Back In Business: 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Review

The “all-new” Ford Ranger was announced last year, marking the return of the Ranger nameplate back to North American shores after an 8-year break. Many years ago, the American manufacturers decided it wasn’t worth their time to make small trucks, the Ranger is now classified as a mid-size truck, leaving the market open to the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, the Tacoma has been dominating this segment.

But then GM decided it wanted to bring back the small (now mid-size) trucks back and Ford followed. I don’t know why they left this segment in the first place, it is a popular segment for the outdoor enthusiasts that don’t necessarily need a full-size truck.

In the first sentence, I described the Ranger as an “all-new” truck, because it might be all-new for the North American market, but the truck itself has been around since 2011 in other markets, code named the Ranger T6; it has been tinkered with a bit, but basically it’s the same truck from other markets. So, it’s not really an all-new product, just like the EcoSport. I think Ford should’ve developed a new truck and then bring it to North America, I haven’t seen a single one of these new Rangers on the road yet, could that be that reason?

Prices & Trims

In Canada, the 2019 Ford Ranger is offered in three trims and either SuperCab or SuperCrew configurations. The three trims are XL, XLT, and Lariat. The SuperCab is the two-door version, with a small back seat and a 6-foot box, it’s available on the XL and XLT trims. The SuperCrew is the four-door version, with a real back seat and a 5-foot box, this configuration is available on the XLT and Lariat trims.

The base XL has a starting price of $30,569, the XLT starts at $35,139 for the SuperCab version and $36,939 for the SuperCrew version. The top of the line Lariat has a starting price of $41,389. These prices do not include optional packages, which can add up quickly, freight & pdi, and other fees and taxes.

Our review truck for the week was the 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat FX4, with a total price tag of $51,309, including $1,800 for destination & delivery and the following options:

  • Equipment Group 501A – $3,000
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Remote start
    • Navigation
    • SYNC3
    • B&O sound system
  • FX4 Off-Road Package – $1,400
    • 3.73 electronic locking rear differential
  • Front and rear mud flaps – $150
  • 5” running boards* – $700
  • Floor liner – $170
  • Trailer tow package – $600
  • Sport Appearance Package – $500
  • Spray-in Bedliner – $600

*I felt the 5” running boards were too small, they didn’t have enough width for me to comfortably place my foot on them as I got out of the truck, and I don’t even have huge feet, I wear size 9 boots.

2019 Ford Ranger 2

Engine

Unlike the competition, the Ford Ranger is only offered with one engine choice, which is a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder with auto start-stop, and direct injection. The engine produces 270 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 310 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The 2019 Ranger is rated at 748 kg (1,650 pounds) of payload and 3,402 kg (7,500 pounds) for towing, which is best in class according to Ford.

The estimated fuel consumption, according to Ford, is 11.3/9.8/10.9 L/100 km in city/highway/combined driving. During our weeklong review, the onboard computer showed 13.5 L/100 km in pure city driving, while the highway consumption was close to the claimed number, at 10.2 L/100 km. These numbers will vary depending on your driving style, weather conditions, and whether you’re towing.

Driving

The Ranger is a real body-on-frame truck, so it drives like a truck, however, the ride isn’t as smooth as the bigger F150, but it’s in line with what you’d expect from a vehicle in this class. Comparing it to the Tacoma, which is the leader in this segment, I found the Tacoma TRD version quite a bit more compliant on the road due to the FOX shocks on the TRD trim of the truck.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine has enough power for driving around in the city and getting up to highway speeds, and passing is very easy.  From a cold start, the engine has a nice roar to it, I think it’s the fan, which gives it the feeling of a big diesel engine, but as you start driving the fan sound goes away and you’re left with the whine of a small 4-cylinder engine, which does not suit the truck. I know Ford is using the 4-cylinder engine because of all the environmental issues, but I would’ve liked a V6, at least an option.

Other than the sound of the engine, it performs well with the 10-speed automatic transmission and the Ranger is rated at decent amount of towing power, I don’t know how well the engine is able to cope with towing 3,400 kg because I didn’t tow with it, but I’m sure it should be able to handle it. If you are looking to tow, make sure to find a way to tow something behind the truck on your test drive.

The Ranger is equipped with Terrain Management system, which is on a rotary dial next to the gear lever. There is 2L, 4H, and 4L, and a “TM” button that changes between different off-road modes. We’re not allowed to take these “off-road” vehicles off road, so I couldn’t tell you how capable the Ranger is in the wild.

Styling

2019 Ford Ranger 3

The 2019 Ford Ranger is pretty good looking truck, with the FX4 package it looks even tougher. The FX4 package includes all-terrain tires that give the truck a more aggressive look, exposed steel front bash plate, and heavy-duty front skid plate.

The 2019 Ranger might be a carry-over from 2011, but it still looks fresh. The Ford Ranger Raptor looks even cooler, but we’re not getting that here in Canada and the United States, at least for now.

Interior

2019 Ford Ranger 4

The interior on the Ford Ranger is very familiar, it shares it’s looks with the rest of the Ford family. It is a pretty decent looking interior and I believe it’s appropriate for this truck. The interior makes heavy use of hard plastics, but I guess if you’re using this as a real off-roader or work truck, then the use of hard plastics is not a bad idea.

The front of the cabin is pretty roomy, I had a good amount of room for my 5’ 8” frame, the rear seat had ample room for me but taller passengers will find it tight (especially people over 6’ 2”). The rear seat back folds down, but it doesn’t create a flat surface, but the seat bottom can be folded up to create room for a big box. Unfortunately, the seats do not split when folding up or down, so you can’t have a passenger and a box/cargo at the same time.

Tech

Our top of the line 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat came with a lot of the bells and whistles we see on modern Fords and vehicles by other manufacturers. Features like blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, pre-collision assist, automatic headlights, keyless entry, push-button start, heated seats, navigation, rear camera, SYNC3 and more.

Final Thoughts

The new 2019 Ford Ranger is a pretty good truck; however, this segment is dominated by other trucks that have been around longer. Even the newcomers like Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon have a head start on the new Ford Ranger. I think Ford has an uphill battle on their hands in the mid-size truck segment, will customers buy the new Ranger, only time will tell.

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Faisal

When I'm not reviewing the latest cars, I'm busy checking out the latest gadgets and watches by the world's best manufacturers. Cars, gadgets, and watches... that's all a man needs to get through life.

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