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

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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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