In 2011 when Ford decided to discontinue the Ford Ranger in the United States, fans quickly expressed their discontent. To further irritate US buyers, Ford continued to sell the Ranger internationally. However, now for 2019, the Ranger is back and competitors from Toyota, Nissan, and GM should pay attention. The 2019 Ranger looks to be promising.
For starters, while all the other trucks in this class are powered by a V6, the Ranger makes due with Ford’s 2.3-liter turbo-4 mated to a 10-speed automatic. This setup makes 270 horsepower, which lags Toyota’s Tacoma by 8, and GM’s Colorado and Canyon by 38. However, the Ford Ranger’s turbo-4 leads the V6 offerings in the torque department. At 310 lb-ft the Ranger makes 35 lb-ft more than GM and 45 lb-ft more than Toyota. The 2018 Nissan Frontier trails the Ranger in each category with 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. It should be noted that GM does offer a four cylinder diesel with 186 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Towing ability should also be class leading according to numbers from Ford. The Ranger is rated at 7,500 lbs max towing and 1,860 lbs max payload. The Tacoma is rated at 6,800 lbs towing and 1,620 lbs max payload. The Colorado is rated at 7,000 lbs towing and 1,566 lbs max payload. The Canyon has the same towing capacity as the Colorado but an increased payload of 1,605 lbs. Nissan’s Frontier trails the group at 6,710 lbs towing and 1,460 lbs payload.
Even though the Ranger has been sold overseas in other markets, Ford assures US buyers the frame on the domestic Ranger has been adequately configured for the US. The body on top of the frame is made of mostly steel with an aluminum tailgate and hood. New headlights and front fascia give the Ranger a sleeker and tighter look.
Two-wheel and four-wheel drive are both available. Four-wheel drive models receive a two-speed transfer case with 2 high, 4 high, and 4 low shift on the go modes. Dana Trac-Lock differentials are on both two-wheel and four-wheel drive Rangers with an electronic diff being optional on FX4 and FX2 models.
FX4 and FX2 designate off-road versions of the Ranger and the numbers denote four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive. The FX includes the standard electronic locking diff, all-terrain tires, off-road tuned dampers, a steel bash plate, and steel skid plates.
Prices for the Ranger start at $24,300 for an XL SuperCab and top out over $45,000 for a Lariat SuperCrew with the FX4 package and other added extras.