Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

2019 Ford Ranger: Hands-on review

We took the 2019 Ford Ranger to the Werribee 4x4 testing ground and things got steep.

2019 Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger has been a massive hit in Australia, ranking as the second-highest-selling vehicle in 2017 with a massive 42,728 sold. In September 2018, the Toyota HiLux increased its year-on-year sales by 13.5% while the veritable Ford Ranger’s sales fell by 25.2%. But sales aside, which vehicle actually comes out on top?

We recently compared the Toyota HiLux and the Ford Ranger, stepping back and looking at the cars holistically:

“A HiLux is a bit like the Great White Shark, legendary at what it does and pretty much the de facto king of the marine food chain (or ute sales charts). But the Ranger is like a Killer Whale, known to hunt Great Whites, and it is now closing in on a slightly floundering rival.”

We headed to Melbourne to test the 2019 Ford Ranger and find out if it has done enough to dethrone the vehicle famously dubbed “indestructible” by the Top Gear team in the UK.

Pricing

XLXLSXLTWildtrak
4x2 XL Single C/C 2.2L Low Rider MT - $27,9904x4 XLS Double P/up 3.2L MT - $49,1904x2 XLT Double P/up 3.2L Hi-Rider AT - $50,2904x4 Wildtrak Double P/up 3.2L MT - $60,590
4x2 XL Single C/C 2.2L Hi-Rider AT - $33,6904x4 XLS Double P/up 3.2L AT - $51,3904x2 XLT Double P/up 2.0L Bi-Turbo Hi-Rider AT - $51,4904x4 Wildtrak Double P/up 3.2L AT - $62,790
4x2 XL Super C/C 2.2L Hi-Rider AT - $36,1904x4 XLT Super P/up 3.2L AT - $56,1904x4 Wildtrak Double P/up Bi-Turbo AT - $63,990
4x2 XL Double C/C 2.2L Hi-Rider AT - $38,1904x4 XLT Super P/up Bi-Turbo AT - $57,390
4x2 XL Double P/up 2.2L Hi-Rider AT - $39,6904x4 XLT Double P/up 3.2L MT - $55,990
4x4 XLT Double P/up 3.2L AT - $58,190
4x4 XLT Double P/up Bi-Turbo AT - $59,390

Options

OptionCost
Prestige Paint$600
XLS SYNC3 Pack$1,950
XLT Tech Pack (new features)
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) (new)
  • Semi Auto Active Park Assist (new)
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) (new)
  • Driver Impairment Monitor
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Keep Assist/Lane Departure
  • Warning Auto High Beam
$1,700
XLT Optional Leather Seats$1,650
18-inch Black alloy wheels for XLT$750
18-inch Black finish alloy wheels for Wildtrak$500

Visual upgrades overview

The 2019 Ford Ranger has received a subtle facelift which includes a new grille, fascia and bumper. More or less maintaining the popular look of the previous model, the majority of changes on the new model are in the suspension, along with a plethora of extra tech added to certain models.

Engine overview

The big change for the 2019 Ford Ranger is the addition of the 2.0 litre Bi-Turbo engine and 10-speed gearbox from the Raptor, which can be optioned on both the XLT and Wildtrak models for $1,200.

After driving around Melbourne and the Werribee testing ground in both the 3.2L 5-Cylinder and Bi-Turbo engine, I definitely preferred the latter. The 3.2L engine proved more than capable on the terrain we tried, but the Bi-Turbo was that bit more punchy on-road and smoother off-road.

The Ranger also retains the 3,500kg braked towing capacity of the 3.2L, so is entirely capable of towing trailers or caravans.

