2020 Ranger New Car Test Drive
The 2019 Ford Ranger is a mid-size truck that performs its truck jobs better than its competitors in almost every area. It can tow and haul as much as most people will ever need, while still carrying four adults as a crew cab, with a five-foot bed. The extended cab has jump seats in the rear, with a six-foot bed.
The Ranger's only engine is a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 270 horsepower, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is strong and shifting frequent. It can tow 7,500 pounds, or 500 pounds more than rivals.
The chassis is a conventional truck ladder frame, with independent front suspension and solid rear axle with leaf springs. Electric power steering delivers crisp, linear handling, while the ride is less bouncy than most trucks of this size.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, with available part-time four-wheel drive, a system that's meant for traction but not control on dry pavement like all-wheel drive in a sedan. There's an FX4 package with some 4WD equipment such as a locking rear differential, too.
Fuel mileage with rear-wheel drive is EPA-rated at a solid 21 mpg city, 26 highway, 23 combined, and 1 mpg less with all-wheel drive.
The Ranger hasn't been crash-tested yet, but it comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Among rivals, only the Toyota Tacoma also has that system standard. Optional safety equipment includes a package with active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control..
The three models are XL, XLT, and Lariat.
The XL extended cab costs about $25,400, with the four-passenger crew cab configuration adding about $2,100 and all-wheel drive adding $4,000.
Standard equipment on the base XL includes power windows and locks, air conditioning, automatic emergency braking, a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot, Bluetooth, a 6-speaker AM/FM stereo and one USB port. Other equipment that is generally taken for granted in a new vehicle (cruise control, power mirrors, and remote keyless entry) is optional in a package for about $1,100. By the time you add a bedliner, tow package, and a locking rear differential, a crew-cab Ranger with AWD tops $34,000.
The Ranger XLT starts at about $35,200 and adds interior carpeting, tinted windows, alloy wheels, and the package with cruise control and power mirrors. Another $995 buys an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, and power-folding side mirrors. With options a Ranger XLT can top $40,000.
The Ranger Lariat crew cab with all-wheel drive costs about $39,500, and comes with leather upholstery, LED headlights, 8.0-inch touchscreen, and keyless ignition. A fully loaded Lariat can top $48,000..