In response to the fuel crisis of the 70’s, Ford introduced a small, fuel-efficient pickup for 1983, called the Ranger. Even though previous models had similar dimensions (Courier,) the Ford Ranger was the first compact pickup designed specifically for efficiency. The Ford Ranger enjoyed incredible success in the 80’s and 90’s, but popularity suffered towards the end of it’s third generation in 2012.
Well, Ford is back with an all-new Ranger after a seven-year hiatus and while the efficiency is excellent, this is not your father’s Ford Ranger. First of all, it’s packed with technology. From the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine to the 10-speed automatic transmission to the Sync 3 infotainment system to the active safety features this is one advanced pickup.
Smartphone connectivity shines as well, with not only Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but integrated Waze and Alexa. The interior is roomy and well-appointed, a reminder that trucks these days don’t have to feel like trucks on the inside. This is as good as any midsize car interior, and depending on the cab and seat options, there’s room for up to 5 adults.
We’re used to seeing good numbers from EcoBoost engines, and while horsepower is great – it’s really the 310 ft-lb of torque that gives this Ranger a 7700lb towing capacity. This is one small truck that actually can do work. The 10-speed transmission has ample ratios to make the most of the turbo torque.
Even with those impressive numbers, it still gets 26 highway and 21 city MPG, making this a hauler that won’t empty your wallet at the pumps. This is a great truck for those who have to carry stuff around but don’t need a full-size pickup. It will fit in your garage, or easily street park anywhere in Chicago.
With a range of options for cab configuration and a ton of trim available – from the entry level of $24k for a basic work truck, up to $40k for a fully loaded version, you can really get the Ranger just the way you want it.
Usually, when a vehicle goes out of production, it stays that way – but the Ranger has been missed and with smaller offerings from Toyota (Tacoma) and Chevy (Colorado), it was time for Ford to step up. And step up they did, this Ranger feels like a home run right out of the box.
With ample space, proper efficiency, a stout payload and towing capacity, and a price you can get your head around, this Ranger promises to be a big seller for Ford. I’m sure they are hoping so after dropping almost all the cars from their lineup. This is a truck that could easily replace your car, and keep you comfortable and entertained while you work.
After a long gap in the market, most vehicles come back stronger than ever. This is certainly the case with the fourth generation Ford Ranger. And we don’t see it dropping back off Ford’s lineup anytime soon.
Special thanks to Ford Motor Company for providing the 2019 Ford Ranger for review.