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There’s A New Ranger In Town, Says Steve, Aimed At The Hot Midsize Truck Segment


The Ranger has made its triumphant return to America, ready to duke it out in the suddenly hot midsize truck segment. Now, not everyone who wants a truck needs F-150-size and capability and the Ranger takes up that slack and does so brilliantly.

Through the first half of this year, sales of midsize pickups are up 15%. And with only a handful of them on the market competition is fierce.  Toyota dominates the segment but its newer rivals have far surpassed it in terms of desirability – case in point, the new Ranger…last seen on our shores in 2012 with sales continuing globally during its U.S. hiatus.  Unlike the F-150, the Ranger’s options are simpler. Start with either the SuperCab model with its small backseat and 6’ box, or like this, the SuperCrew with its 4 real doors and 5’ box.  Then decide if you want 4-wheel drive and lastly a trim level; XL, XLT or like my tester, Lariat.

No matter, each Ranger is powered by Ford’s highly desirable 2.3-liter turbo-4 and a 10-speed auto that shifts as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  This 4X4 has Dana axles with a double wishbone independent setup in the front and a live axle with leaf springs in the rear.  Steel, not aluminum, is the metal of choice and the optional FX4 Off-Road Package is a must-have at only $1,295 adding an off-road-tuned suspension, all-terrain tires, a front bash plate and skid plates, rear locking differential, the very useful Terrain Management ™ and Trail Control – an off-road cruise control system, if you will.  I am super impressed with what Ford has accomplished here – bringing big truck polish and accoutrements to a vehicle that’s more fun-to-drive, more manageable and more fuel efficient.

Faith Based Events

In Lightning Blue with the Sport Appearance package, the Ranger is a head-turner and the level of features in here infuse a luxury vibe.  But it’s no poseur. With nearly 9” of ground clearance, wide angles for traversing the outdoors, and 7,500 pounds towing capacity, the Ranger feels equally as rugged.

[vc_message message_box_style=”solid-icon” message_box_color=”blue”]By TestDriveNow Auto Critic Steve Hammes for SouthFloridaReporter.comSept. 14, 2019

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