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2019 Ford Ranger: First Ride Experience Indicates We Might Not Need A Raptor Version

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The 2019 Ford Ranger has begun to roll off the line at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI, and dealers, members of the press, and plant employees were able to sample a taste of what the global midsize truck can offer. But only from the passenger’s seat, for now.

Watch this space to get a full impression on how the 2019 Ford Ranger is to drive both on the road and off in the next month or so, but for now we can confidently say that the truck has formidable off-road chops. Raptor, or no Raptor, the 2019 Ford Ranger isn’t afraid of steep hills, sketchy embankments, and even some wheel cocking undulations that are usually reserved for trucks marketed towards more off-road uses.

2019 Ford Ranger XLT Crew Cab FX4

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All 2019 Ford Ranger trucks at this demonstration were 4X4 Super Crew configurations. Speeds carried during these ride-along demonstrations conducted by Ford engineers were too low to get an honest impression on how well the 2.3L EcoBoost – an engine shared with the Ford Mustang – works in the application of a pickup truck. However, the engineers piloting the 2019 Ford Ranger pickup trucks around the demonstration course were able to show off how Trail Control works in a controlled off-road setting. The feature is otherwise only found on the Ford F-150 Raptor, which helps build the off-road chops of this (non-Raptor) 2019 Ford Ranger.

2019 Ford Ranger Articulation

 

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Like cruise control, the driver activates this low-speed feature via the push of a button, and then feet are able to relax off the pedals. Speed can still be modulated with the brakes. We’re not sure how beneficial this feature is for the hard core off road crowd, but seasoned veterans of the dirt insist that it’s a worthwhile piece of kit. An available rear-locking differential also adds to the Ranger’s arsenal.

Ford tends to not shy away from showing just how off-road capable its baseline trucks can be. For further proof, read up on how the 2018 F-150 Diesel fared in a grueling, muddy off-road course riddled with logs, ruts and other generally ill-advised terrain conditions. In the case of the 2019 Ford Ranger, engineers circled the truck around a 22 percent embankment, where the truck looked like it was going to roll at any given moment, yet heroically refrained from doing so, and in the process demonstrated a balance and grip well beyond the expectations of most midsize truck owners.

So while the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor isn’t going to be offered in the United States, casual truck buyers and off-road enthusiasts alike will nevertheless be impressed by what the more conventional Ranger can do. We can’t wait to climb into the driver’s seat for a full review soon.

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2019 Ford Ranger 012

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Written by Manoli Katakis

Former staff.

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22 Comments

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    • Agreed, though there seems to be little room for anything bigger than four cylinders in that engine bay. Packaging is surprisingly tight. We’re still waiting for confirmation as to whether or not a Ford EcoBoost V6 could actually fit in there.

      • In many other markets there is a 3.2T 5 cylinder inline diesel available, so can’t imagine the 2.7T V6 can’t be made to fit. Chevy has a 3.6 V6 in the Colorado and Dodge had a 5.2 V8 option in the Dakota.

    • Do you live by yourself? Most drivers don’t need trucks, but trucks carry most of the stuff you eat and drink, and are necessary for local cargo distribution. So, yes, we need new trucks, too.

    • Real car’s died out along time ago my friend. I agree i would love to see ford have a larger range of “real” cars including Falcons, Mustangs, the Maverick Grabber, the Fairmont GT (like the ones from the ’60s in Africa that had the 351 Cleveland) Galaxies, Thunderbolts, ETC or real SUVs like a Bronco on the F-Series Chassis, a better F150 pickup truck and things like that. Just like I would love to see Chevy bring out another Nova, Chevelle, a real Impala SS, the AWESOME K5 BLAZER, a better Camaro lineup, some other improvements to the Silverado lineup a smaller Blazer build off the Colorado chassis, another 5.3L Colorado Xtreme and a few other things and for Dodge to build a Ram-based Ramcharger SUV, a new Charger/Challenger/Dart Demon-340 Trio, a new Dakota R/T/ SRT and a sister on-frame Durango SRT/RT, a Ram 1500 SRT, a Ram TRX, a better Ram 2500 Power Wagon, etc. It would be nice if the automotive industry would figure out that commercial trucks, commercial ships, and trains should be the bulk of the hybrid and electric vehicle industry. Yes I do feel that there should be a market for electric passenger vehicles. But buses, UPS vehicles, postal vehicles, etc, those should be all electric or electric hybrids.

