By on January 23, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger

Last summer, fans of mid-sized pickup trucks got a quick look behind the virtual curtain when the build-and-price tool for the new Ford Ranger leaked to the internet like a screen door on a submarine. Spox at the Blue Oval rapidly shouted #FakeNews, but the base price of $24,300 proved accurate.

At the time, we did an Ace of Base using the quickly-hauled-down pricing tool. Six months on, has anything changed? Are our readers still interested in a base Ranger priced $3,000 north of a base Colorado? Did NFL referees blow that call this weekend?

One thing that has changed is the pricing tool finally shows an image of the base interior. Previously, it only showed a high-zoot trim, regardless of model selected. We see the base Ranger is a festival of black surfaces, with a vast expanse of empty area around the HVAC controls. This may or may not be the Blank Space to which Taylor Swift was referring. Poverty-spec Rangers also get an infotainment system peppered with buttons to make the thing look like Worf’s forehead.

2019 Ford Ranger

It also annoys your author when manufacturers install a steering wheel with buttons on just one spoke. Not only does it advertise to you and your passengers that you’re a cheapskate, but it makes the wheel looks like it is winking at you — or that it has suffered a pirate-like injury. Either way, Ford is not alone in committing this sin.

The rest of the base pickup reads remarkably similar to what was reported back in August, despite Ford’s protestations. The only non-greyscale color available is Lightning Blue, with the Tang Orange Saber hue only available when an optional package is selected. Buyer are treated to Those Wheels — 16-inches in diameter and wrapped in 255/70/16 blackwall tires. The truck’s grille, mirror caps, and bumpers are all flat black.

2019 Ford Ranger

No-cost vinyl seats are still an option for those who enjoy sticking to the things in summertime. Air conditioning is standard to relieve some of that burden, a piece of standard kit not confirmed back in the August leak. SYNC is also included, something which went unmentioned last time around.

2019 Ford RangerIn a fit of pandering to the Ace of Base crowd, Ford will credit your account to the sum of $240 if you choose to bin the rear seats and use the space for storage instead. Carpet is absent unless buyers pay extra, a development with which your author will not argue.

So how about it, B&B? Are you still as excited for a base Ranger as you were during those hot August nights? Or has the cold reality of winter dampened your enthusiasm?

[Images: Ford]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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71 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2019 Ford Ranger XL...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The only reason I didn’t buy the Ranger is that I don’t like the sole engine choice. I would have probably gone for the Lariat, but only with the 2.7 turbo vs the 2.3 turbo. Even then, it would have been questionable.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Those wheels are ugly , I am not a pick up driver and can not see myself ever owning one but If I did I would not go for this stripper model, it would remind you ever day you cheated out, at least you can get it in blue w no extra cost.
    Why buy this when you can get what ever full size better equipped PU that one of the 2.5 want off their lots and will put plenty of cash on the hood to move.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    If it’s $3k more expensive than the competition and has a cheepskate interior, how is that an Ace of Base? What would a vehicle have to lack to fail to qualify?

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Ditch the stupid wide space killing console, FFS.

    Good move on the rubber flooring. Also the availability of vinyl a good choice for usefulness and longevity.

    The Ranger I saw that almost made me trade on the spot was a used 07 with rubber flooring, bench seat, crank windows, no console, five speeds, 4 cyl with AC, a bed cover and some fancy wheels.

    As I’m not into trucks at all, this was surprising. Everything but the wheels was purpose built for simplicity and long life.

    And “cheapskate” is an accusation I accept with pride.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I really like the look of these (not so much the base version but the mid versions).
    This could be my first Ford brand purchase ever…maybe a year from now.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Base F-150 XL $28,155. So, a bit cheaper, but we all know that trucks are heavily discounted, so depending on the deal at hand there’s no telling where you’ll end up price wise or what truck

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      I am sure the F150 will have greater discounts, but the one nice thing comparing to the Ranger is the base Ranger should be much quicker than a base F150. I’d like to see that race/comparo actually–

      • 0 avatar
        gregsfc

        Yeah but then then that’s not a realistic comparison, because with F150 once can easily and cheaply add the 2.7L or 5.0L for $995 and $1995 more without having to add trim level or doors or any kind of package (something that GM never allows for their loyalists); and if someone is seriously considering a Ranger, then those persons are likely tilted towards more power and torque output and probably wouldn’t appreciate peak hp of the 3.3L being at 6500 RPM or peak toque, which is measly at 4000.

