Ford showed off photos of its 2019 Ranger mid-size pickup, which enters the market as sales and interest have been growing in the segment. The truck will compete for buyers as Chevrolet's Colorado and GMC's Canyon have been gaining steam alongside Toyota's Tacoma and Nissan's Frontier, while Honda's unibody, more carlike Ridgeline mid-size offers still another alternative.
The new Ranger marks a return for Ford to its once-popular compact truck, which was produced in the North American market for nearly three decades and last appeared as a 2011 model. The re-envisioned Ranger is designed to handle the majority of consumers' hauling needs — things like pulling campers, watercraft or ATVs — in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package.
The Ranger also gets a much more serious shot of off-road adrenaline this time around. The truck "is designed for a new generation of mid-size truck customers who head off-road to recharge," Ford noted.
The available FX4 Off-Road Package is testament to the pickup's capabilities beyond the pavement. Ford is introducing a new "Trail Control" feature with the package, for example, which is like a low-speed cruise control that handles acceleration and braking through difficult terrain, so the driver only steers.
The package includes a Ford Trail Management System similar to the F-150 Raptor's — quite a formidable pedigree. It also folds in off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a frame-mounted steel front "bash plate," frame-mounted skid plates, and special FX4 badging.
Ford said the Ranger will be powered by a 4-cyl. 2.3L EcoBoost engine featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger and four-valves-per-cylinder design. The pickup will drive power to its wheels via a 10-speed automatic, which the OEM claimed as a class-exclusive.