2019 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4×4 Lariat Test Drive
“2019 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4×4 Lariat”
Ford’s Ranger Returns as a U.S. Mid-size Pickup
Ford has resurrected the Ranger nameplate as a mid-size truck for the 2019 model year. It began life as a compact truck in 1983, as a replacement for the Ford Courier (1972-1982). By 2006, all Ford compact trucks became known simply as Rangers. U.S and Canadian production was halted in 2011, when Ford began building a mid-size Ranger for global sales.
The 2019 Ford Ranger is back as a mid-size pickup built on a high-strength steel frame, powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline four-cylinder engine. The new Ranger is available in either a SuperCab or SuperCrew configuration. It comes in either a 4×2 or 4×4 drive format with Dana AdvanTEK independent front and solid rear axles withelectronic locking.and is available in three levels of trim: the base XL; upscale XLT; and flagship Lariat. A Chrome and Sport Appearance Package is optionally available.
The longitudinally mounted 2.3-liter inline four banger mates to a new smooth 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and produces 270 horsepower at 5,500 rpm along with 310 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. The engine comes with auto stop/start and direct injection.
The Ranger’s body displays a muscular image and with a high beltline, while the aft raked grille and windshield contribute to an athletic flavor adding to enhanced aerodynamics and minimized wind noise. Short overhangs fore and aft provide better approach and departure angles for off-road adventures. An available FX4 Off-Road Package features off-road-tuned suspension, all-terrain tires, frame-mounted heavy-gauge steel front bash and skid plates, a rear locking differential, and Its rugged steel bumper with available integrated trailer hitch receiver that allows for towing campers, ATVs or watercraft up to 7,500 pounds.
My test 2019 Ford Ranger was a SuperCrew model in a 4×4 configuration (FX4 Off Road Package) and Lariat trim with a five foot cargo box and a 26.8-inch wheelbase. The exterior wore a Magnetic Gray metallic coat, while the interior was done in Ebony tones. The base sticker was set at $38,385., while added optional fare and destination and delivery charges bumped the final tally to $44,855. My tester came with Equipment Group 501A, the Lariat Series package, Sport Appearance Package and a spray-in-bedliner.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
A far cry from the very first Rangers, the new 2019 examples provide a wealth of creature comforts. There’re comfortable and supportive eight-way power driver and passenger heated seats with power lumbar, a leather wrapped steering wheel and leather-trimmed gear shift knob, Bang and Olufsen premium sound system, a FordPass Connect 4G Wi-Fi modem with SYNC, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 personal devices, and intelligent access with push button start. There’s also a host of safety and security features as well as a complete suite of driver assist technological features such as Ford C-Pilot360.
Infotainment is covered by SYNC3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and two smart-charging ports.
The 2019 Ford Ranger was designed, engineered and has been tested to F-150 standards, and is rated as the most fuel-efficient gas-powered midsize pickup in America – with an EPA-estimated city fuel economy rating and an unsurpassed EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating.
The 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline four cylinder delivers power equal to many V-6s providing a strong linear acceleration through its 10 gears with smooth transitions. It is stable on the road and capable of conquering challenging off-road scenarios equally well. Drive modes include electronic shift-on-the-fly 2WD, 4Lo and 4Hi modes and the innovative Terrain Management System provides four distinct settings: Normal, Snow/Grass/ Gravel, Mud and Ruts, and Sand and Trail Control for ideal off-road duty. Handling characteristics are on par with a sedan or mid-size SUV.
THE FINAL TAKE
The 2019 Ford Ranger’s return fills a void in Ford’s hauler lineup, since not everybody needs a full size pickup. It is a worthy addition to the mid-size truck resurgence. The only shortcomings noted were that the rear seat legroom is limited with tall front seat occupants and the locking tailgate, though light could benefit from assisted damping. All in all, the Ranger’s return to the mid-size class is a welcome one and represents a step up in terms of size and feature content.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Ford Ranger SuperCrew 4×4 Lariat
Base Price: $38,385.
Price as Tested: $44,855.
Engine Type and Size: 2.3-liter , DOHC, 16-valve EcoBoost inline four-cylinder with auto stop/start and direct injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 270 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 310 @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission: 10-speed SelectShift automatic.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / FX4 Offroad 4×4
Suspension: Front -Short and long arm independent with tubular stabilizer bar.
Rear – Hotchkiss-type non-independent live,leaf springs and outboard shock absorbers.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with four-sensor, four-channel ABS and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control.
Tires: Hankook DynaPro ATM 265/60 R18 110T mounted on six-“U”-spoke machine face alloy wheels with painted inners.
Wheelbase: 126.8 inches
Length Overall: 210.8 inches
Width: 85.8 inches
Height: 77.8 inches
Curb Weight: 4,441 lbs.
Turning Circle: 41.99 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 18 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 21 mpg city / 26-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.