        I think that would be the big dilemma for someone considering a Ranger versus F150; RCSB F150 with one of the premium engines mated to a 10 speed; mpg 20/26/22 or 17/23/19, 2.7, 5.0 respectively versus Ranger at 21/26/23; HP 325 @ 5000; 395 @ 5750; versus Ranger at 270 @ 5500; torque 400 @ 2750; 400 @ 4500, versus 310 @ 3000. Curb weight is only slightly less for Ranger, as the 2.7L in this configuration is 4166, whereas Ranger is just under that at 4144 (except chassis cab) and 5.0L is about 55 more pounds than the 2.7L. Capability is also very close. I don’t know about the 2019 model, but my 2015 with the 2.7L had a GVWR of 6010 and payload rated at 1820; whereas the base ace Ranger will get you 1860. I’m not sure about the same configuration with the 5.0L, but if we’re referring to the base trucks, F150s RCSB payload and towing will be way down from the max versions with each engine that one can get with the heavy-duty package; so capability is pretty much a wash for towing and payload believe or not. Utility depends on your priority and need. The full size fits 4X8 panels with the tailgate down. Ranger you have to cockeye; put in blocks or leave the tailgate up, however, Ranger has the clam shell doors and extra seating or heated storage in it’s base form and price. The base Ranger with a price separation of around $4,500-$5,500 versus the F150 XL 2.7L, and 5.0L respectively. To get the 3.5L TT, one has to go up to a long bed, but can keep the same low-priced XL trim (again GM doesn’t allow anything close); but it’s still gets you up towards $35K due to the power train premium and long bed premium added to the base price. The RCSB F150 is not really a much bigger truck. It’s slightly shorter with a shorter wheel base, but some people want or need those tiny seats or space behind with door access more than they need the larger bed; and if narrowness is important, then Ranger is a full 6 1/2″ more narrow. Both are good values, especially comparing turbo to turbo and the base model turbos or near base models are the ones that are going to get you real world FE very close to the estimate. The more you add, the worse you’re going to get no matter what the estimate indicates. It’s just physics.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Pound for pound, yes you’ll pay lots more for the Ranger vs the F-150, but that’s exactly what SHOULD happen. If Ranger buyers value its smaller package that much, then why not?

      Or should Ford take a loss to supply it? When comparing the loaded crew-cab Ranger to an equally equipped F-150 Super cab, the premium you’ll pay for the Ranger becomes much more evident when the dust settles, rebates etc.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Fun fact: Ford of Canada is charging almost $1000 more for this than a base F150. But then again, a base Focus is now cheaper than a Fiesta in Canada. (Although different model years – I guess no 2019s for the focus).

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      You’re being a little disingenuous though – there’s no option for a 4×2 Ranger in Canada – make that one little change for the F-150, and it’s $1600 more than the Ranger (and that’s still comparing the single cab F-150 to the extended cab Ranger).

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    So you buy a 2WD truck with nothing for the price of a Subaru Forester. We have a newly emerging class of poseurs, taking over the mantle from BMW owners.

  • avatar
    deanst

    A base truck with a decent motor seems appealing if you’re into pickups, but that infotainment screen should be an embarrassment to Ford.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    I just went to the Ford of Canada build tool for the Ranger. I was surprised to find that you can only build these as 4x4s. I guess I’m not that surprised, as 2WD trucks are vastly outnumbered by 4x4s here.

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    The issue in general with most base trucks is they seem to be for fleets and leave out cruise control. Just because I’m being cheap does not mean I don’t want that. I would be doing a lot of highway miles and need cruise. ( and in case you think otherwise you clearly do not have any issues with sitting for long periods of time such as sciatic nerve pain ) If there is an aftermarket option that might be okay. I have done that in the past. I could do without snyc but I am guessing that does not really cost Ford anymore than a lesser radio so does not help them save on production cost. Cruise comes in a $1,135 package:(

    For me, the wheels are fine as I like to replace mine with after market so no need to pay for a factory alloy option.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      I agree cruise is required. Luckily it’s standard on darn near every vehicle now. If this needs a 1,000 dollar pkg to get it, it would be well worth it. I presume these can be bargained down on price quite a bit more than a Tacoma, but remains to be seen……

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        In the Jeep line-up, I had to go up from a Renegade to a Compass to get 4×4, manual shift with Air and Cruise.

