2019 Ford Ranger FX4 Endures 1,100+ Miles of On- and Off-Road Testing
Fast Lane Truck drives new Ranger Lariat FX4 from L.A. to Moab and back home to Colorado to test its abilities.
Ford trucks are built to work, but that’s not all they’re used for. Many of them are daily drivers. Others are used as road trip vehicles. Then there are those that spend a lot of time getting dirty off-road. When The Fast Lane Truck got the keys to a shiny new 2019 Ranger FX4, they didn’t drive it around the suburbs. They took it on an 1,100-mile journey from the city streets of LA to the rocky terrain of Moab to the snow-covered roads of Colorado.
In this video, hosts Andre Smirnov and Nathan Adlen fly out to the West Coast and pick up a $46,090 Saber Orange Ranger Lariat SuperCrew with the $1,295 FX4 package. As Smirnov describes it, “It’s partially software and partially hardware” that includes an off-road suspension and tires, a locking rear diff, front tow hooks and skid plate, off-road gauges, Trail Control, Terrain Management System, and skid plates for the fuel tank, transfer case, and electric power steering system’s motor.
Then it’s time to hit the road. After Smirnov and Adlen fill the Ranger’s 18-gallon tank with 87 octane, they head toward Las Vegas. Once the pair reaches Sin City, they check their fuel economy. They’re averaging a little over 21 mpg after nearly 200 miles of driving – just below the Ranger 4X4’s estimated combined fuel economy of 22 mpg.
The guys have plenty more driving ahead of them before they get home. Luckily, the Ranger is a pleasant place to be for several hours. Adlen thinks it’s quiet and has a smooth ride. He says, “These seats are really comfortable. So that’s a big positive.”
When Smirnov and Adlen get to Moab, they put the Ranger through a series of evaluations that test its traction and articulation, approach and departure angles, Trail Control system, and ground clearance. One rock formation puts the Ranger on three wheels. The Ranger’s software quickly sorts everything out and gets him to the top. Smirnov watches it all go down and says, “Wow, he really didn’t even need his locker. The traction system really took care of it.”
Adlen engages the Ranger’s Trail Control system, aka off-road cruise control, further along the trail. It allows him to concentrate on steering while the software handles the braking and throttle to keep him going his chosen speed of one mph (even when Adlen puts the Ranger’s 10-speed automatic in reverse). At one point, one of his back tires loses its grip on the slippery rock underneath it. All Adlen has to do is engage the rear locker and he’s right back on his way.
Other areas of Moab require every degree of the Ranger’s approach (28.7), breakover (21.5), and departure (25.4) angles – and then some. Although it surprisingly clears some sections without scraping, while making its way down one particularly challenging grade, it drags both its front “bash” plate and its rear hitch.
The Ranger may pick up a few scratches, but it ultimately gets Smirnov and Adlen through the treacherous Colorado snow and back home. Over the course of 1,147.8 miles, the 2.4-liter EcoBoost I4 gave the guys an average fuel economy of 20.7 mpg. The long trip taught them just how comfortable and capable the new Ranger is…and how badly it needs a larger fuel tank.
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