The wait for the new Ford Ranger is over Ė well almost, anyway. Ford debuted the long-awaited 2019 Ford Ranger at this yearís 2018 to much fanfare ahead of production that begins late this year.
Ford stopped making the popular Ranger here in the U.S. back in 2011 but still sells the midsize truck globally. Itís now bringing the pickup back to do battle with the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, among others, in a segment thatís grown a lot over the last few years. In fact, Ford says U.S. midsize pickup sales are up 83 percent since 2014.
Here are 5 big things to know about the all-new Ranger beloved to so many midsize truck fans:
1. Itís not all-aluminum.
Unlike the new F-150, the Ranger has a mostly steel body but with an aluminum hood and tailgate.
2. There is only one engine and itís turbocharged.
A twin-scroll turbo 2.3-Liter EcoBoost inline-four (with a forged-steel crankshaft) sits under the hood. Itís mated solely to a 10-speed automatic. It sends power to either the rear wheels or 4X4 system. No official power numbers for the Ranger yet, but given itís related to the 310-horse Mustang EcoBoost, we could be looking in and around that ballpark. There are no fuel economy figures yet, either.
3. There are three trims and numerous available safety options.
Drivers can choose from XL, XLT, and Lariat trims all with SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations. FX4, Chrome, and Sport appearance packages are also available. It will come in eight different paint colors at launch, along with eight different 17- or 18-inch wheel designs. LED headlights and taillamps are among some of the options.
Automatic Emergency Braking will be standard across the lineup. Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, a Reverse Sensing System and Blind Spot Monitoring with trailer coverage all come standard on XLT and Lariat trims. The Lariat also comes with standard Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control.
4. An FX4 package is available.
FX4 off-roading fans wonít be disappointed. The Ranger will offer Fordís popular FX4 package. It features protective skid plates, upgraded tires, off-road-tuned shocks, and suspension. Plus it comes with a Terrain Management System like the one in the . The FX4 Off-Road Package also introduces Fordís all-new Trail Control system. Ford describes it as highway cruise control designed for low-speed, rugged terrain.
5. Weíll Have to Wait A Year for It.
Production begins late this year in Michigan which means it likely wonít go on sale until the first quarter of 2019.
2019 Ford Ranger. Credit: Ford