Ford has officially announced the 2019 Ford Ranger, the long-awaited return of this midsize truck.
From 1983 to 2011, the Ranger was one of the most popular pickups on the road. It disappeared as the car companies moved more and more toward oversized trucks, leaving a big fan base pining for the return of the Ranger ever since. The success of the Chevy Colorado has been a barometer for the mid-size truck market, and sales are up 83 percent since 2014. Now Ford is banking on the new Ranger as a Chevy rival and a solid alternative to its best-selling full-size F-150.
Ford has packed all of the tech and ruggedness of the F-150 into the smaller Ranger, which will boast better fuel economy and maneuverability compared to its larger sibling. A high-strength steel frame supports a mostly steel body, with the hood, front fenders, and tailgate being the only areas where aluminum is used (for now).
Ford's proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission provide a solid power plant and drivetrain. The F-150 will introduce a diesel option in 2019, but that will not be available on the Ranger.
The Ranger will be available in a slew of trims and packages to fit the budgets and needs of a variety of buyers. These options include the entry-level XL, mid-level XLT, and high-level Lariat series with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations. Although the FX4 Ranger will be a capable off-road vehicle, Ford has yet to announce a Raptor version of the Ranger - which, if launched, should compete nicely with the ZR2 Chevy Colorado.
Production on the Ranger will begin later this year at Ford's Michigan assembly plant, the same location where the 2020 Ford Bronco will be built. Both new trucks should bolster Ford's already impressive truck lineup, and we look forward to seeing how each performs long-term.
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