The Ford Ranger is returning to the North American market with a 2.3L EcoBoost engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, and a suite of Ford’s latest technologies.
Production of the mid-size truck, which can seat up to five people, will begin later this year at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant, according to the automaker. Ford decided to bring the Ford Ranger back partly due to increased customer demand in the mid-size truck market, which has seen an increase in U.S. sales by 83% since 2014.
“Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing. “The all-new Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends.”
The revived Ranger includes a center stack with an eight-inch touchscreen that features Ford’s SYNC 3 system. Available SYNC 3 features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Ford+Alexapersonal assistant functionality and optional navigation, Ford said. Also available are AC power outlets that allow for charging of laptops and USB outlets, and an available FordPass Connect 4G LTE modem that provides Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices.
The Ranger will be available in three trim grades: XL, midlevel XLT, and a high-level Lariat trim series. It will include FX Off-Road packages and in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations. The FX4 Off-Road Package provides additional trail capability and includes a terrain management system that offers four distinct driving modes: normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand.
Available driver-assist technologies include standard automatic emergency braking, while lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, a reverse sensing system and blind spot information system with trailer coverage are standard on XLT and Lariat trim levels.
Additional features include optional LED headlamps and tail lamps. Optional exterior lighting includes puddle lamps and lighting for the cargo bed, while Ford’s available Smart Trailer Tow connector alerts drivers to faulty trailer connection, the automaker said.
Ford had sold the earlier iteration of the Ranger in the U.S. in the 1983 to 2012 model-years. The truck became a popular choice for pest-control fleets and smaller fleets in general due to its affordability.
The last Ford Ranger built in the U.S. was a fleet order for Orkin Pest Control, which had adopted the Ranger as a mainstay vehicle before shifting to the Tacoma.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet