We’ve waited nearly a full year since its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to get behind the wheel of the 2019 Ford Ranger — was it worth the wait? The Ranger hasn’t been sold as a new vehicle in the U.S. since 2011, but it remained a favorite of many, even as Ford insisted it didn’t need a mid-size pickup truck in its American lineup.
We just did our the first press drive of the new Ranger — we’d already taken the briefest of test drives when we took part in a consumer-oriented event — and had our first chance to drive multiple variations of the Ranger in situations an owner might find themselves beyond normal street driving — like hauling off-road vehicles or towing a boat.
PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams took the Ranger through those scenarios and got a chance to experience some of the relatively few configurations the new Ranger offers. At launch, there will be only one powertrain: a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. That gives the Ranger the highest EPA fuel economy ratings of any mid-size truck’s gas engine, though the diesels in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon offer greater fuel efficiency.
The Ranger will also only have one wheelbase, with bed length determined by whether the truck is an extended cab or crew cab. Extended-cab models will get a 6-foot bed and crew-cab models a 5-footer.
Be sure to read Williams’ full First Drive over on PickupTrucks.com to find out if the Ranger revolutionizes the mid-size truck class or if it’s simply the next step in an ongoing competition.
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