A couple of major auto shows are already behind us and the picture for MY 2019 is slowly but steadily starting to take shape. Every major automaker will have their work cut out for them while trying to secure the competitive edge in this dog-eat-dog world we like to call the car industry. Needless to say, this goes for the Blue Oval as well. This time we’ll assess the upcoming MY 2019 Ford models as well as their current lineup in trying to anticipate the best and worst ones you’ll be able to buy by the time 2019 arrives. The MY 2019 itself will be packed with new arrivals and redesigned long-running nameplates, but that doesn’t mean all of them will be worthy of your consideration. However, we have to admit we will be going in that direction here. While you contemplate on some forgotten Ford models that could have ended being so much more than they did, take a look at what the future has in store for the Dearborn-based company.
What’s Hot In the New 2019 Ford Lineup
05. 2019 Ranger
The 2019 Ford Ranger returns to the U.S. shores after spending more than half a decade as a different vehicle. The T6-generation Ranger that’s set for the North American return has very little in common with the truck that departed the continent after 2012. The mid-size pickup has been enlarged, modernized and beautified, and there’s no doubt it’ll give its opponents a run for their money. Especially considering Ford’s influence on the market and their expertise in the pickup truck segment.
Being a newcomer, the Ranger is a double-edged sword in terms of recommendation. I, personally, would recommend it, though, as it’s poised to further liven things up on the compact truck market. Ford is promising the best fuel efficiency in class, at least when it comes to gasoline-powered engines. The 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder should also be sufficient enough for the best-in-class payload capability as well, and that’s no mean feat. Opting to wait out for additional options the following year would also be a sound plan, but if you’re in the market for a smaller truck right now – it can’t hurt giving the Ranger a go.
04. 2019 Edge ST
The mid-size Edge might not be among the top five best-selling Ford vehicles at the moment, but it’s right there with north of 140,000 units sold in 2017. Blue Oval brass will be hoping it’ll finally breach the 150,000 units barrier next year when they wrap it up in a fresh body. Apart from the mid-cycle facelift, MY 2019 brings an entirely new model to the lineup: the sporty Edge ST. This marks the first time the ST badge is making an appearance on a Ford SUV of any kind. Let’s hope this practice bears more fruit in the following years.
Back to the Edge ST, though. The previous sporty version of the crossover aptly named “Sport” (gee, Ford, kudos for the creativity there) developed a healthy 315 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque thanks to a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 under its hood. The 2019 Ford Edge ST carries over the EcoBoost mill, but ups the ante in terms of available power. It now makes 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and an ST-tuned suspension will also come as a part of the package. On the visual side, the new Edge ST will add side skirts, dual exhausts, and a more aggressive grille. However intriguing it might be, the Edge ST will almost certainly be a low-volume niche vehicle. The intermediate’s starting price will likely play the pivotal role in its fortunes. Will you become one of select few owners of the first-ever Ford ST-branded SUV?
03. 2019 Focus
The new Ford Focus is another completely redesigned Blue Oval model that should benefit from the change. Sales have been in sharp decline these past few years, and good folks from Ford hope the next-gen is enough to turn the tide in Focus’ favor. Especially since this strategy worked rather well for its competitors. The new car will be slightly longer and lighter, but otherwise only freshened up around the edges. The biggest change is the fact its production will be moved from Wayne, Michigan to Ford’s new assembly plant in China.
Power will likely again come from the same engines for all but the coveted RS model. The current Ford Focus RS is set for retirement after April 6, 2018, and the new unit might replace it as soon as next year. What’s more, it might just become a hybrid! Ford is apparently developing a hybridized powertrain that uses a 48-volt electric system which should boost the total power to as much as 400 horses and close to 450 lb-ft of torque. In contrast, the current model delivers 350 ponies and the corresponding amount of torque. Whether this ends up being official or not, the new Focus RS will definitely skip the first few months of MY 2019. Maybe even the entire year or two. That doesn’t mean it’s a wrong time to buy the conventional Focus, though.
02. 2019 Mustang Bullit
The sixth-gen Ford Mustang underwent a scheduled mid-cycle makeover for MY 2018 which means the 2019 Mustang won’t bring anything significantly new. The Mustang has always been one of the hottest cars on the market though, and that won’t change overnight. Especially considering the Blue Oval is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Steve McQueen movie Bullitt with the special edition of the famous pony car. The Bullit Mustang might be available for the third time in the 21st century, but this one is by far the most powerful.
For starters, the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullit delivers 475 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist thanks to an enhanced 5.0L V8 mill under its Highland Green hood. The Shadow Black color option will be available as well. Not only does the engine feature the Shelby GT350’s intake manifold, 87-millimeter throttle bodies, and a remapped PCM, but it also pairs with a 6-speed manual transmission. Additionally, the Bullit Mustang sports a Torsen limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, leather-wrapped Recaro seats, and green interior accents. It’s also devoid of any external badging which gives it a sleek, almost menacing look. The all-new Ford Mustang Bullit should arrive midway through 2018, and will likely cost between $45,000 and $50,000. Although it’s basically a special-edition Mustang GT Premium with the Performance package, you won’t be able to buy one for the foreseeable time after the year’s end. That’s why the Bullit Mustang is so special.
