The 2019 Ford Ranger will offer class-leading torque, payload and towing capacity for a gasoline engine when it returns to the U.S. market early next year.
The reborn midsize pickup truck will be powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine delivering 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, Ford Motor Co. announced Friday.
Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the engine can outperform larger V6 engines in its class. The 2019 Ranger has a maximum tow rating of 7,500 pounds and maximum payload capacity of 1,860 pounds.
“The Ranger’s new powertrain figures emphasize the needs of the segment: torque matters more for trucks, and that is the class- leading number,” said Stephanie Brinley, an analyst with IHS Markit.
Competition for the Ranger includes the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline.
The 2019 Colorado has a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds, while the 2019 Frontier is rated up to 6,720 pounds and the 2019 Tacoma comes to 6,400 pounds. The Colorado uses a small diesel engine, which allows Ranger to claim the top rank for a gas engine.
“A competitor diesel goes slightly more,” said Dawn McKenzie, product communications manager for Ford Trucks and Commercial Vehicles. “We have a very good offering for customers looking for capability.”
The Ranger’s maximum payload rating also compares favorably. The Colorado has a maximum payload of 1,465 pounds, the Frontier can carry a maximum of 1,460 pounds and the Tacoma has a maximum payload of 1,175 pounds.
“Ranger is returning to the segment a bit late, and Ford’s truck capability and durability will be the Ranger’s key competitive advantage,” Brinley said. “The powertrain figures announced today reflect that Ford understands this and is prepared.”
Production of the 2019 Ranger will start later in 2018 at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. Ford has not produced a midsize pickup since discontinuing the Ranger in 2011.
Pricing for the 2019 Ford Ranger will start at $25,395 including destination.
Editor’s note: photos courtesy of Ford.