  1. Mike ! am a car guy myself,but market trends are strong in the opposite direction. As for me I will still drive Mustangs.

    • Chuck, I have a 2017 Ford Fusion Sport, and a small Cadillac ATS Sport coupe. Next vehicle will not be a Ford truck or Mustang. I have owned 2 Mustangs, a 65 Fastback, an an 82 Mustang GT. Ford deserted me, just like a political party which will remain unnamed, so I give up on them.

    • Chuck I have a small car, a 2015Cadillac ATS Sport Coupe, and a 2017 Ford Fusion Sport. I have had Mustangs, 65 Fastback, and an 82 GT. I do not need a Mustang or want another one, have a Z06 for real power. Feel Ford like a certain political party has deserted me. I don’t need Ford, they need customers.

  2. if Ford wants to really dominate the small truck market, they have to make a hybrid or electric Ranger. They made one years ago and some are still running with new batteries. And even before that, there were thousands of Ranger conversions. So the Electric Ranger must return.

  3. Mike you having a bad day,I am stating what I will drive,don’t care what you drive at all. Sorry if this offended you. I was not trying to start trouble.

    • You didn’t offend me. Just let you know I like cars not trucks. Ford’s decision reminded of so many mistakes Ford has made. Every time I give Ford the chance to do better it does stupid things. Note the brilliance of Isuzu no loner making cars, irrelevant.

  4. Raymond there is a hybrid in the works it is the Ford F-150 looks promising at this point. If engineering gets this one right Ford will stretch its lead over the people at government motors I mean GM.

  5. I think Ford is slow playing the V6 and Raptor version of the Ranger. They protect the F-150 business to some extent by only offering a turbo 4, but at the same time they exceed the competitions gas powered offerings with significantly better low end torque and the 10 spd. The Raptor version can wait just a bit and it will need to offer the 2.7L TT V6 as standard equipment.

  6. If they brought of developed a Ranger Raptor how many will they sell? As many as Fusions if they were promoting them. I doubt it. Ford needs to get someone who understands cars on at the wheel. When oil prices go up Ford won’t have anything. They should have learned that a long time ago, but the honchos have no sense of history or balance. Good-bye Ford. Maybe you can become a subsidiary of VW sad to say.

    • It will be better than being hooked up to GM. Yes I am an all Ford family, we have a 1985 fox gt,86 fox t-bird,2006 GT mustang,2010 ford Flex,2013 Ford Taurus,with one exception a 2015 Mazda,but under the hood it still says Ford on some of the components. I also used to work for AMC when the cars went away they Jeep would be next well they are still here so it can be done. I do not agree with the logic,but it will take a market shift to get them to turn back. Of special note there is a Mustang suv like the Porsche coming out as well.

      • Really? You would rather Ford be combined with a German company than an American one? I am shocked at ignorance. Feed the German treasury and deprive the USA. Don’t answer me, please. You are one case I don’t want to deal with. Next you’ll be saying we should have lost to the Nazis. Unbelievable.

        • YOU ARE THE BIGGEST FOOL! YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE VETERANS IN MY FAMILY THAT HAVE DEFENDED FREEDOM IN THE COUNTRY FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO THE GULF WAR. YOU SOUND LIKE THE SOCIALIST PARTY,WE ALREADY KNOCKED YOU OFF BEFORE. I STILL HAVE A SENSE OF NATIONAL PRIDE AND STILL WILL DRIVE A FORD EVEN THEY GO OUT OF BUSINESS. NEVER AGREE WITH YOU IN A MILLION YEARS.

  7. Chuck you still sound like an idiot. How did I comment on the veterans in your family, unless they fought for the Nazis? I am and never will be a socialist. You sound like you gave up. By the way, Ford cooperated with the Nazis in WW II. It is not your fault that you are a moronic KKK member. Sounds like you are suffering from PTSD. I had several members in Afghanistan (Marines), and nuclear subs. Brother was a Marine reservist during Vietnam. Grandfather and father served overseas in WWII for the USA, not Germany. You are one of those low IQ supporters, not your fault it is genetic. I am a supporter of our President, so put it wherever you want.

  8. I find it interesting that Ford went with an engine driven cooling fan for this engine. It’s not in the mustang or the Focus RS. My F150 3.5 EB gets by with electric fans only. I wonder if the engine needed some extra cooling capacity in this application, or if keeping noise down is the reason. Electric cooling gas can be quite noisy.

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