The Ranger has made its triumphant return to America, ready to duke it out in the suddenly hot midsize truck segment. Now, not everyone who wants a truck needs F-150-size and capability and the Ranger takes up that slack and does so brilliantly.
MSRP as-tested: $45,000 https://testdrivenow.com/2019-ford-ranger-review/ 2019 Ford Ranger Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes
ROUSH Performance’s supercharged, 650 horsepower NITEMARE F-150 Regular Cab 4X4 street performance truck accelerates from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds, the quickest time ever recorded with a production truck.
So you really want a Raptor but you’re finding that to be a hard sell to the spouse. Well, the 2019 F-150 Limited offers Raptor-level power with the finesse of a luxury pickup.
Here are the facts: the average new-vehicle transaction price is up to nearly $37,000. But for full-size pickups that number is closer to $50,000! And as you can see here, manufacturers’ believe there’s plenty of room to expand beyond that. Ford says this Limited is the most powerful, luxurious and advanced F-150 ever. If you’ve seen my Raptor reviews you know how highly I think of that truck. But understandably, that’s more than most customers need. So the Limited takes the Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, leaves its off-road shocks behind and takes the design in a more upscale direction to create a workhorse in a black tie. You still get all 450 horses but its look is more buttoned up and its interior more boutique.
Twenty-two-inch wheels, power deployable running boards, a twin panel moonroof, unique Camelback leather interior, massaging seats…you get the picture. And with a 5 ½ bed, 1,200 lb. payload capacity and 8,000 pounds max towing, the Limited could easily be the ultimate family SUV.
The Toyota Tacoma drives into 2019 on an impressive streak leading the mid-size market in sales for 12 straight years. Although certainly worthy of a mic drop, the hard-working Tacoma has no intention of resting on its laurels. In fact, it returns better than ever in 2019 with the additions of the new blacked-out SX Package and updated TRD Pro, both of which add even more variety to the diverse Tacoma lineup that now includes 32 different configurations.
Offering Tacoma lovers a stylish truck that’s light on the wallet, the new SX package provides an affordable, blacked-out appearance package that can be a great base for a customized vehicle but can also stand confidently on its own. The host of black accents include 16-inch alloy wheels, mirror caps, handles, grille and more.
For those who live life off the pavement, the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro provides a compelling reason to start planning that next adventure. Highlighted by 2.5-inch Fox Internal Bypass shocks on all four corners, the new Tacoma adds an available TRD Desert Air Intake designed to provide cleaner airflow to the engine even in the dustiest environments. TRD Pro also gets a standard moonroof and JBL Premium Audio (on automatic transmission models only).
The smaller, midsize truck segment as it is now called is red hot again with a trio of new entries about to shake things up. But no matter what the competition throws at it the Tacoma is the mainstay best-seller.
In full disclosure, I own a Tacoma; a 2001 Prerunner that’s been in my family ever since I reviewed it for the show 18 years ago and then bought it out of the press fleet. So I have particularly high standards for this truck. It has been the segment’s sales leader for 12 years running so I can’t really blame Toyota for their if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach. But…