power, and comfort.
Ford Ranger 2019 is, in many ways, that 2015 edition, but now available for the US drivers as well.
Plus, it’s like the little brother of F-150, and for a mid-size truck, that’s a very good comparison. Technology-wise, Ranger features Sync 3, the company’s lovely infotainment system, Smartphone compatibility, and an impressive list of safety elements, including FCM and lane-keeping assist.
Engine Might, Towing, And More
I was a bit surprised to learn that there’s only one engine with this car – no opportunity to pick from several options. It is a 2.3-lit 4-cyl turbo engine, good for 270HP.
On the road, this beast does its job just right, and you can feel all that power under the hood.
There’s enough “umph” to the latest Ranger’s powertrain, and it can tow pretty much anything you throw its way.
Max towing capacity is up to 7.5K pounds, which means it can haul a heavy trailer, a boat, or even a mid-size plane. The chassis is the biggest disappointment, as it doesn’t feel like it’s from 2019, but rather from a few years back (I did mention that it’s basically the same 2015 car, right?)
The segment of pick-up trucks is much bigger in the States, and for many US-based drivers, Ford Ranger 2019 may be a bit of a disappointment in that regard.
How Does It Feel On The Road?
Now, the engine might not be the strongest one on the market (it’s still quite alright, though), but its torque estimates are class-leading. During numerous tests, the truck went from zero to 60mph in 6.8 seconds, which, again, is a top-notch result for a mid-size pick-up. Braking is good, especially when driving around in familiar places and through familiar routes.
However, watch out for that nose dive – it can surprise you when you hit those breaks suddenly. From 60mph, the truck needs ~140 feet to come to a full stop. That’s not a bad result, actually. Steering is worse: stability and tracking are above average, but it’s very hard for the driver to feel connected to the car during turns.
You’ll get used to this kind of behavior in time. Damping of the suspension is another downside of Ford Ranger 2019. It simply doesn’t hold up as nicely as in some of the rivals. The 10-speed transmission, in turn, is on point, but only in the Sport mode. Off-roading is certainly an option with this truck, yet, again, that suspension won’t let you enjoy the ride to the fullest.
Checking The Comfort Level
The front seats are this vehicle’s pride and joy. They will be equally comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes. Padding on the back seats is great, but the seatbacks feel a bit weird. As for the ride comfort, don’t expect Ford Ranger 2019 to make you feel like you’re on a vacation. Tiny bumps won’t cause you any trouble; something bigger definitely will, to the point of someone in the back seat feeling sick.
On the other hand, noise reduction levels are impressive. There is a lack of toe-space for the rear seats, which is why it will be harder to squeeze into the back rather than into the front. The driver’s seat is very comfortable, which can’t be said about the manual seats that come with the XLT trim.
Good news: there’s plenty of leg- and head-room in the front. The back is all good in terms of headroom, but your legs might feel a bit cramped up.
A Tech-Savvy Truck? Why Not?!
Build quality is great, but the plastics in the interior leave a lot to be desired.
In that regard, the latest Ranger can’t compete with the more up-to-date trucks. The Sync 3 infotainment system features a wonderful 8-inch screen.
Navigation is optional; what bothers me more is the lack of physical knobs and buttons (guess I’m old-school that way).
Two UBS in the front, two in the back (for charging purposes only), Smartphone integration, and voice controls will bring a smile to the fans of everything techy. If you want advanced safety features (like auto braking, lane keeping, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert), you’ll need to go with the premium trims.
Speaking of the trims, you’ve got three to choose from: XL (24.3K), XLT (28K), and Lariat (32.2K).
As you might’ve guessed, I prefer the golden middle (XLT): it offers a great balance between features and price. With the available FX4 Off-Road package, the drivers will be able to conquer the deserts and forests. The entry-level XL is still a good choice, as is Lariat with its mighty list of built-in features.
The Bottom Line
So, summing up, I want to say that Ford Ranger 2019 deserves 7 points out of 10.
And that doesn’t mean it’s the golden middle: rather that it failed to deliver in some key aspects.
The pros include a mighty engine (that’s available even on the entry-level trim), and a huge list of all the latest safety features and techy stuff.
Compared to the competition, however, Ranger isn’t as attractive as Toyota’s Tacoma or Chevy’s Colorado. Even Ridgeline by Honda has more selling points than this truck. Still, as I just said, in terms of the powertrain and advanced features, most of which come with the standard configuration, Ford’s mid-size truck is on par with the leaders.
Take a quick look at the video to see how Ford Ranger 2019 is in real life: