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2019 Ford Ranger Preview

The 2019 Ford Ranger is a promising pickup with a strong powertrain, good infotainment, and plenty of safety. We look forward to driving it.

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's return to the mid-size pickup segment for the first time since 2011. While the Ranger hasn't been available on these shores for the better part of a decade, the truck it is based on has been around internationally for quite some time, but this version is optimized for the North American market.

Styling and Performance
The 2019 Ford Ranger is considerably smaller than its F-150 big brother, and some might feel that makes it right-sized. It's offered with two cab styles, SuperCab with rear-hinged rear doors that don't open independently of the fronts and SuperCrew with full-size rear doors. SuperCab models have a 5-foot bed, SuperCrew models get a 6-foot bed.

The overall look is traditional pickup, with a separate bed, an upright stance, and a macho look. The FX Off-Road package is more aggressive with its off-road-oriented bits, including knobbier tires, and skid plates.

The exterior can be dressed up with LED headlights and taillights, as well as puddle lamps and lighting for the bed.

A high-strength steel frame forms the basis of the 2019 Ranger, and it accepts just one powertrain: a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to Ford's new 10-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower and torque figures aren't available yet, but Ford says the turbo-4 will make rivals' V-6s. Maximum towing capacity isn't available either, but Ford says the Ranger can two watercraft, campers, and ATVs. Ford will offer its Smart Trailer Tow connector as an option; it alerts the driver to faulty trailer connections.

Rear-drive will be standard and four-wheel drive with low-range gearing will be optional. Every Ranger will come with a Dana locking rear differential, and an electronic locking differential will be optional. It will be standard with the available FX Off-Road package.

Quality, Features, and Safety
Both body styles will seat up to five passengers. Infotainment will consist of Ford's Sync 3 system run through an 8.0 touchscreen. It has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, plus the Amazon Alexa personal assistant. The instrument cluster will be available with a pair of LCD "productivity screens" that can show real-time vehicle information, as well as audio info and navigation maps. Passengers will be able to connect up to 10 devices via wi-fi through a 4G LTE link provided by FordPass Connect. And for a better audio experience, buyers will be able to opt for a Bang & Olufsen Play audio system.

The 2019 Ford Ranger will be offered in XL, XLT, and Lariat trims, though equipment by trim level is not yet available. Chrome and Sport appearance packages will be on offer, as will the FX2 and FX4 Off-Road packages. These package will come with off-road tires, off-road-tuned shocks and suspension, chunky tires, a Terrain Management System, and a new Trail Control system that works like low-speed cruise control to help the Ranger deal with tricky off-road situations. The Terrain Management System is borrowed from the F-150 Raptor and is controls several vehicle systems through four modes: normal; grass, gravel, snow; mud and ruts; and sand. 

The Ranger will be at the forefront of the class for safety features. All models will come standard with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. XLT and Lariat models will add rear park assist, lane departure warning, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors that also monitor the trailer the Ranger might be towing. The Lariat will also get adaptive cruise control and a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection.

The 2019 Ford Ranger begins production late this year. 


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