It’s time to put the new 2019 Ford Ranger to a 1,100 mile road trip torture test. We drive it from Los Angeles to Moab, UT to Denver, CO over two days. We check the real world fuel economy and take the truck through an off-road trail in Moab. Can the new midsize truck do it all?
This road trip is brought to you by Paizlee’s Grass Fed Beef.
2019 Ford Ranger
This is a Ranger Lariat FX4 crew cab with nearly every possible option. This is nearly the most expensive Ranger you can buy with an MSRP of $46,000. Under the hood is a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder with a rating of 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is the only powertrain option available in the United States.
EPA rates the Ranger 4×4 at 20 mpg city / 24 mpg highway / 22 mpg combined (Ranger 2WD is rated at 21 / 26 / 23 mpg). We wanted to find out exactly how the Ranger 4×4 would perform in the real world with two guys and a bit of gear.
The trip result you see below includes all of the LA to Denver distance, including all of the slow speed off-roading in Moab and the snowy driving in the Rocky Mountains. Still, the overall speed average is about 53 MPH.
This is not a “steady-state” highway run, but it’s still representative of a long distance road trip. Check out the video below as we do an MPG test at the fuel pump.
The Lariat is loaded with many driver assistance features that are useful on a long trip. Ford calls this complete technology package CoPilot 360. We used the adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist for the majority of the trip. Overall, the Ranger is quiet and comfortable on the highway, although some highway bumps (like expansion joints on bridges) can upset the ride a little. The seats are cushy enough for a long trip.
The next part of this adventure is actually driving the Ranger FX4 over the Fins & Things trail near Moab, UT. The FX4 is the most off-road worthy Ranger you can currently get from the factory. It includes a unique front end, skid plates, all-terrain tires, rear locking differential, FX4 off-road tuned shocks, Trail Control (slow speed cruise control), and Terrain Mode selection.
We put all of the FX4 hardware and software components to the test in Moab, and the Ranger impressed by going over every obstacle with barely a scratch on the rear hitch. It had just enough ground clearance (8.9 inch) and good approach/breakover/departure angles to negotiate the tough terrain. The traction control system and the locking rear axle got us out of every slippery situation. If you have not watched the video, you should watch it for the off-road part if nothing else.
Mother nature was not done with us after we left Moab. Up ahead were the Rocky Mountains and a serious snow storm. Still, Hankook ATM tires and 4WD got us up and down Vail Pass and Eisenhower Tunnel / Continental Divide with barely a slip of the tires.