01. 2019 Lincoln Nautilus
Being the Blue Oval’s luxury division first and foremost, and only then a badge of its own, we simply couldn’t separate the 2019 Lincoln from Ford models. As you probably already know, Lincoln is reverting back to old-fashioned nomenclature after what’s ultimately ended up being a failed MK* naming experiment. The mid-size luxury crossover Nautilus previously known as the MKX will have the honor of becoming the harbinger of this small revolution within the Lincoln camp.
Not only does it depart from the old naming strategy, but it’s also revised from the ground-up. The Lincoln Nautilus dons a new design shepherded by the all-new one-piece grille which finally forces the hallmark Lincoln split-grille into retirement. Power will come from two turbocharged units which means the old 3.7L V6 is also retired. A 2.0L turbo four will be good for 245 horsepower, while a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 develops 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. If the Ford Edge doesn’t cut it for you refinement-wise, then the Lincoln Nautilus is the way to go. MY 2019 might actually be the best time to jump on board the Lincoln wagon as you’d be one of the first owners of the strikingly beautiful next-gen Lincoln models.
What’s Not In the New 2019 Ford Lineup
04. The Rest Of The 2019 Lincoln Lineup (More or Less)
Speaking of Lincoln, most of their models are already outdated, and we didn’t need the announcement of the aforementioned nomenclature change in order to figure that out. Except for the recently reintroduced Continental and redesigned Navigator, almost all Lincoln models sport the MK* names and old split-grille-dominated styling. The exception is their best-selling vehicle, the MKZ, which was the first to adopt the new design language taken from the Continental Concept introduced at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
While they await their new names, it’s safe to assume all future Lincolns will also adopt the new design patterns established by the above-mentioned bunch. This is the main reason you should sit out on the current non-redesigned part of the Lincoln lineup as all-new models are soon to come. Not only that, it’s safe to say that all future Lincolns will be better than their predecessors. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the polarizing split-grille Lincoln design language and bland and confusing naming strategy, you should probably regard these coming months as the last call for that round.
03. 2019 F-150
With its two major domestic competitors both being completely revised for MY 2019, the 2019 Ford F-150 has its work cut out for it. The only thing is, Blue Oval brass won’t lift a finger in order to change things around. And, why would they? The best-selling American vehicle of all time will hardly feel the blow by potentially losing a few thousand out of its regular 800,000 plus buyers. Despite the Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 being modernized, the Ford F-150 will surely beat them both with ease. Yet, people in the market for the F-150 specifically, would be better advised to wait for MY 2020 when the F-Series full-size truck is set to receive a similar treatment as its two main rivals.
There is one upside of buying the Ford F-150 in 2019, though. Like it’s competitors, it too will offer an optional diesel engine. The F-150 will be joining the ranks of the half-ton diesels by offering the 3.0L Power Stroke turbodiesel V6 mill worthy of 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of rotational force. F-150s fitted with the Power Stroke diesel engine will be tied to the new 10-speed automatic transmission and should deliver up to 30 mpg on the highway, making them some of the most efficient models in the lineup. On the downside, this will considerably raise the cost of the half-ton truck and put it up against much more upscale gasoline units from within the F-150’s lineup itself.
02. 2019 Taurus
The sixth-generation Ford Taurus has been around since 2010, and it won’t be redesigned for MY 2019. Although the full-size sedan market isn’t nearly as competitive as it once was, such a lengthy run without major changes is still unexpected, to say the least. The venerable full-size sedan might be dying on the vine, but at least we’ve seen a possible glimpse of its future. The Chinese market exclusive version of the Taurus was presented in late 2015 and it clearly resembles its smaller sibling, the Fusion. For now, though, we simply can’t with clear conscience justify the purchase of the current U.S.-spec model.
Even the powertrain options are largely outdated, as most Tauruses draw power from the 3.5L Cyclone V6 engine that makes 288 horsepower. The performance SHO version, on the other hand, sports a newer 3.5L EcoBoost V6 mill that’s good enough for 365 horsepower. While most automakers are downsizing their engines by using turbocharged 4-cylinders, even in the full-size segment, Ford has actually excluded such a possibility with the Taurus by withdrawing the 2.0L EcoBoost from the options sheet after 2017. Yet another reason why the Ford Taurus for MY 2019 is anything but hot and recommendable. To be perfectly honest with you, it hasn’t been that for years now.
01. 2019 Flex
I’m not proud of picking on the unlucky and neglected Flex, but the cold truth is it’s been fading for quite some time and Ford couldn’t care less. With roughly 20,000 units sold per year, that doesn’t actually come as a surprise since Blue Oval’s bean counters certainly hoped for more. The unconventional SUV hasn’t seen many updates since its introduction in 2009, and it’s been running virtually unchanged since the 2013 facelift. Reports are suggesting that the Canadian-built boxy intermediate will bow down by the year 2020. Needless to say, Ford won’t bother changing it by then which means we can’t really justify recommending one.
As far as Ford models in 2019 go, the Flex’s position will remain unchanged. This oddball SUV will continue to offer a slightly outdated list of options, albeit in a shell that simply can’t get old. The 287-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine serves as the sole standard unit, but the top Limited models do offer an optional 365-horsepower 3.5L EcoBoost V6. This raises their price tag well over the $40,000 mark, though. After the Flex sings its swan song a couple of years from now the only thing that’ll remain is the memory that the Blue Oval once offered a funky three-row SUV which probably deserved more than we gave it credit for.