Pickup trucks are the most accessorized vehicles on the market, and everyone lifted Ford F-150 or Ranger has done up via the aftermarket is money left on the table for the automaker. That’s why, finally, Ford Performance Parts is offering lift kits for Ford Ranger and F-150 pickup trucks for customers to enjoy a validated suspension upgrade for taller ride height and improved off-road performance, highlighted by Fox shocks.
The 2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon is a fantastic off-road truck, and if it’s held back at all, it’s mostly because of its sheer size. But it’s still technically a three-quarter-ton heavy-duty pickup, and nearly every other example of a truck in that class is at its best when towing or hauling. With that in mind, we decided to put the Power Wagon to work — not the dusty trails or rocky inclines kind of work, but work. Truck work. We found out how the Power Wagon handled towing a moderate load — for our purposes, a Bobcat and trailer counts as a moderate load — on the highway and up and downgrades.
Ford Performance Parts is for the first time ever offering official aftermarket lift kits for the Ford Ranger and Ford F-150 pick-up trucks. Test drove this Lariat FX4 and a Tacoma TRD Offroad with premium and technology package. Overall it was slightly more comfortable and had slightly better performance. A little more room in the backseat. I liked the truck a lot. Pricing is where it went off the rails. The loaded to the max Tacoma MSRP was $41k, marked down to $37.9k. The Ranger was $46k.
For years, if you have wanted to improve the ride or handling of your Ford F150 or Ranger by adding a bit here and a bit there, you had to go to the aftermarket. Indeed a considerable aftermarket has developed that deals with performance-enhancing parts. If you had wanted factory-made and backed parts, you were out of luck. You had to turn to the aftermarket to obtain things like lift kits, lighting, and other specialty items.
Designed for scouting trails, this 2019 Ford Ranger features a 3-inch leveling kit with off-road shocks and BDS upper control arm kit. It has the Ranger’s FX4 off-road package, which includes exposed front tow hooks, an off-road-tuned suspension, different terrain modes, and a few other updates. There is also a Ford Performance differential skid plate kit and differential cover. Ford didn’t forget about the importance of lighting; it added a 40-inch light bar, a white rock 9007 led bulb light kit, amber spotlights, and a hood hinge-mounted off-road light kit.
On the road, the Ranger rides smoothly over cracked surfaces, but at speed, it tends to feel springy and underdamped over larger dips and swales in the pavement. The truck steers accurately through corners and displays good straight-ahead sense on the highway, but little of that confidence feeds back through the antiseptic steering to the driver. Our brief off-highway experience was limited to a small man-made course of Ford’s design, so all we can say is that the damping feels about right on bumpy dirt tracks. As for underbody clearance, the approach, departure and break-over angles look promising, but the Tacoma may still have it beat here.