When the Ford Ranger was first introduced in 1983, Ford made it clear that they wanted an alternative option to the higher priced, full-sized truck offerings. They also wanted a truck that would be practical and fun to drive. The Ranger kept in this mindset, and it lasted for three generations until Ford decided to halt production on the Ranger in 2012. During this time, Ford began to realize that the mid-size truck segment was growing rapidly.
While many other automakers rushed to join the mid-size truck segment over the last 5 years, either through new model offerings, or complete redesigns, Ford did the opposite. They took their time, knowing that this truck would be willing to do things a little differently than the rest of the competition.
After learning of the new features that the Ranger has to offer, I decided to take a journey down to Flood Ford of East Greenwich, and test one out for myself. As a previous Ford Ranger owner, I was aware of the history that this truck name would have to live up to. From the moment that I arrived at the dealership, I could see the enthusiasm that the Flood Ford team had for this all-new truck. Sales Manager David Cathey introduced me to Robert Bell, a long-time Sales Consultant, and Ford Enthusiast. Before I was even able to gather camera, Robert already had picked out a black Crew Cab Lariat, with the tan leather interior and the optional FX4 Off-Road Package. This was a night and day difference from any Ranger that I had ever seen in my past, and Robert certainly came prepared to explain to me the significant features about this truck, and what separates it from the competition.
For starters, it is available with two cab configurations: extended cab with a 6-foot bed or a crew cab with a 5-foot bed. There are also three trim levels: XL, XLT, and Lariat. All Rangers are equipped with an EcoBoost (turbocharged) 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine (270 hp, 310 pound-feet of torque) paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Now, for those of you that hear 4-cylinder in a mid-size truck, hang on for a moment. This is not your typical 4-cylinder engine. From the muscular grunt to the push- back in your seat power, this truck feels like a motor that should be double its actual liter size. Even better, this Ranger is one of the segment leaders in towing capacity, at right around 7500 pounds.
In terms of technology and features, the Lariat that I drove also included all of the XLT’s equipment plus 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch center touchscreen with Ford’s Sync 3 interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a sound system by Bang & Olufsen, which by the way, was as loud and crisp as any high end luxury car system that I have listed to in a long time.
As far as handling and overall driving experience, this new Ranger was more than capable of on-road or off-road demands, but yet, always felt comfortable and easy to drive. If you are looking for a mid-size truck and would like to look at a new innovative design, come check out the new 2019 Ranger at Flood Ford of East Greenwich or Narragansett.