First introduced in 1983, the Ford Ranger had been missing from dealerships since the 2012 model year, but it recently returned for 2019. This mid-size truck goes up against the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma among others. Billed as a “lifestyle” truck by Ford, owners and reviewers have raised some concerns about its ride comfort and, in particular, a strange vibration.
Description of the vibration problem
While the engine is powerful, one downside to the 2019 Ford Ranger is a slight vibration that appears at low speeds with light acceleration and lasts for one or two seconds.
A number of owners have been logging their complaints on forums like Ranger5G.com. One owner said, “Between 1600 – 1800 rpm there is a vibration that drives me nuts.” Others were pleased not to be imagining this irritation, saying, “It’s good to know I’m not a crazy person. Now, I’d be even happier to find out there’s a fix.”
PickupTrucks.com tested out three different 2019 Rangers and found the same vibration in all of them. While the problem doesn’t last long, it’s most noticeable when the truck accelerates from a stop to around 10 MPH.
Possible causes of the vibration
It seems that the vibration is something of a mystery, and owners aren’t always able to get it fixed. Some have suggested the truck has a break-in period, and the ride could get smoother later. Owners have suggested a number of possible causes though: an unbalanced drive shaft, a bad transmission mount, a problem with the ignition timing, or an issue with the start-stop technology. Some had improvement after reducing the tire pressure.
PickupTrucks.com reached out to Ford, which sent two of the tested Rangers for evaluation, but no results have been provided yet. Several posters on the forum also mentioned their mechanics weren’t able to fix the vibrations.
The 2019 Ford Ranger’s powertrain
While there aren’t engine choices, according to Edmunds, the one that’s included provides lots of power. All three trim levels of the 2019 Ford Ranger include a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an electronic 10-speed automatic transmission and auto start-stop technology.
The engine generates 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. With the tow package, the Ranger is a mid-size truck with best-in-class towing capabilities (7,500 lbs.) and has the ability to haul up to 1,860 lbs. in the SuperCab 4×2 configuration. Rear-wheel drive is standard but four-wheel drive is an option.
In their road tests last year, Motor Trend found the Ranger provided a bumpy ride for passengers. Motor Trend also found that the transmission has what they called “clunky downshifts” in stop-and-go traffic but was smoother in Sport mode.
The 2019 Ford Ranger
According to Ford, the Ranger is the most fuel-efficient gas mid-size pickup in the U.S. Edmunds points out some of the other pros and cons of the 2019 Ranger. Plenty of modern safety features are available, and the truck offers a long list of available options to pick from. However, its in-cabin storage is limited, and its off-road capabilities aren’t as great as some of its competitors.
The truck is available with either a SuperCab and a six-foot box or SuperCrew cab and a five-foot box. It has three trim levels available: the XL, XLT, and the Lariat. These start at $24,300, $28,120, and $32,390.
Overall, reviewers felt the Ranger is an average midsize truck with a strong engine and plenty of safety features. If you’re considering buying a Ranger, see if the truck you’re test driving has the little vibration quirk. If it bothers you, you might want to look for a different truck. The 2020 Ranger is already available, and so far, the vibration complaints have not been mentioned.