        It was all extra cost on the Renegade, but standard on the Compass— and like this vehicle vs the F150– the two reached price parity to be comparably/comfortably equipped.

        Cruise and A/C shouldn’t be extra cost when touchscreens, cameras and remote entry/keyless start/bluetooth/power package are standards. Its jus silly packaging to force favorable consumer behaviours.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt51

          I bought new, a 2017 Renegade for $15,700 plus tax and title. It had air and cruise, plus an appearance package. The dealer had a base model no air for $13000 plus tax and title. The Renegade, comparably equipped, is about the same as a Compass.

    • 0 avatar

      Because of the use of CAN-BUS and throttle by wire. To get cruise all you need to do is go to the parts counter and buy the switches. Then install them. The Tacoma guys do this to get cruise and intermittent windshield wipers for their base trucks. And I helped a friend do this for her Dodge Dart that lacked cruise control.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        What changed?

        When I had my PT Cruiser with no cruise— a CANBUS car— it was a kit and then another fee at the shop to activate it.

        The car had entirely decorative fog lamps(and switch- I got the proper Mopar kit) but needed another couple hundred bux in plugging-in and reflashing. It just isn’t worth identical costs to DIY for most owners.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          In Fords you should be able to activate those modules using the free Forscan software (for Windows) with extended license.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Nope, on the DBW cars you need to do a complete reflash of the powertrain calibration with cruise, you can’t just turn it on with ForScan. If all you needed was the steering wheel and to turn it on, my E-series would have it now.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Not always…Nissan left out a bunch of wiring to the ECU that was required for the cruise to function on my 2013 Frontier S. Aftermarket kit was easy, if not as pretty though.

    • 0 avatar
      gregsfc

      I agree 100%. The only thing that keeps me from choosing base models is the lack of cruise. Cruise cost me $1500 in my F150 with a bunch of extra silly features I never use, but I do appreciate power glass in such a wide truck. In Ranger, the XL gives you power glass and mirrors but no cruise. I’d opt for roll down windows, because I can reach across Ranger’s interior, but I must have cruise with a sixty mile commute. As for infotainment, I watch tv at home, and look ahead on the road when I drive. I don’t think of motor vehicles as entertainment pieces or as a “device”. A 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage starts under $15K and includes cruise and 5 speed and 14″ wheels and 41 mpg. Rated as one of the worst cars, because it’s not flashy or fast…that’s how backward our society has become.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I’m glad the choice exists for those who are into this type of vehicle, but it’s sure hard for me to see a single redeeming quality of this thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      • Easier to drive;
      • Easier to park;
      • Fits in the average garage (albeit barely;)
      • Easier to load;
      • Easier to unload.

      That’s five redeeming qualities right there.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        That’s why I’m glad it’s here for those who value those sorts of things. I’m never opposed to more choices, even when they don’t offer anything that I value over a competitor.

        As for me, I don’t find it difficult to load, unload, drive, or park my F350 that’s nearly 5 feet longer than the Ranger. Admittedly, it would not fit in my garage, although even a significantly shorter truck would be a tight squeeze there.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          It’s a freaking truck…so what if it gets parked outside. I mean if you live in Canada maybe. I did Watertown NY parking a Miata outside year round though so your freaking base model pickup will be fine. My F150 lives outside with the kid’s Leaf.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    Wow that sure looks……….. base. Inside & out. I realize this won’t bother a lot of people, but does it need to SCREAM “I paid zero extra!”??

    And there’s that world’s tiniest backup camera screen, literally business card size, that was one of the main reasons I got rid of my 2017 Mustang GT.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The 2019 Tacoma SR AccessCab starts at $25,550, but you can add the Utility Package, which deletes the rear seat and rear cupholders, and adds black mirror caps, bumpers, and door handles, and a fixed rear window in place of the slider. That knocks $1,715 off of the MSRP, bringing the base down to $23,835. That’s the 2.7l four with the six-speed auto.

    You have to choose either the Utility Package (-$1,715) or the SR Convenience Package (+$230), which adds keyless entry, bringing the MSRP to $25,780.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The steelies with the little round holes definitely makes it look like a Third World appliance.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    I love how you can still get a Ranger with steelies and a durable, bargain-basement interior. The price seems steep for what you don’t get, but as better-equipped as a similarly-priced sedan might be (e.g. my pops’ new Accord EX), it…doesn’t have a pickup bed.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The thing I like the most about the Ranger is the ONE engine. Most of the base 4-cyl competition is pretty terrible (especially in the Mountain West.)

