Ford’s EcoBlue 2.0L Diesel Would Be Perfect for New Ranger and Bronco
The love for diesel in trucks and utilities is starting to spread here in the United States. There is always the rumor that Ford is going to put a diesel in the F-150 to have engine parity with Ram. There’s a diesel currently in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. It would make sense to offer a small displacement diesel engine in the new Ford Ranger (and Bronco, since they’ll share a platform), and the new EcoBlue 2.0L turbodiesel looks like it could be just the ticket.
For comparison, the Colorado’s 2.8L Duramax diesel makes 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The new 2.0L EcoBlue can make up to 237 horsepower depending on the application. Ford doesn’t specifically cite torque figures, but they do say there’s a 20% improvement over some of their other offerings. But it’s safe to say that diesel engines make torque well, and that the EcoBlue will surely come close (or exceed) the Duramax in that department.
Reviews of the Colorado diesel have been positive, with many touting the torque as being desirable in that type of pickup truck. In my own personal experience in driving a diesel midsize truck, I have to admit I’m quite the fan. I don’t believe Ford needs to have a diesel Ranger for parity with General Motors, but offering a diesel engine is an option Ford has to raise average transaction prices and increase profit.
The EcoBlue diesel is the cleanest diesel engine Ford has produced, and cleanliness was one consideration during the engine development. Diesels in cars might have a black eye in the United States thanks to the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal, but they’re still a popular truck option. Also, fuel prices aren’t expected to stay low forever.
That’s where diesel really shines; fuel economy. In the Colorado it’s easy to exceed 27 miles per gallon in everyday driving. In some configurations, the highway EPA rating is into the 30s. If you’ve ever driven a diesel, you know it’s pretty easy to hit the fuel economy numbers, especially on the highway. A diesel Ranger would be a fuel economy king, while still offering the goods to get work done.
There are downsides with a diesel engine. The biggest one is cost. On the Ram, in some configurations, the diesel is a $4,000 option. On the Colorado it sits around $3,700 depending on configuration. A diesel-powered Ranger wouldn’t be a cheap upgrade over a gas engine, and might not be worth it for some. This is especially true when you consider how fuel efficient some of Ford’s EcoBoost engines are.
But, that wouldn’t stop people from buying it in a diesel, which as I mentioned before would raise transaction prices and increase Ford’s profits. That’s always a good thing for a company.
Ideally, I’d love to see a Ranger that is off-road capable in a way the Tacoma TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro is, but have the towing capacity of a Colorado or better and still get stellar fuel economy. All of that can be made possible by a diesel engine, and it looks like Ford just developed the perfect one.
What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!