Ford launches new Ranger bakkie

Tuesday, 16 Jan, 2018

Ford's ability to have the truck's engineering used for more than just the Ranger was a big factor in bring the vehicle back to the market in the U.S. Automakers rely on that type of thing of platform sharing as a way to maximize their profits, especially if a vehicle may or may not by itself sell in numbers large enough to make its investment worthwhile.

Its design is largely unchanged from the previous generation model. During development, it went through the same torture tests as the F-150.

The Blue Oval has kept its promise - past year they were revealing the Ranger nameplate would come back home - and here it is, the 2019 Ranger, featuring a 2.3L EcoBoost, 10-speed automatic, and even a dedicated FX4 Off-Road variant.

Affordability was also an issue, says Todd Eckert, Ford's truck marketing manager. Optional features include B&O PLAY premium audio and the FordPass Connect 4G LTE hotspot (which can support up to 10 wireless devices).

It will come in three trim levels: XL, XLT and Lariat.

Ford will build Rangers with two cabs and 5- or 6-foot boxes.

An off-road FX4 package will be offered across all trims.

"If I had the capital for a new pickup, an F-150 would be the first place I'd look", Orians said.

Ford launches new Ranger bakkie
Ford launches new Ranger bakkie

The FX4 Off-Road Package introduces Fords all-new Trail Control technology.

The site also reveals the available colors for the Ford Ranger.

Styling changes for the latest PX Ranger are mild and consists of new LED headlights, restyled bumper and bonnet, different grille options and capitalised "Ranger" text the across the tailgate. The rear seats offer waterproof underseat storage.

Since GM's models arrived in 2014, sales of mid-size pickups in the USA have surged about 85 percent, as gas prices fell and trucks mounted a comeback.

The Ranger was always among the segment's top sellers, including No. 1 as recently as 2004.

Some have anxious that the Ranger could cut into some of those sales. Ford also hasn't shared a max towing number, but says the Ranger can tow campers, watercraft, or ATVs. It also aims to conquest from other brands, woo some F-150 buyers - though not too many, and only if they otherwise would have defected to a rival brand - and even snatch sales from small crossovers and sedans.

Australia's appetite for the likes of the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Holden Colorado, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, Isuzu D-Max and Volkswagen Amarok has not kicked off quite as strongly as in the U.S., but the brands are recognising the strength of the 4x4 dual-cab segment - the slice of the light commercial vehicle market that's more popular with private buyers.