Recently if you wanted a mid size truck you got yourself to the Toyota or the Chevrolet dealership, and you bought a Tacoma or a Colorado Okay, maybe you went to Nissan and you got a Frontier.
But the point is you did not go to Ford.
Well, all that is changing.
After eight years, Ford has finally brought back the mid-sized Ranger and it is poised to do battle with the big boys.
The ranger is available in three trims with either a six foot or a five foot bed.
The only engine, however, is only a two point three inline port ecoboost which is good for 270 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque.
Now that's the most torque that you're going to be able to get out of a gas engine.
If you want more you'll have to go to the diesel in the Chevy Colorado or the GMC Canyon.
And another class leader is the towing capacity, 7500 pounds regardless of configuration.
Now, I haven't had a chance to test that, but the way this baby pulls, I have no doubt that it can haul a fully loaded trailer.
However, it's only gonna hold the crown for a little while until the 2020 Jeep Gladiator comes on to market with a tow rating of over 7,600 pounds.
And one more best in class, payload capacity.
Namely, 1,860 pounds.
Because of it.
And I have to tell you, this truck wants to move.
Whether it's off the line acceleration or mid range acceleration, it is all right there and part of that is due to the excellent ten speed automatic transmission.
Now, we've seen this in the F-150 before.
I liked it then and I like it now.
It's never searching for the right gear like what you have in the Tacoma or in the Colorado.
And it easily downshifts two, even three gears so that I'm always in the right spot in the power band.
I will say sometimes when I'm slowing down, approaching a standstill.
It will kind of bunk into first gear but really it's only noticeable because the rest of the time it's just So smooth.
The Ranger gets an EPA fuel rating of 22 miles per gallon.
Combined with a 4 x 4 or in a 4 x 2 like my test model here, it should be about 23.
Now that's helped along by a start/stop system, and it's almost as good as the diesel that you can get from GM.
Not quite but almost.
And it beats the pants off of anything else in this segment that's gas powered.
However, I've had this vehicle for a week and I've driven it from San Diego to San Francisco, done a little bit of city driving and I'm only getting 20.
On the road, the Ranger drives well.
like a truck.
That's to say that it's bouncy and floaty but it's not really anything different from the rest of the class.
Now, if you want something that remains really flat on the turns, you should look at the Chevy ZR2 with the multimatic shocks or if you're looking for something that overall handles better, you could look at the Honda Ridgeline.
I mean, it's not really a truck, but it is the best handling car With a bed.
And if you're curious about off road, well don't you fret.
I've got a full video where I got this bad boy dirtier than a pig in mud.
So be sure to check it out.
However it is not all puppy dogs and rainbows especially when you get inside.
Yes the materials are fine and the seats are actually really comfortable but the whole design looks well kinda dated.
Plus rear seat room is compromised especially when you've got a larger taller person.
In the front seat, and the tailgate?
Man, that thing just slams down with nary a hint of hydraulic help.
There's an eight inch touch screen running Ford Sync 3 Infotainment System.
This is a favorite among Road Show and we've got a full deep dive video.
So be sure to look at that one as well.
Now in terms of drivers aids, the Ranger stacks up pretty well.
There's Ford Emergency Breaking With pedestrian protection.
There's available blind spot monitoring system with trailer coverage which is pretty cool.
There is however no pro trailer back up assist which is kind of a bummer if you're not used to backing up a trailer.
There's lane keeping assist and warning.
And there's even adaptive cruise control.
Although I gotta say the adaptive cruise control will not engage below 20 miles an hour and it disengages automatically at 12 miles an hour.
So it's pretty useless in stop and go traffic.
Having said all that, I really like the Ranger.
I just feel good in it.
It's the right size, it's still nimble.
You can drive it in the city but it has all that capability.
It looks hella good.
It might almost be my favorite truck in the segment.
I mean, I really really like the Chevy ZR2 and if board brought in a ranger Raptor, which is so not confirmed.
But if they did man that would definitely be my favorite midsize truck.
The 2019 Ford Ranger starts at about $25,000 but a tough prim layer can push 40 grand.
My tester here is a midtrim XLT with a two wheel drive and a sport appearance package and even that cost in the mid-30's.
Still, the Ranger has got a really great power train, best in class towing and hauling capabilities, and at least the potential for good gas mileage.
All of that means that the Ranger should climb up to the top of the class with ease.