2019 Ford Ranger: Back with a vengeance and taking no prisoners

4 Sep 2019 | 545 views | No Comment
2019 Ford Ranger SuperCrew XLT Price as tested: $39,410 [caption id="attachment_10222" align="alignnone" width="626"] Ranger FX2 Package sports tough styling and capability upgrades with an electronic-locking rear differential, off-road tires, off-road-tuned suspension, front underbody guard and Ford’s off-road cluster screen[/caption]   By Don Hammonds Performance: Wow! Just wow! The new turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine--it has 270 horsepower and delivers 310 pound-feet of torque-- paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, really puts it out on the road. This EcoBoost engine for the Ranger is a blast to drive, and really is quite fast on the highway. Just a real treat to drive.  Brakes and suspension worked well together, though things got a bit rough when the road got ragged.  I also noticed a modest amount of bouncing around but--in a way, that adds to the fun.  Steering, however, was a bit looser than I would have preferred. Economy: The Ranger is rated at 22 miles per gallon overall,  with a 20 miles per gallon rating for city driving and a 24 miles per gallon rating for the highway. It uses 4.5 gallons per 100 miles, surprisingly only a half gallon less than the F-150, which kind of surprised me.  You will spend $1,750 more in fuel costs over five years compared with the average new vehicle, and annual fuel costs--what you actually pay each year-- is $1,750, based on driving 15,000 miles per year, at gasoline costing $2.55 per gallon. The truck : The Ranger is an all-new product this year for Ford,but it certainly isn't new to consumers. Ford offered a much smaller kind of truck called the Ranger for years, but it was dropped in 2011 as everyone semed to be heading to bigger, badder trusk. Later Ford wisely introduced a much large, though still mid-sized truck in other parts of the world, and in 2015, they gave it a facelift, and eventually landed on our shores. Now, the mid-sized truck market is on fire--and Ford got its Ranger on showroom floors just in time. For my money the Ranger is by far a better buy than a large truck because of the street performance and it has wonderful practicality and maneuverability because of its size.  I didn't have to hunt for what felt like forever to get a parking space.  The Ranger oozes hot fun from the styling outside, and I'm happy to say that it delivers when you get behind the wheel. By the way, maximum towing capacity is 7,500 pounds. Among the features  you can get with the Ranger are Ford's Sync 3 technology along with options that include  smartphone connectivity, blind-spot monitoring and even in-car Wi-Fi.          Technology:
        You can get your Ranger with two cab styles: The 2019 Ford Ranger is a midsize pickup truck: extended cab (SuperCab) with a 6-foot bed or a crew cab with a 5-foot bed. You also have three trim levels that are similar to what is offered in the much larger F-150: XL, XLT, and Lariat. All Rangers are equipped with that turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine (270 hp, 310 pound-feet of torque) paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
         What you get as standard equipment on the entry level XL is, well--basic.
         Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, a manually locking tailgate, automatic headlights, power windows, cloth upholstery, a four-speaker stereo system with AM/FM radio, air conditioning, a 3.5-inch center screen, a rearview camera, a USB port and an auxiliary jack. Also included is forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
         I suspect more buyers will head for the XLT, which has a standard equipment list that includes  17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, foglights, an upgraded grille, cruise control, automatic high beams, Ford's Co-Pilot360 system (lane keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert), a 110-volt power outlet, a 4.2-inch center screen with Ford Sync, an extra USB port, keyless entry with remote tailgate locking, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot and a six-speaker stereo. If you want to go for the top, consider the Ranger Lariat. You will get as standard equipment all that in the XLT at no charge, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, an LED cargo lamp, power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch center touchscreen with Ford's Sync 3 interface, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Most of the equipment on upper trim levels can be had as options on the lower trims. Adaptive cruise control is available on both the XLT and Lariat trim levels. A navigation system and a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system are available for the Lariat only. Even if you get the Lariat, I suspect you will want more goodies. The option packages include the FX4 Off-Road package. You can add it on at cost on the XL, the XLT and the Lariat. It includes off-road tires, upgraded shocks and suspension tuning, an electronically locking rear axle, front tow hooks, underbody skid plates, a terrain management system, and a low-speed crawl control system called Trail Control. A Trailer Tow package  is available on all three trim levels as well, and it adds a four-pin/seven-pin wiring harness along with a Class IV trailer hitch.
   Safety: Other than the quite worthy forward collision mitigation and lane keeping assist feature, the Ranger has pretty much the same safety equipment that you get on all new vehicles, to be honest.  I didn't see anything unusual or spectacular that stands out.   Aesthetics and styling: I really liked the styling--a lot like the Ford F-150, with enough special tweaking and design elements that made the Ranger its own truck, so to speak. It and the Chevy Colorado are the two best looking mid-sized trucks, in my view.  Inside, well, things fell a bit flat. There seemed to be a lot of plastics, an instrument panel that to me, looked a bit outdated, and seats that, while comfortable, didn't have much to say style-wise. Warranty: Three years, 36,000 miles bumper to bumper, and five year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.  

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