Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit


It went away in 2011 but now it’s back. At the auto show, revealed the pickup, following the industry back to the mid-size segment it seemingly abandoned almost a decade ago. 

The new Ranger is based on an international truck that has been available even before the old one went away, but it’s been optimized for the North American market.

The 2019 Ford Ranger gets one powertrain at launch, a turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder mated to Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford isn’t providing power figures yet, but says the 2.3 will be on par with competitors’ V-6s and offer 4-cylinder fuel economy. Ford also says the Ranger is based on a high-strength steel frame and it can tow campers, ATVs, and watercraft, but the company isn’t providing max tow ratings at this point.

Production is set to begin late this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant with two cab styles: SuperCab and larger SuperCrew. Ford hasn’t shared the bed length. The 2019 Ranger model lineup will consist of XL, XLT and Lariat trims, and Ford will offer Chrome and Sport appearance packages, as well as the FX Off-Road package. This package will add off-road suspension and shocks, aggressive tires, skid plates, a Terrain Management system akin to the one in the Ford F-150 Raptor, and a new Trail Control system. The Terrain Management System features settings for normal; grass, gravel, snow; mud and ruts; and sand. Trail Control works like low-speed cruise control to help the Ranger deal with tough, technical off-road situations.

Rear- and four-wheel drive with low-range gearing will be offered. Both varieties will come with a Dana locking rear differential, and an electronic locking rear differential will be available, though it will be standard with the FX2 or FX4 Off-Road package.

Interior features include Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, the Amazon Alexa personal assistant, and navigation. A pair of LCD productivity screens in the instrument cluster can show vehicle info, as well as navigation and audio information. Buyers will be able to connect to a 4G LTE link that will provide in-vehicle wi-fi for up to 10 devices through FordPass Connect, and choose a premium Bang & Olufsen Play audio system.

For the exterior, buyers will be able to choose cargo bed lighting, puddle lamps, and LED headlights and taillights. Ford’s Smart Trailer Tow connector, which alerts the driver to faulty trailer connections, will also be optional.

On the safety front, all 2019 Ford Rangers will come with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Customers who move up to the XLT and Lariat models will get lane departure warning, active lane control, rear park assist, and blind-spot monitors that also extend to any trailer the Ranger is towing. Adaptive cruise control and a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection will be standard on Lariat.

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