Ace of Base: 2019 Ford Ranger XL 4×2

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2019 ford ranger xl 4 215 2

Look at the truck shown above. Blacked-out grille and bumpers, old-school phone dial steel wheels of a reasonable size, and an honest, hardworking cleat system on the outside of the bed. I’d drive it and I’m pretty sure you would, too. Raise your hand if I’m correct.

Hear that Ford? Approximately 100 percent of the American public TTAC readers would sign the note on a base model Ranger. The SuperCrews you showed us in January were a good start, now stop teasing us with overseas mini-Raptors and please whip up a base model.

Keeping with Ford’s naming tradition, I’m dubbing this the Ranger XL.

The truck you see here is Thailand-spec, one which is physically in the ballpark of what we’ll get in this country when the Ranger appears later this year, perhaps around Thanksgiving. In January, the company showed us XLT and Lariat trims jazzed up with an FX4 package.

Prices for the base Ranger start at 559,000 of the finest Thai Bhats, equalling approximately $17,900 American dollars at today’s exchange rate. That’s squarely in the wheelhouse of other base model midsizers already on sale in these parts, such at the Colorado. If Ford can translate the Ranger’s Monroney as well as we hope it translate its styling, it’s gonna give the establishment a run for its money.

Air conditioning and a barrel of places in which to charge devices are standard in the base Ranger, as is Bluetooth connectivity. Sticky vinyl covers the bench seat. When the truck reaches our shores, it’ll likely include other features like a backup camera and cloth buckets. I also spy a sliding rear window.

It’s best to ignore the engine choices offered overseas, as those two diesel engines will likely be lost in translation. Ford’s already confirmed the 2.3-liter EcoBoost; the F-150’s 2.7-liter V6 would be wonderful.

The chances of a standard cab as shown here is slim, as OEMs ‘round these parts would much rather hawk higher-margin SuperCrews loaded to the gills with options. Can’t hurt to dream, though, and it is my opinion that there is more of a market for stripped-out base trucks than manufacturers might think.

Witness the proliferation of little kei trucks being used by hardworking farm hands who don’t necessarily need to fire up the Super Duty every time they go to town, for example. These regular cab base trucks might be low-margin, but I maintain there is some demand. Will we ever see one again? Probably not.

And if all that’s not good enough for ya, check out the base model flatbed. It costs about $500 more than the base Ranger, bins the audio system, and adds rear disc brakes. The suspension is fundamentally different, too, trading ox-cart leaf springs for coils and a Watt’s linkage.

An educated guess puts the new Ranger in American showrooms around the time we’re carving turkey for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. History (and my stint at a Ford store 15 years ago) teaches me dealers will start taking orders about three months prior to that date.

Will there be an Ace of Base model? We can only hope.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 29, 2018

    I would buy one of these regardless of the ride quality. Perfect sized trucks for Home Depot and utilitarian purposes. Price this truck at 17k with a manual and few options and I would buy it. I also like the tires with the bigger sidewalls that are more durable and don't blow out as easy. Just having a bigger traditional sidewall would give it a better ride.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on Mar 29, 2018

      Yeah. The Americanized version is slightly larger than the Global version from what I've read... more along the size of today's Colorado. My problem now is that the wife and I have started talking (again) about getting a towable RV and my old Ranger doesn't have the power to pull one while the Renegade is only rated to 2000#-2500#. I may be forced to upgrade to larger than I really want and so far my choices look slim. GM screwed the floor of the extended cab with that big, plastic, "storage pocket" seat base and none of the others really make a long-legged driver comfortable behind the wheel (seat doesn't move back far enough.) I certainly don't need OR want a full second row; the only passenger back there ever will be a 50# dog (assuming I can get him to even try to jump up there, considering how tall 4x4 trucks have become. Heck, dog already has trouble jumping into the cab of my 4x2 '97 Ranger!) I'm waiting for a first-hand view of the new Ranger before I make any decisions and keep my eyes open for something as useful but smaller than the others.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 01, 2018

    @Vulpine--Agree about the floor of the extended cab Base Colorado. The extended Colorado might be the closest truck to what you need and want except maybe the new Ranger. I don't know if you could realistically go smaller than an extended cab midsize truck especially since you plan on getting a tow able RV. Any smaller then you probably won't be able to tow. r

    • Vulpine Vulpine on Apr 01, 2018

      Like I said, Jeff, I'm at least considering the Ranger. Ford's full-sized extended cabs have a relatively clean floor; I hope they do the same for the Ranger.

  • Wjtinfwb Over the years I've owned 3, one LH (a Concorde) a Gen 1 300 and a Gen 2 300C "John Varvatos". The Concorde was a very nice car for the time with immense room inside and decent power from the DOHC 3.5L. But quality was awful, it spent more time in the shop than the driveway. It gave way to a Gen 1 300, OK but the V6 was underwhelming in this car compared to the Concorde but did it's job. The Gen 1's letdown was the awful interior with acres of plastic, leather that did it's best imitation of vinyl and a featureless dashboard that looked lifted from a cheaper car. My last one was a '14 300C John Varvatos with the Pentastar. Great car, sufficient power and exceptional highway mileage. The interior was much better than the original as well. It was felled by a defective instrument cluster that took over 90 days to fix and was ultimately lemon law' d back to FCA. I'd love one of the 392 powered final edition 300s but understand they're already sold out and if I had an extra 60k available, would likely choose a CPO BMW 540i for comparable money.
  • Dukeisduke Thanks Cary. Folks need to make sure they buy the correct antifreeze, since there are so many OEM-specific ones out there nowadays (Dex-Cool, Ford gold, Toyota red and pink, etc.).And sorry to hear about your family situation - my wife and I have been dealing with her 88-yo mom, moving her into independent senior living, selling her house, etc. It's a lot to deal with.
  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.