Following news last year that Ford was planning on resurrecting its discontinued Ranger pickup here in the U.S., Car and Driver reports that the automaker will in fact be re-entering the midsize truck market that it once dominated with a 2019 model.
The last time a Ford Ranger rolled off a U.S. assembly line was in December 2011. Ford has continued to manufacture and sell the truck outside the U.S., updating the look of the truck in the 2015 model year and adding two diesel engine options.
We reached out to Ford spokesman Mike Levine, who declined comment on the Car and Driver report, instead saying the automaker remains focused on improving fuel efficiency in its F-150 and Super Duty trucks.
“We do not speculate about future product plans. We have been and will continue investing in F-Series for the North American market—with new powertrains and improved performance, including fuel efficiency,” Levine said in an emailed statement.
As far as engine match-ups go for the 2019 Ranger, Car and Driver is betting that the truck’s current 3.2-liter diesel engine offered outside the U.S. will make its way into the new U.S. model and that it may rival the fuel efficiency of the diesel-equipped Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
An EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and naturally aspirated gas V6 are also expected to be offered as other engine options for the 2019 Ranger, Car and Driver reports, adding the truck “will use the same body-on-frame construction as the truck sold elsewhere in the world.”
The base price for the 2019 Ranger is expected to be below $25,000. A new Ford Bronco, with a starting price of $30,000, is expected to hit dealers’ lots the following year.
GM’s popular midsize Canyon and Colorado, according to Car and Driver, has helped stimulate more interest in the mid-size market.
Ford has definitely taken notice of their rival’s success. GM out-paced Ford in truck sales for 2015, which it credits in part to the popularity of its Colorado and Canyon pickups. Both models had nearly 115,000 combined sales for 2015.
GM’s popular midsize GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado, according to Car and Driver, has helped stimulate more interest in the mid-size market.
Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup has enjoyed even stronger sales than that. Last year, nearly 180,000 Tacomas were sold in the U.S.
However, by comparison, when the Ford Ranger was king of the midsize truck market in 1999, roughly 350,000 of the pickups were sold during that year alone.