The 3 engines: Tale of the tape

2.2L 4-cylinder TDCi3.2L 5-cylinder TDCi2.0L Bi-Turbo 4cylinder (new)
Max. Power118kW @ 3,200rpm147kW @ 3,000rpm157kW @ 3,750rpm
Max. Torque385Nm @ 1,600 - 2,500rpm470Nm @ 1,750 - 2,500rpm500Nm @ 1,750 - 2,000rpm
Transmission6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed automatic

10-Speed Automatic
Emission LevelsEuro 5Euro 5Euro 5
Auto Stop-StartNoYes (manual transmission)Yes
Towing Capacity2,500kg (4x2 XL Low rider)

3,500kg (all others)

3,500kg3,500kg (excluding Raptor)

Handling upgrades overview

A range of suspension upgrades across the range have been introduced to improve body roll, the ride and general handling. These changes have hit the mark, producing a large car capable of carrying four passengers plus cargo while handling like a smaller vehicle.

The handling of Ford’s previous model was praised by reviewers, and Ford has proven it isn’t resting on its laurels by refining this further.

Tailgate

With both families and tradies in mind, the tailgate has been re-engineered for easier operation. The initial force needed to close the tailgate has been reduced by 70% and it’s definitely a change I noticed throughout the day. Along with being easier to close, it’s lighter to open as well.

On the road

Having driven the Ford Everest with the Bi-Turbo engine, I was excited to drive the Ranger with this engine. Arriving at Living Legends in Melbourne, I was in for a treat, with several vehicles with the Bi-Turbo engine optioned on them.

Making the trip to the Convent Gallery in Daylesford in the XLT Model Ranger you can tell why this car is one of the largest sellers in Australia. It's a big beast with lots of storage that drives like a much smaller, agile vehicle.

With enough room in the back for adults and comfortable for passengers in both the front and back, the Ranger seems to tick all the boxes.

When optioned with a punchier engine in the form of the 2.0L Bi-Turbo engine and 10-speed gearbox from the Raptor, it gets some additional grunt to appease power freaks (like me). The difference is obvious when putting your foot down, effortlessly, and shifting through gears to give you a constant stream of acceleration.

Cabin noise has also been reduced, hiding the rumble of the diesel engine. However, it is more noticeable just how quiet it is when cruising along in the B-Turbo optioned variants.

Switching from the XLT to the Wildtrak, I know which one I would purchase. An improved interior in the Wildtrak makes it feel much more premium than its predecessors. For the additional $4,600, you’ll find me in a Wildtrak.

Ford ranger driving

Both the XLT and Wildtrak models come with the new and improved SYNC3 system which helped direct us around Melbourne, a place where I have never driven before. We didn’t get lost, with the Sat-Nav doing its job. It also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Looking at purchasing the Ranger, but find parallel parking a nightmare in a small car, let alone a large 4x4 Ute? Park assist technology is standard on the Wildtrak and an option on the XLT. It's an incredible system and on such a large car will make parking a breeze. Under 40kms an hour the system is always active, meaning that it has probably already seen and measured a parking spot before you’ve even decided to stop.

Fortunately, we didn’t need to use the new AEB which addressed an issue that reviewers called for in the previous model. It also makes it one of the first in the class to have Autonomous Emergency Braking. Along with this, the 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtak has been fitted standard with traffic sign recognition, with adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist standard on the Wildtrak and an option on the XLT model.

A feature I enjoyed using was the adaptive cruise control which not only slows you down gently when the Ranger senses the car up ahead of you, but accelerates back to the set speed as you change lanes to overtake.

All the added tech in the 2019 Ford Ranger puts it up there among the class-leading utes.

Offroad/4x4

Much like the Ford Everest, the Ford engineers have done a great job at taking a large vehicle and making it incredibly easy to take off-road. With very little experience, we put the Ranger (with both the 3.2L and 2.0L Bi-Turbo engines) through some tough terrain and made it out the other side in one piece.
Hill descent technology on Ford Ranger

The Ranger was incredibly easy to handle driving through both water and ruts. It was stable in situations and on angles that probably should have made the car roll, and the light steering didn’t make directing the vehicle an upper body workout.

Testing the hill descent technology was an interesting experience, both because every fibre of my being was screaming at me to jump on the brakes and because it handled the descents extremely well.

2019 Ford Ranger using hill descent

The Ranger handled itself in water well, wading its way through large bodies of water and then out the other side, straight up hills, wet tires and all, with ease.

