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Ranger rides again: Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit

14 January 2018

The Ford Ranger is officially back!

The Detroit auto show will be packed with new pickups this year including the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2019 Ram 1500. It will play catch-up to Chevy and GMC which have capitalized on a revived small-pickup market with their successful Colorado and Canyon models.

An worldwide version of the Ranger was actually born in 2009, before the previous model breathed its last breathe.

EPA fuel economy numbers for the 2019 Ford Ranger won't be published until shortly before it goes on sale early next year. Engineers say that the Ranger has been tested to the same durability standards as the F-Series trucks.

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One could be forgiven for assuming the Ranger would simply be a Euro-Ranger adjusted for North American crash and safety regulations, since it's already a best-selling nameplate in Europe and the second-best selling truck outside of North America. Ranger appears to be sharing most of its exterior with the global model, but the front clip design does offer a unique twist that ties the truck to the 2018 F-150. The last model sold here hadn't been updated in what seemed like decades, and the average Ford truck buyer could get almost the same gas mileage from a V-6 F-150 (and run it on cheap gas), with a bigger cargo box and much better towing capacity for a few bucks a month more. "The all-new Ranger is designed for today's midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability, and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends". Regardless of which trim level is selected, the Ranger will only be offered in SuperCab or SuperCrew configurations. Aiming to take a bite out of the midsize truck market, it's a slice of F-150 ability in a more urban-friendly package.

There will be one powertrain at launch, a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels through a standard 10-speed automatic transmission. By fine tuning the throttle, transmission, and traction control, the TMS enables drivers to milk the most out of the Dana Trac-Lok differentials and chunky off-road tires to truly enjoy the outdoors.

Unlike the F-Series, the Ranger is built using a mix of aluminum and steel. The truck was designed with an athletic look in mind, which truck buyers favor. Ford also prioritized ground clearance for off-roading.

An electronic Terrain Management System adjusts the drivetrain to any type of surface or condition.

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Automatic Emergency Braking will be standard on all models of the new truck, while Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Reverse Sensing System, and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with trailer coverage will be standard on the XLT and Lariat. There are numerous optional driver-assist features, too.

Interior changes for North America include a revised steering wheel, shifter and controls along with different trim colors and available Sync3 connectivity. The center stack includes an 8-inch touch-screen system. The the Ranger-stamped tailgate and steel front bumper both add visual strength to the truck, as do the optional LED headlights and taillamps, but aesthetic-first thinking did not prevail here. Sales peaked in 1999 at around 350,000 but dropped steadily until its final year in 2011, when Ford sold 70,832.

The new Ranger will start arriving in North American dealerships in early 2019 and be assembled at its Wayne, Michigan, factory in suburban Detroit. Focus production will move to China.

A side view of the 2019 Ford Ranger.

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Ranger rides again: Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit