What is the new Midsize truck segment I speak of?
When my soon-to-be husband came to pick me up, he pulled up in a 1987 Mazda B2000 pickup truck. And that did it for me.. just kidding. It was his blue eyes. But that’s beside the point. This truck was small. Like, uncomfortable for more than 2 people at a time, small. But this was same for all trucks in that segment at the time. The Toyota Tacoma, Chevy S-10, Nissan truck, or the Ford Ranger. Which was fine, as most of these weren't neseccarily the main vehicles for the family.
Fast forward to now. These trucks are dubbed by some as, “Lifestyle Trucks”. Why?
Unlike their predecessors, midsize trucks are being used as more and more in everyday life. From hauling dirtbikes and sports equipment to toting around kiddos. They offer 4-doors, 5 or 6 ft beds, fuel economy in the mid 20’s, and a tow rating of up to 7500 lbs!
This is particularly exciting to us who already love trucks, but according to Autolist, 62% of consumers would “definitely” or “probably” consider buying a compact or midsize truck for their next vehicle. The usefulness of the bed is ranked high on the list of priorities for both men and women, followed by styling and design, and comfort and utility.
Now, let’s take a look at the 2019 Ford Ranger.
Yes but, what’s under that hood?
I’m glad you asked. It comes with just one engine option, the 2.3L EcoBoost paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
But no worries, that little turbocharged 4-cylinder makes 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Meaning? Getting on the freeway, it was quick and responsive. I had no trouble from the stop light getting up to speed on the hill to the on ramp. Same with driving on small downtown Dallas streets. It was quick when I needed to get in front of someone and change lanes like, NOW. Yep, sometimes you just have to.
Speaking of changing lanes, the visibility was definitely a major plus. It has massive amounts of glass, making it easy to see around me. Adding to that, is Ford’s BSIS, Blind Spot Information System. I LOVE this! If there is car next to you in your blind spot, an orange light appears on the side mirror until it is safely out of your way. Seriously, how amazing and useful is that?
The inside is impressive as well. It felt roomy enough for 5 adults, in my opinion. For the ones in the back seats, there are 2 USB ports, a 110v outlet and 4 cup holders, depending on whether the middle seat is folded up or not. No fighting over who gets to charge their phones!
Up in the front is the same, plus FordPass Connect with 4g LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, 6 audio speakers, 911 Assist, and 1 Smart-Charging USB port
Ford… meet Yakima accessories!
One of the more exciting packages offered is the team up between Ford and Yakima accessories that is available through dealerships right now, including kayak racks, bike racks and tents! Which is a convenient, easy way to customize your new truck, but I’m not sure how I feel about financing a tent and bike racks into your auto loan!? But that's just me... I’m cheap like that.
All in all, my time spent behind the wheel of the Ranger was fun! It was smooth shifting, peppy when I needed it to be, easy to see out of and maneuver in heavy traffic, sturdy and solid feeling, and very comfortable for long trips.
There are 3 different models to choose from:
the XL - starting at $24,300. MPG 21/26
the XLT - starting at $27,940. MPG 21/26
the Lariat - starting at $32,210. MPG 21/26
So, will this redesigned “Lifestyle Truck” be able to hold its own with the likes of Tacoma, Frontier and Gladiator?
Surprisingly, I think this will do just fine fitting in.
LeeAnn Radonski, Rad Auto Solutions
When I’m not writing and dreaming about cars, I’m driving them around Austin and the Hill Country of Texas! You can find me @radautosolutions on Instagram