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.
Ford reveals the all-new Ranger today at the North American International Auto Show, a year ahead of putting the pickup on sale in early 2019 alongside America's best-selling vehicle, the F-Series pickup. Ford pulled the truck from the North American market in 2011, and the automaker has been on the sidelines as the midsize truck segment has grown 83% since 2014 to 452,000 sales a year ago, he notes.
The 2019 Ranger remains a traditional body-on-frame pickup design. Although the regular model's ground clearance is said to be decent - again, we'll have to wait for final numbers - there'll be a Ranger FX4 Off-Road Package that will bump up the trail potential even more. Every body panel was "touched", for "optimized panel gap reduction, and wind noise reduction", Wolff adds. Globally, the Ford Ranger design is distinct for its fast windshield, high beltline, and short front overhangs, which make for good approach/departure angles.
It should be noted up front that the new Ranger is most definitely a mid-size pickup, much larger than the old compact Ranger we knew, and it's almost the same size as a mid-1990s Ford F-150. Trail Control is like low-speed cruise control for acceleration and braking.
As gasoline prices stabilized, more customers turned to the new, smaller pickups. The top Lariat model adds pre-collision assist, pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. Its Sync 3 works off an eight-inch information/entertainment screen. The lack of a stripper model with plastic wheel well trim pieces leads us to believe that higher-volume, lower-profit fleet sales/work truck sales aren't as high of a priority. This includes an aluminum hood and tailgate, aluminum front fenders, a fresh front-end design, different doors, and of course, a unique powertrain.
Two and four-wheel drive versions of the returning Ranger will be available-a truck that, by the way, has been continuously sold outside of the USA since 1998-all with Ford's new ten-speed automatic transmission developed with Chevy. It will be mated to the 10-speed automatic with three overdrive gears co-developed with the folks at General Motors. No manual will be offered.
From a feature perspective, Ford is throwing most of its latest gear on the Ranger.
The company noted that Ranger comes in entry-level XL, mid-level XLT and high-level Lariat trim series with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrewcab configurations. The exterior and interior styling of the North American Ranger will be aimed at a more affluent, recreational use buyer.
Ford sold more than 6.6 million Rangers in the US over its 29-year history. Curb weight ranges from 4,066 pounds for the non-North America standard cab, to as much as 4,875 pounds, which still is more than 600 pounds lighter than a Ford F-150 Platinum 4×4 Super Crew.
The retooling is part of the $850 million investment Ford announced last March to revamp the Michigan Assembly Plant to build the Ranger and all-new Ford Bronco. Focus production will move to China. Ford's decision to invest $850 million in the Wayne plant to build the Ranger and a new Bronco SUV won praise previous year from US President Donald Trump.
Ford did not release fuel economy projections for the new vehicle.
Ford+Alexa provides a personal assistant in the truck.