    I still would want crew cab XLT with a few options.

    On Ford’s build and price the gulf between a Ranger XLT the way I’d want it and a F150 XLT the way I’d want it was roughly $10K on MSRP. Now if within several months the real world transaction price is also similar – the truck makes sense. If you are only going to discount the F150 though then there is little business case for the Ranger.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Having driven a rental Tacoma TRD with the 3.5L+6A that downshifted on every tiny hill, sign me up for the Ranger’s 310 lb-ft without a moment of hesitation.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Agreed. The case for the base Ranger is that 310 lb/ft, compared to an NA 4-cylinder of around 185 lb/ft in every other mid-size base model. It even compares favorably to the powertrains in half-ton base models…except the GM twins, with their 2.7T four.

        In reality, the 2.7T V6 in the F150 is such a cheap upgrade that it’s probably the best power/cost performer in base-land…and it’s a beast.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        True. The 3.5l in the third-gen Tacoma is wheezy and gutless (I’ve driven one in a friend’s 2016). The 4.0l (5-speed auto) in my 2013 can smoke the 3.5l. The worst thing about the third-gen Tacoma is the engine. I won’t buy another new Tacoma as long as they continue to use the 3.5l D4S (direct plus port injection) V6.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Atkinson cycle.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Atkinson or not, my old school iron block 3.4L with 183hp in my 4Runner got the same over-the-road MPG without having to downshift for hills as the 2018 Tacoma I rented. Just bad drivability with that engine on the highway, even in the flat Midwest.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            My son’s 2016 Tacoma is that way, shifts at the slightest change in elevation.

            But the gas mileage is a lot better than it used to be with his 2008.

            Then again, with 4drs and 4×4, and an undersized engine, Atkinson or not, what would an owner expect?

            The Engine Management Computer is going to maximize mpg by keeping the engine rpm within the most economical range of the power band.

            And that means shifting to match the curve.

            It would not surprise me if at some point in the future even Toyota would equip the Tacoma with a CVT to make this shifting process smoother.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    ….It also annoys your author when manufacturers install a steering wheel with buttons on just one spoke. Not only does it advertise to you and your passengers that you’re a cheapskate….

    Matthew, it is not the buttons not one side of the steering wheel that will advertise to your passengers that you are a cheapskate. I believe the steel wheels, monotone paint, cloth or vinyl seats, radio with knobs, and rubber floor in lieu of carpet will be the dead give away long before they notice the steering wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Blank button syndrome is rampant among automakers.

      My wife has a 2016 Terrain with a lowly SLE package. Almost devoid of button blanks.

      My father-in-law has a 2018 Terrain SLE but loaded up with heated seats and 2.0T and AWD. Blank buttons EVERYWHERE.

      One generation separates them.

      I’ve already started looking on line for “novelty” switch labels for blank buttons in my next ride. “Smoke Screen” “Launch Missiles” “Warp Drive”

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I guess he expects the steering wheel to be completely redesigned, right down to the harness, so the buttons can be symmetrical.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Asymmetrical steering wheel buttons add pizzaz and style to nighttime lock-to-lock wheel turning!

        My periphery catches it every time!

        Both spokes of mine have lighted, matching directional pads and enter buttons— with the telephone controls on the left spoke. The right has blanks for the self-parking fearures automatic transmission people can get.

        Its even more noticabale because the telephone buttons light-up red and green ☺️

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      My passenger is free to buy their own truck instead of using mine should they find my truck’s wheel or any other features disagreeable.

  • avatar
    hriehl1

    A stripper Frontier (4 cyl, 5-spd manual, 2WD) is around $18K real-world. Tough to beat.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Yup. And air is now standard even in the base Frontier this year. Can’t beat it if what you really want is a small/mid-sized truck. After that, I’d still take a base Colorado over the Ranger. Bonus for the Colorado: OnStar is NOT standard on the base model.

  • avatar
    kkop

    I’d find this hard to justify when I can get a much roomier Ram 1500 ‘Classic’ Regular Cab (bench seat FTW!) with a V6 and alloy wheels for about $23K. Would also have cruise control and some other goodies.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Yes!!

    Steelie ALL the wheels throughout the land!

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I wonder if the black center caps I’ve had since like 1992 off my 88 Ranger would fit those rims.


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