The brand-new North American Ford Ranger, unveiled ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will offer just a single powertrain from launch: a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost, tied to Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford hasn’t disclosed how much power or torque the turbocharged mill will make in this application, but in the refreshed, 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, the mighty 2.3L puts out 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft. Meanwhile, Ford’s 10-speed ought to help ensure that the plucky four-cylinder stays forever in its power band when large quantities of thrust are required.
Yet the choice of just a single powertrain in the North American 2019 Ford Ranger puts the truck at a bit of a disadvantage next to the Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon, both of which offer a choice of three engines and, in certain configurations, a manual transmission. Ford’s 2.3L EcoBoost will almost certainly outgun the range-topping, 308-horsepower 3.6L V6 in the GM mid-size pickups, but The General has been careful to offer something for everyone: a V6 for the avid truck user, a (normally-aspirated) inline-four for the budget-conscious, and a diesel option for folks hungry for torque.
Moreover, there’s the issue of perception. It doesn’t really matter how good Ford’s four-cylinder EcoBoost engines get to be; there will still always be those who simply can’t abide a truck engine with fewer than six cylinders, even in a mid-size.
Granted, the Ford Ranger is built for a more lifestyle-oriented sort of buyer than the larger F-150, and there’s every possibility that Ford will introduce an additional engine option or two after launch. Still, we’re curious to hear your thoughts: Is the new, 2019 North American Ford Ranger’s 2.3L EcoBoost I4 and 10-speed automatic transmission enough to make you want to put money down on the stalwart Blue Oval pickup? Take our poll and let us know.