The best-selling pickup in Europe – the Ford Ranger – is about to get a "lick and a flick" update in the shape of the 2019 version due to hit the UK in June. The current model is facing stiff competition from the Mitsubishi L200… will this new version be enough to keep it in the fight? Vanarama's Tom Roberts reports. (AND, if you don't fancy a read why not listen to the podcast below?)
Short answer – yes. Longer answer – probably still yes. In the words of Ford of Europe's Roelant de Waard, VP Marketing, Sales & Service: "The new Ford Ranger provides customers with an unbeatable combination of pulling power, fuel-efficiency and smart driver-assistance technology, and our cutting-edge EcoBlue engine equipped with the latest SCR technology exceeds the new stringent emissions regulations."
Right, so boil it down to the essentials and it's clear that the new Ford Ranger is getting an update, or as our very own Tim Cattlin calls it "a lick and a flick" update – nothing earth-shattering, but a few cool highlights, nonetheless.
New Ford engines all round!
Ford's Transit and the Transit Custom are already loving life with the company's excellent 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine taking care of business… and now the Ford Ranger will get its hands on it and drivers will benefit from a "9% fuel-efficiency improvement when combined with an advanced new 10-speed automatic transmission".
9%! Which is actually a significant boost, but focus on the engine's vital statistics: at its peak it can offer 213 PS and 500 Nm for a towing capability of up to 3,500 kg. That's worth a double take, surely?
All-terrain, all the time in a new Ford Ranger
If you're driving a Ford Ranger, you're doing it because you either lead a "go-anywhere" life… or you just need to go anywhere. That's why the new Ford Ranger packs a class-leading wading ability and 230 mm of ground clearance – no obstruction is getting in your way… except for one that's 231mm tall.
And it's going to be packing some cutting-edge tech with the new Ranger slated to be the first pick-up in its class to offer Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Intelligent Speed Limiter technologies as part of its standard trim level! I'm sold and excited to try this all out. Hint hint, Ford of Europe.
Fancy a 4WD trim on your new Ford Ranger?
You won't have to choose top spec to get 4WD anymore… the new Ranger is available in Regular Cab, Super Cab, and Double Cab body styles, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM features four-wheel drive as standard – a major tick in the column.
There is also a huge array of bells and whistles available, as you'd expect, and what you choose will be determined by what you need. Check the specs, tick the boxes – you'll be spoiled for choice.
Early verdict for the Ford Ranger 2019
I'm a big fan of the Ford Ranger, always have been, and a new Ranger is always welcome – even if this one doesn't seem like the biggest step forward.
It's got a new engine… but one that's already in the Transit and Transit Custom. It's got a new front end… but that's a bit yawn. What is coming that we SHOULD be excited about is four-wheel drive as standard, a mass of driver techs, 9% more engine efficiency AND even more go-anywhere abilities that build on the Ranger's already incredible reputation.
Will it beat the current L200 in the UK? My gut says yes, how about yours?
The all-new model of the Ford Ranger is stated for a 2022 launch – this update appears in June. So, if you want the 2019 model, get it on a 3-year lease and by the time the all-new Ranger appears you'll be ready to upgrade to the all-new one. Simple, eh?
Want more insider info on the latest LCV news stories? Check out the latest Loadspace news podcast for e-Caddy and e-Crafter news, Ford Ranger 2019 details and the top 10 best-selling vehicles in focus...and more!