Ford Ranger revealed with available AEB, 10-speed auto

Federico Mansilla
May 16, 2018

The 2019 Ranger builds on the capabilities and off-road credentials that has made the award-winning Ranger the most popular vehicle in New Zealand for three years running and the most popular ute in New Zealand for the last four years.

"The Ford Ranger has proven to be a great fit for all aspects of the Kiwi lifestyle", said Jeremy Nash, Ford New Zealand Marketing Manager. "The Ranger's solid workhorse credentials combined with class-leading refinement and capability have pushed the Ranger to the top of the charts in New Zealand, and has attracted many new customers to the ute segment".

In XLT and Wildtrak grades, the Ranger is now available with a new 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine making 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque, the latter available between 1750 and 2000rpm.

The updated 2019 Ford Ranger line-up should be available in dealers around September 2018.

Pricing is yet to be revealed for the new engine option, but the current XLT kicks off at $53,490 before on-road costs for the manual "super cab" body style, while the "double cab"-only Wiltrak is priced from $59,590 - both powered by the 3.2-litre engine". Offering 147kW/470Nm, the 3.2-litre comes with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

A raft of new driver assist gadgets becomes available on Aussie-spec MY19 Rangers, including Pre-Collision Assist with Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection and Autonomous Emergency Braking, as well as Traffic Sign Recognition and, for the first time in the segment, Ford's "Active Park Assist" semi-autonomous parallel parking assistant. The system, which functions at speeds above 3.6km/h, is standard on the Ranger Wildtrak. It's created to recognise pedestrians as well as other vehicles. Sync 3 with smartphone mirroring is now available to XLS buyers, and the car's in-built mapping system now supports a "breadcrumbs" feature to make it easier for owners to retrace their steps off-road. It's the same story with Active Park Assist, which can reverse-parallel park the auto without any steering input from the driver.

Wildtrak also cops another handy feature: an "easy lift" tailgate that incorporates a torsion rod to provide assistance when lifting. With a new internal mechanism, the Ranger's tailgate is now lighter to lift, with a 70-per cent reduction in initial force required to raise it for closing. Rather, it will drop slowly under its own weight. As a rule with these things, though, because of the styling changes, and equipment upgrades on some models you can expect to see incremental price rises. Lead by a cleaner new grille, which features the distinctive "nostrils", a more distinctively chiseled lower bumper now offers a broader intake for a more balanced look.

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Arguably the biggest addition is the XLT and top-spec Wildtrak variants being available with a new engine paired to a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

"The Ranger has to visually signify its intent from the moment you see it", said Ford Asia-Pacific Director of Design, Todd Willing. "If it doesn't look like it's as capable as it actually is, we've missed a serious opportunity. We know Ranger can walk the walk, so we have to show this in the way its styling speaks to that".

Keyless entry is now standard across SLS, XLT and Wildtrak models, and PEPS (Passive Entry Passive Start) tech allows you to open any door on the vehicle, not just the driver's door (and including the hard tonneau cover on Wildtrak).

Inside, premium models come with a new black trim theme with contrasting elements including shadow chrome and silver accent stitching. XLT and Wildtrak get an 8.0-inch touchscreen, this is cost-optional on XLS, it offers Sync3 and also both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Ford has updated the suspension to reduce body roll and make the steering more precise, without sacrificing its payload or towing.

"We've further improved how Ranger behaves when carrying a load, towing a boat or taking a caravan around the country", Willens said.

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