The 2019 Ford Ranger is finally here after its iconic nameplate took a long break from the U.S. market. But that break is over, because The Blue Oval just debuted the 2019 Ford Ranger, and it looks a lot like the T6 model the rest of the world has had for years—just with some meaningful updates and tweaks.
Back around 2011, an enormous comet crashed into America’s mid-size truck segment, killing a number of lovable little trucks like the Dodge Dakota and Chevrolet Colorado. But no loss was mourned as much as that of the small, tough, cheap and simple Ford Ranger. But now, after over five years, the Ranger is back.
Let’s get straight to the numbers. Based on Ford’s press release, the sole engine option is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four. While the company hasn’t released any power or torque figures, it’s worth mentioning that the 2.3-liter EcoBoost in Ford’s Mustang makes 310 horses and 350 lb-ft of torque, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ranger’s figures were similar. However much power it ends up making will be sent through Ford’s 10-speed automatic, which we’ve also seen in the new F-150 and Mustang.
The 2019 Ranger is based on the global Ranger T6's chassis, meaning under the sheetmetal is a ladder frame, a leaf sprung solid rear axle and a double-wishbone independent suspension setup up front.
As far as off-road features, the new Ranger will offer an electronic rear locker, a low range-equipped transfer-case, Terrain Management System to tune the traction control for different drive surfaces, skid plates, “off-road-tuned” shocks, and also an all-new option called Trail Control, which Ford describes as basically off-road cruise control.
Trim levels are fairly basic; there’s an XLT model sitting between a base XL and a top-line Lariat, which can be had with a Chrome or Sport appearance package, or with an FX4 Off-Road package (which adds many of the aforementioned off-road features).
Ford says the exterior styling, chassis and powertrain were designed specifically for customers in the North American market, but to be honest, the truck looks a lot like the T6 the rest of the world has had for quite a while now. And while it definitely looks good, I guess I was hoping for the triumphant return of the legendary Ranger to bring a unique look.