Home Ford Ford Ranger mid-size pickup – tale of two trucks in same segment

Ford Ranger mid-size pickup – tale of two trucks in same segment


2019 Ford Ranger Lariat SuperCab 4×2 

Inwheeltime was present at the media launch of the Ford Ranger several months ago and we have driven Ranger a couple of times since.   Overall, our impressions are favorable that the new Ranger is a viable competitor overall in the mid-size segment.

What we noted on that first drive and each test since – is that depending on the mechanical and cabin configurations selected – it has two distinct personalities.

Mechanically as a 4×2, it is a very good truck for a city owner.  When configured as a 4×4 and fitted with the FX4 package, it becomes a very credible outback adventuring truck, while also a good city truck.

Which brings us to the cab configurations. 

SuperCab (aka extended cab) allegedly seats four (more about that in a moment) while the SuperCab (aka crew cab) actually seats up to five.   

In our view, to be a good truck in either city or outback use – it must seat at least four comfortably.   Only a SuperCrew cabin (4×2 or 4×4) does that.

Recently Ford sent us both mechanical configurations – a few weeks apart – to drive again for another look. One was a SuperCab while the other was SuperCrew.

The first tested was a Ranger Lariat 4×2 SuperCab.  A cabin model which is ‘notable’ for its minimal rear seating – space really better suited for ‘stuff’ where leg, head and shoulder room are not key factors. 

But that is not the only challenge. The rear doors are not full size.  They are ‘half’ doors and open to the front – with an awkward latch system – making it difficult to load people or cargo in nearly all situations.

In fairness, there is a plus. The 4×2, with a shorter cab than the 4×4, has a slightly longer cargo bed.   Good for plywood, but not much good for bags of groceries.

All of which is why we would buy the SuperCrew instead of the SuperCab Ranger in either mechanical configuration. 


Ranger SuperCab Lariat 4×2 – As Tested

Our test Lariat SuperCab 4×2 came in their – less than exciting – Magnetic exterior color with a Black interior.  At first look, not particularly impressive.  Some ‘flash’ was provided by elements of the Chrome Appearance Package.  Things like the 18-inch Chrome-like alloy wheels, Chrome Grille Surround, Chrome Bumpers, Chrome Mirror Caps and door handles plus Chrome Running Boards.

The MSRP for our SuperCab test truck was $32,210. Adding a number of accessories like the Chrome package and ‘Lariat’ equipment group, the delivered price was $37,715.

Powertrain and Mechanical

All Rangers feature the 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with Auto Start Stop. And yes, you can turn that off. 

The EcoBoost engine produces 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.  It is mated to a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.  With Ranger weighing in at just over 4,000 pounds, the combination is very adequate to around town and highway driving in Ranger.

Fuel economy ratings are 21/26 mpg city/highway and 23 mpg combined.  With the 18-gallon fuel tank, Ranger has a highway range of just over 400 miles.

Our Ranger was fitted with optional 18-inch wheels and featured a double wishbone suspension, monotube shocks and parabolic rear leaf springs.  Other elements included Electric Power Assisted Rack and Pinion Steering and Four-Wheel Power disc brakes.

Ranger tows too.  All Rangers come with an integrated Tow Package standard.  Equipped with Trailer Sway Control, our Lariat 4×2 was tow rated for 7,500 pounds. 

Driver assist and safety technology included Adaptive Cruise Control, BLIS Blind Spot information with CrossTraffic Alert, Trailer Tow Monitoring, Lane Keeping System with Lane Keeping Aid and Driver Alert, Pre-Collision Assist with Emergency Braking including Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support. 

Other features included Forward and Reverse Sensing, Rear View Camera with dynamic guidelines.


Some of the exterior elements of the Ranger Lariat 4×2 included Daytime Running Lights, LED Fog Lamps, Automatic LED Headlamps with Auto/High/Beam, tow hooks, LED Tail Lamps, Power Heated Folding Side Mirrors and Running Boards.

A note on the running boards.  For a taller person (6-foot or so), they are an obstacle to access.  Using them – one stoops to get in.  Not using them, one has to step over them.  However, if your partner is just over 5-foot or so (just saying), then they are helpful.

The six-foot cargo bed had a Power Tailgate Lock and ToughBed Spray-in Bedliner.  With 51.8 cubic feet of cargo space, the load capacity is rated at 1,860 pounds.  


Ranger offers two interior colors – Black or a Medium Stone.  The quality of the materials inside is very good, but the Black (or Ebony as they call it) does not show it off well.

Our Lariat featured dual Ebony leather-trimmed bucket seats with 8-way power adjustment and matching leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Other features of note included Ambient Lighting, Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control, rear window defroster, remote start, keyless entry, remote tailgate lock dual power points and 110V power outlet.

Technology and Infotainment

Our Ranger Lariat 4×2 came with Ford Sync3 that included an 8-inch LCD Center Stack Touchscreen with swipe and pinch-to-zoom, voice activated Touchscreen Navigation, SiriusXM functionality, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

It also featured FordPass Connect with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot that is able to connect up to 10 devices.  

SuperCab vs SuperCrew

As we briefly noted earlier, we are not a fan of the SuperCab in Ranger.  To be fair, we are not a fan of supercabs or ‘extended cabs’ from any truck brand.

Inside, the rear seat section of a SuperCab is not adequate for adult passengers and only ‘iffy’ for children.  See key measurements below comparing SuperCab to SuperCrew.

Rear Seat                          SuperCab           SuperCrew

Headroom (inches)           35.9                     38.3

Legroom                            30.4                     34.5

Shoulder Room                  55.2                     56.3

Sort of like economy seating in the tail section of a ‘no frills’ airline.

Then there are the rear door openings that face forward which we consider to be less than ‘useful’.   For example, in a grocery store parking lot, try loading your grocery bags in the rear ‘seat’ with a car parked next to you on that side.  Nearly impossible.

The good news is that upgrading to a SuperCrew in the Lariat 4×2 will set you back only $1,675. 

The delivered price of the truck we tested would increase from $37,715 to $39,390.   For us, that is a ‘no-brainer’ for a pretty darn good mid-size city truck.

2019 Ford Ranger Lineup

Ford Ranger for 2019 comes in three trim levels, two cab styles, one powertrain and two drive trains.

Review the lineup and specifications or build one yourself at https://www.ford.com/trucks/ranger/.

KEY DATA (vehicle tested)

  • Model:                                     Escape
  • Trim:                                        Lariat SuperCab
  • Class:                                      Pickup Truck
  • Segment:                                 Mid-Size
  • Seating:                                   Four
  • MSRP:                                     $32,210             
  • As Tested:                                $37,715 (delivered)       
  • Engine:                                    2.3L EcoBoost I-4
  • Horsepower:                            270       
  • Torque:                                    310 lb.-ft.           .
  • Transmission:                         10-speed automatic
  • Drive System:                          Rear-Wheel Drive
  • Ground Clearance                   8.4 – inches
  • Wheel size                               18-inch
  • Tow Capacity                           7,500 lbs
  • Fuel Economy                         21/26/23 mpg    city/highway/combined
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