2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Sport Review

2019 Ford Ranger
2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Sport Review
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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Pick up trucks have been very popular for a long time. Manufacturers have responded with more and more luxury as well as performance options making the modern day pick up an attractive alternative to the SUV.

Along with adding more luxury, technology and performance to today’s trucks, they have also grown in size. While size is great for the outdoors, this can be a challenge maneuvering into today’s ever shrinking parking lot spaces.

Ford has responded with the new 2019 Ranger – a mid-sized pick up truck that was last marketed in Canada in 2012. This is not a new product for Ford – as it has been around in Europe, Asia and South America since 2011.

 

2019 Ford Ranger key features

TrimXLXLTLariat
Base price$30,569$35,139$41,389
Seating455
6’ box
5’ box

 

All 2019 Rangers come with a 2.3L turbo derived from the Mustang eco-boost. This engine produces 270hp and 310lb-ft of torque and is matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission from the F150.

All Rangers are 4×4. Regardless of which of the three trim levels you choose, the power and handling components are all the same, as are most of the available options.

Exterior

2019 Ford Ranger

The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger for North America brings midsize truck fans a new choice. Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

The basic differences are all in the style, comfort and convenience features. For example, if you need seating for 5 rather than 4, then the XLT or Lariat would be the choice. Unless you really don’t need a rear seat, I would go with the “crew cab” that reduces the box to 5’ but gives you acceptable rear seat room, equivalent to a compact SUV.

All trims allow you to add the “FX4 Off Road” package that gives you added terrain flexibility and a meaner looking truck – all for $1,400. This package includes:

  • Improved shocks
  • All-terrain tires with aggressive tread
  • Electronic-locking rear differential
  • Steel front bash plate and front skid plate
  • Skid plates for the electric power-assist steering (EPAS) electric motor, transfer case and fuel tank
  • Display for pitch and roll plus steering angle
  • Off-road management systems

The Lariat trim comes standard with leather trimmed seats, LED exterior lights, the Sync3 and 8” touch screen as well as push button start. The base XL trim requires you to actually turn a key to start the engine. You can also add a B&O sound system, rain sensing wipers, remote start as well as adaptive cruise control and navigation for an additional $3,000. Finally, this Ranger can tow up to 7,500 lbs and the required hitch and connectivity is included in the trailer tow package for $600. My test Ranger also came with a number of visually enhancing options including:

  • $150 front and rear mud flaps
  • $170 floor liner
  • $700 running boards
  • $500 sport appearance
  • $600 spray in bed liner, and
  • $550 hot pepper red metallic paint

What’s 2019 Ford Ranger really like to drive?

This is a pick up that feels like you’re driving a compact to mid sized SUV, with the flexibility of a truck bed. It’s roughly 75-80 % in size of an F150 with many interior features borrowed as well. However, the exterior shape is much more streamlined and sportier.

A huge plus in my view is the ability of the driver to see the pavement nearer to the front of the truck. The lower hood and body line is more similar to that of a compact SUV.

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The interior of the 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat is well proportioned and laid out – not the most modern design but pretty good. Most of the comfort features are available – except for a heated steering wheel. I was surprised to notice the absence of a power adjustment for the front seat backs – again, a bit of a strange omission on a top trim level.

Once on the road, the strength of this truck comes through.

The 2.3L turbo is plenty strong although the 10-speed transmission is quite awkward through the initial gears. This is the same combination used in several other Ford products where this hesitancy doesn’t occur. Not a reason to turn down this truck but annoying nevertheless.

On the highway, this truck has a nice responsive front end but a bit stiffer rear causing it to ride a bit rough. One of the most noticeable features is the truck’s smaller size that has enhanced both maneuverability and parking.

The strongest critic of vehicles that I bring home is my wife, who generally finds something bothersome with most vehicles. She actually liked it right away! Why I asked? Nice looks, a proper size, easy to get in an out of, good visibility, rides well and, sounds nice. When are you buying me one, she asked?

Interior

2019 Ford Ranger

The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger interior. Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

2019 Ford Ranger has excellent gas mileage on the highway with 11L/100km using regular fuel.  At $52,000 for the fully optioned Lariat is competitively price when compared to other mid to compact sized SUVs.

Things to consider

If you are in the market for a mid to compact sized SUV, you need to try out the 2019 Ford Ranger and consider the pros and cons of a mid-sized pick up truck.

Many of us former SUV owners have found the flexibility of the pick up truck bed to be something that is hard to give up. You might also want to consider an alternative to the spray in bed liner – which can get damaged from sharp heavy objects.

For the more adventurous types, the FX4 off road package provides that extra flexibility to tackle muddy roads and the occasional field adventure. With 1,800lb capacity in the bed and up to 7,500 lb towing capacity,  the 2019 Ford Ranger will appeal to many who would normally have opted for an F150.

2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Sport

  1. Base price                  $42,389
  2. Price as tested           $51,859

For more automotive insights follow me on Twitter @redy2rol

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