New and improved Ford Ranger unveiled at Detroit Auto Show

Share

Production is expected to start late this year in MI with sales starting in early 2019.

Ford eliminated the Ranger compact truck from its us lineup in 2011 because, it said, customers weren't interested enough in small trucks to sustain the business.

The new-for-2018 Ford Ranger looks largely unchanged from the model already on sale in Australia - the body is the same since launch seven years ago. In this case, the sole engine that will be offered is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which can only be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Under the hood, Ford removed the diesel engine it sells internationally, replacing it with a 2.3-liter turbo-charged V-6 also found in the Mustang sports auto.

The new Ranger is midsized and has a new grill and hood-line. In addition, there was only so much that Ford could do when it came to outfitting the truck with enough tech to meet more stringent safety and emissions standards.

It wants the Ranger to add to its strong overall pickup sales; the full-size F-Series has been the nation's best-selling pickup for 41 straight years. Rangers muscular body features a high beltline that emphasizes strength, while a raked grille and windshield provide an athletic appearance – created to aid in aerodynamics and reduce wind noise.

Inside, Ranger blends comfort and functionality with room for up to five people, their gear and accessories.

Although, for a return to the midsize truck segment, you might have expected Ford to target the full breadth of price points, it seems the blue oval is willing to sacrifice the very base level. The interior features and trim incline toward durability, not luxury.

Ranger prioritizes ground clearance to help climb over off-road obstacles.

The FX4, a special option package, will provide tires for off-road, special shock absorbers, protective plates, and all terrain tires. The system can shift on the fly to automatically change throttle responsiveness, transmission gearing and vehicle controls to tailor traction, driveability and performance to any given terrain or weather condition. The FX4 package will come with standard automatic emergency braking. It will also have both 2 and 4 door models. Orians also suspects that while the Ranger has sentimental value for some drivers, most will prefer something more capable and comfortable.

On the inside, you'll find a modern cockpit (and a significant upgrade from what was available in the last Ranger) complete with Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system. The Ford+Alexa personal assistant and 4G LTE modem with WiFi access for up to 10 devices is also optional. Only extended cab configurations are available.

The Isuzu D-Max's 3.0-litre turbo diesel - an engine shared with an Isuzu truck - remains the biggest capacity four-cylinder diesel in the ute category ahead of Toyota and Holden (2.8 turbo diesel), Mitsubishi (2.4 turbo diesel) and Nissan (2.3 turbo diesel).

Share