In May, I checked out the impressive 2019 Lariat SuperCrew four-wheel-drive Ranger, nicely equipped and stickering at almost $45,000. The base-price pickup is a little more than $24,000. I couldn't find much to complain about. And I found lots to like.
1. The Ranger's design. The styling of this midsize truck isn't wild or radical. But it is solid, and my tester looked sharp in "Lightning Blue."
2. The "Ranger" call-out across the liftgate. This is a cool thing, as well as a throwback to day when pickups proudly announced themselves to whomever might be in the rearview mirror.
3. The versatile, lined short-box and bed. The SuperCrew configuration that I tested sported a 5-foot bed, but the Ranger can be had with a two-door cab and a 6-foot bed. I used the Ranger for both a run to Costco and to transport some furniture about 120 miles.
4. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is a turbocharged power plant that cranks out 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Towing capacity is 7,500 pounds — enough to tow just about anything owners of the Ranger would want to.
5. Superb ground clearance. With hefty off-road tires, the Ranger is prepared to leave the pavement.
6. Serious four-wheel-drive. The Ranger boasts a solid 4x4 system — FX4 — with a locking differential. The package adds another grand or so to the price.
7. A no-nonsense, easy-to-care for interior. The Ranger's cabin is comfortable and well-appointed, but far from fussy.
8. The smooth-shifting 10-speed transmission. Combined with the turbocharged engine, this powertrain yields 20 mpg city, 24 highway, and 22 combined.
9. Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system. In the Ranger, it runs on an 8-inch touchscreen. Sync 3 is one of the best in the industry. It provides superb navigation, easy Bluetooth connectivity, and AUX and USB device-connection options.