Driving the Werribee testing ground in low-range for the most part the button shift system is present in the XLT. As mentioned in the Everest review, I’m not a fan of this implementation but was pleased to see a sequential sports shifter on the Wildtrak model.

The verdict

The 2019 Ford Ranger is easy to drive on surfaced roads as well as being a capable off-road vehicle. It also has a bunch of tech that makes it a compelling proposition when compared to competitors in its class.

Quiet in-cabin and with plenty of room, the Ford Ranger isn’t just a tradies' car, but a vehicle worth comparing whether you are transporting materials, moving the family or heading on a caravanning adventure.
Disclosure: Alex Jeffs travelled to Melbourne as a guest of Ford.

Compare some options to finance a 2019 Ford Ranger

{"visibility":"visibilityTable","ctaLabel":"Calculate","tableCode":"AUFCL_COMPARISON_V2_TABLE","nicheCode":"AUFCL","fields":[{"name":"LOAN_AMOUNT","value":"30000","options":"","label":"Loan amount","suffix":"$","useSuffixAsPrefix":true,"useDropDownOption":false,"tooltip":""},{"name":"PERIOD","value":"3","options":"","label":"Loan term","suffix":"years","useSuffixAsPrefix":true,"useDropDownOption":false,"tooltip":""}]}
Name Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Application Fee Monthly Fee Monthly Repayment
loans.com.au - New - Variable Rate Special
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.24%
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.36%
to 8.85%
Application Fee
$400
Monthly Fee
$8
Monthly Repayment
$936.14
Go to siteMore Info
OurMoneyMarket New Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.57%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.19%
to 21.78%
Application Fee
$250
min.
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$934.23
Go to siteMore Info
Verified Lending Used Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $200,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.1%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8.06%
to 22.99%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$939.9
Go to siteMore Info
Simplify New Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.19%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.6%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$927.29
Go to siteMore Info
NRMA New Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.29%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$945.77
Go to siteMore Info
Note: Take out a loan for an eligible electric vehicle and receive a 1.5% discount on your personalised interest rate (interest rates start from 5.79% p.a. and comparison rates from 6.49% p.a.)
RACV New Car Loans
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.29%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$945.77
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 7.29% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
OurMoneyMarket Used Car Loan - No Vehicle Age Limit
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.57%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.19%
to 21.78%
Application Fee
$250
min.
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$934.23
Go to siteMore Info
NRMA Used Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
8.49%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
9.21%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$962.64
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Simplify Used Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.19%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.6%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$927.29
Go to siteMore Info
loans.com.au - Variable Rate Used Car < 5 years
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.74%
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8.85%
to 8.99%
Application Fee
$400
Monthly Fee
$8
Monthly Repayment
$956.98
Go to siteMore Info
RACV Used Car Loans
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
8.49%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
9.21%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$962.64
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a.
Benefit from no ongoing fees, 5-hour approval and a 21-day satisfaction guarantee. Interest rate discounts for members.
loading
Showing 11 of 11 results

Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include, but you'll also be entitled to some benefits from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $80 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly kogan.com credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 28 May. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
loading

Pictures: Supplied, @itsjoshmiller

Like our content? Follow Finder Garage on instagram

More guides on Finder

  • 2020 Ford Focus ST Review

    The Ford Focus ST is perhaps one of the best known hot hatches and with the latest model they have made a German-built vehicle accessible to more people.

  • Ford Focus Review

    It looks modern, it has a very roomy interior for a hatch and it has a pokey and frugal engine. It's also a real sharp handler with heaps of safety assists and features. Car reviewers who drove one seemed genuinely impressed by it.

  • 2019 Ford Ranger Review

    If you're looking for a new or used ute, the Ford Ranger should be a definite inclusion on anyone's list.

  • Ford Mustang GT Convertible: Hands-on review

    In the market for a 2-door sports car? The Ford Mustang GT Convertible might be worth adding to your shortlist.

  • Ford Focus RS Review

    In the market for a new hot hatch? The Ford Focus RS may be worth adding to your shortlist.

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our 1. Terms Of Service and 6. Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site