2019 Ford Ranger - 5 Misses
Earlier this week we published a list of what we here at SVTP consider to be 5 of the best features of the upcoming 2019 Ford Ranger. However, with the good comes the bad. While this is purely an opinion piece, we believe this list tracks right to the heart of former Ranger owners. Traditionally, Ranger buyers seemed to like their trucks more 'trucky' than most other truck buyers. So it stands to reason our list is made up of those burlier features that make a small truck more capable and engaging. Without further adieu, here is SVTP's list of Five 2019 Ford Ranger Misses.
No Manual Transmission
Call me a dinosaur, but I like rowing my own gears. I know that I’m part of a dying breed, but I’m a Lifetime Member of the Save the Manuals Foundation. Nothing beats having the extra level of control and engagement with your vehicle that a stick-shift offers. It just makes the combination of man and machine more meaningful.
Now I certainly understand that automatics have progressed to the point that they are superior to a manual in basically every performance metric. Still, if given the option; 9 times out if 10 I’ll choose a manual over a slush-box. Here’s to hoping that the Global Ranger’s manual transmission option will eventually find its way into the US spec model.
No Diesel Engine Option
It’s no secret that I have a lot of love for compression ignition engines. For some reason the smell of diesel fuel and the clatter of an oil-burner just makes me happy. So it should come as no surprise that I was very disappointed that the Ranger was not introduced with a diesel engine option. The 3.2L Powerstroke is already offered in the Global Ranger in many markets, but it looks like there’s a very real chance that we may miss out on it here. That is doubly disappointing when you consider that the 3.2L diesel is already offered in the US in the full-size Transit van. I’m hoping that Ford listens to us and gives us a powerful diesel option for the Ranger in the very near future.
No FX4 Level II
This one has special significance to me. Way back in 2002 I purchased the first model year Ford Ranger FX4, before this particularly potent off-road package was given the Level II designation in 2003. The FX4 Level II Ranger was a sweet package that was a step above the standard Off-Road equipped trucks. It featured Bilstein Shocks, Torsen Differential, Thicker Skid Plates, Unique Interior, Manual Transfer-Case, 4.10 Gears, and an F-150 Spec 31-Spline 8.8 Rear Axle. This was the top-dog package on the last generation Ranger, and really the highlight of that generation. While it wasn’t really a Raptor rival, it was a great little truck. I traded my 2002 FX4 Ranger in on my 2004 SVT Lightning, and while I don’t regret that move I do miss that truck. I think Ford is really missing an opportunity here by not giving us an FX4 Level II Ranger, especially if they don’t intend to bring the Ranger Raptor to the US.
No Regular Cab
There’s probably going to be very few people who feel the same, but I really like a regular cab truck. To me it is the purest form of a pickup truck. It covers everything from a basic work truck to a sporty runabout. However, for over a decade sales of regular cab trucks across all brands have been falling off a cliff; so it’s understandable why Ford will only be selling the extended and crew cab models at launch. The Ranger is available in this configuration in other markets around the world, so it would be nice to have it here. My first vehicle was a regular cab Ford Ranger, and it was awesome. I’d really like to see the US-Spec Ranger include all cab option, so let’s hope we get the regular cab in a model year or two.
No Step-Side Bed
If the last topic was somewhat controversial, this one is going to be even more so. Simply put, the Ranger needs a step-side bed option. There was a time when every truck manufacturer offered a step-side bed on their trucks, but since the 2010 model year that particular styling option has not been offered by any manufacturer in the US market. The Ford F-150 was the last truck to roll down the production line. The new Ford Ranger has a much more rounded styling than the other current Ford truck models, and a step-side bed would seem to fit pretty well with the overall design. Also, we think it is defiantly time for a new version of the Ford Ranger Splash; and you can’t have a Splash without a step-side bed.