Ford Ranger First Ride Preview
The Ford Ranger is probably the most anticipated new truck to launch this year. Ford made waves in 2018 by telling us they were shifting away from cars and doubling down on trucks and SUVs so there's a lot riding on the success of this entry to the mid-sized truck segment. We're doing a full driving review of the Ford Ranger in March but here's our initial thoughts based on the chance to spend a couple hours riding around San Diego as a passenger.
While I didn't get a chance to drive, the ride itself felt very good for a mid-sized 4x2 truck that is able to tow 7,500 pounds. I sometimes get a bit jaded when reviewing cars and trucks because they put us in the top trim level vehicles with every possible option. This one however is a pretty mid-range truck with a SuperCab, 2.3L EcoBoost engine paired to a 10-speed automatic that pumps out 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque with 21/26 mpg. Those seeking a more refined experience can jump up to the Lariat for an extra $5,000 to get leather-trimmed seats, push-button start and LED lights.
Base MSRP for the 2019 Ford Ranger XLT is $27,940 but as equipped, this one came to $35,635 including destination and delivery charges.
Overall, I was very impressed and certainly this is a welcome addition to the midsize truck segment. We already love the Chevy Colorado and this is great competition that hopefully will result in future innovations the way we see it happening now in the full-sized truck market.
Options included here are the Technology Package that features Adaptive Cruise Control, and SYNC3, Trailer Tow Package, 18" Chrome Wheels, Spray-in Bedliner, Chrome Appearance Package, and Running Boards.
With two big guys in the front, shoulder and head room seems more comfortable than I've experienced in the Tacoma or Colorado.
Two cab options are available - SuperCap with a 6' Box and SuperCrew with a 5' Box. This one had the SuperCab and frankly an adult man would have trouble fitting in the back seat comfortably. However, the extra space gives you room to place your briefcase, weekend bag, or groceries behind the seat if someone is riding in the passenger seat next to you.
The 6' Box in back was relatively unremarkable except that I liked the feel of the bed-liner and the wheel-well humps were small enough that you still had a lot of useable space.
I would have liked a smooth opening tailgate as well since this one dropped pretty hard compared to what I've been spoiled with on the Sierra and other full-sized trucks.
Regardless of features and capabilities, the truck is very sharp to look at. While the Ford Ranger is absolutely a truck I like the fact that it felt refined but not fancy. It's a vehicle that a SUV or car owner could easy switch into if they are looking for something that gave them a bit more option for adventure or need to occasionally tow a boat or haul stuff home for yard projects.
Of course, not all truck owners are about work and so a truck has to be fun. The 2019 Ford Ranger has that perfect mix of style that makes it not out of place sitting in commercial office park ready to escape for a quick trip to the beach after work!
- Written by James Hills
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