The Ford Ranger was the first mid-sized pickup truck designed by the Ford Motor Company. It was first introduced in 1983 as an affordable mid-size pickup and it eventually became the best-selling truck in its class. In 2011 however, demand started to dwindle and with the soaring cost of fuel, Ford decided to devote more resources to hybrids and to improving the fuel economy of their full-sized F-150. This led to the cancellation of the Ranger in North America and the closing of the Minnesota factory where it was made.
It wasn’t completely the end of the road for the Ranger though. Ford continued production of the Ranger abroad where it also became the best-selling pickup in Europe and New Zealand. In the United States, Ford assumed that the Ranger would be replaced by the sport utility vehicle (SUV) which was growing in popularity. Despite its sales success internationally, Ford had kept the midsize truck segment in North America open to competitors like Toyota and General Motors to dominate the segment for the next 7 years.
Eventually, Ford recognized the growing need to get back into the mid-sized truck segment. It saw that the midsize pickup segment has been seeing a sales increase of 83 percent since 2014 with 452,000 sold in 2017. “We see an opportunity that didn’t exist five years ago,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager.
Ford decided to bring back the Ranger to North America and made the announcement during the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. It would essentially keep the same design as that which was sold internationally with a few modifications that comply with US safety standards and a few new features specifically designed for North American buyers.
The 2019 Ford Ranger will have a frame made with high-strength steel as well as steel front and rear bumpers just like that found in the F-150. Power will be provided by a 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, the same engine used in the Ford Mustang. This gives the new Ranger the power of V6 but with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder engine. Coupled with this is a 10-speed automatic transmission. It will come in either a supercab or a supercrew cab configuration, with the latter having four full-sized doors. The Ranger will come in three models, the XL, XLT and the full-featured Lariat variants.
The new Ranger is being targeted towards urban adventurers. It employs an active terrain management system can automatically adjust the vehicle controls depending on the surface terrain, whether it be snow, mud or sand. Another new feature is the trail control which is similar to cruise control but for off-road use, so it will sustain speeds ranging from 2 -24 kmh.
Ford now sees the Ranger not only as being about affordability but more about size, scale, and fuel efficiency. It is for those who want to downsize to a truck that is easier to drive, park, and fit in the garage. Today’s customers tend to gravitate towards SUVs over cars. A midsize pickup like the Ford Ranger is a great alternative to an SUV.
Safety features include blind-spot detection with trailer coverage, pre-collision assistance, lane keep warning and assist, available adaptive cruise control, and emergency braking.
“We made this a serious truck,” said Rick Bolt, a Ranger program engineer. “We expect best-in-class payload when we launch.”
Looking to add a new Ford Ranger or other truck to your fleet? Thomas Solutions offers work truck rentals in Ontario. Contact us at 1-877-479-1388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for your truck or fleet rental and maintenance needs. With a fleet of over 800 vehicles and growing, Thomas Solutions has a wide array of pick up trucks, straight trucks and work vehicles for lease or rent. We service all of Southern Ontario from our locations in Hamilton, Selkirk & Niagara, as well as through our growing list of service partners.