The last few years have been very exciting for midsize truck buyers; the all new GM twins, a refreshed Tacoma, the yet-to-be-revelaed Jeep JT Wrangler-Scrambler truck, and the just revealed reinvention of the Ford Ranger for the 2019 model year.The first thing to notice about the upcoming reincarnation of the midsize Ford is the singular powertrain option; a 2.3L EcoBoost 4 cylinder engine with a 10 speed automatic. The truck will be available in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations – no specification on bed length was made at this time.
The FX4, the off road variant of the new truck features a standard electronic locking rear differential and Ford’s new Trail Control™ technology; which controls braking and acceleration during off road situations to allow the driver to focus on steering. Ranger’s FX4 Off-Road Package also features an innovative Terrain Management System™ similar to the F-150 Raptor’s. It includes distinct drive modes – normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand. The electronic select transfer case allows for two wheel drive high, four wheel drive high, and four wheel drive low range settings.The new Ranger gets a look all of its own, and isn’t just a miniature F-150, although Ford claims the Ranger was put through the tough standards that the F-150 is held to.All in all the Ranger is pretty much what I expected; except the lack of a V6 option; still to come are specs on fuel economy, towing and payload. I know the EcoBoost engines do well in other vehicles, but I can’t imagine it towing as much as the V6 Tacoma or Colorados do.