Sunday, February 5, 2023
News What is Ford’s Trail Control? Hint: It’s not that bad

What is Ford’s Trail Control? Hint: It’s not that bad

People aren’t too happy with Ford’s Trail Control technology, but I think they are just complaining for the sake of complaining.

This isn’t an overly intrusive lane departure warning system that you can’t shut off. Meant to help the user navigate a tough off-road trail, it’s not mandatory and you can either use it or not.

Trail Control is essentially an adaptive cruise control system for off-road driving. It handles throttle and braking while letting the driver control just the steering wheel. Available in the new 2019 Ford Ranger and the Ford F-150 Raptor, Trail Control will keep your speed constant while you focus on positioning the truck on the right side of the path.

Ford Ranger Trail Control
2019 Ford Ranger | Photo: Ford

You can set the speed at 1 mph all the way up to 4 mph. You activate the system using a simple button and then set the speed using steering wheel controls. Once the speed is set, the truck will move forward and keep the set speed automatically. You don’t have to touch the brakes or the throttle.

Many have said this takes the fun out of off-road driving, but to those people we say: Just don’t use it. You don’t have too, you know. We’d love to tell you more about Trail Control, but that’s really all there is to say. We tried it at the Ford Ranger launch this week in San Diego, but driving impressions are embargoed and we don’t want to chance it by telling you how it behaved in real life.

What we can tell you, however, is it’s hard for a system that limits speed to 4 mph maximum to screw up its intended purpose.

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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