2019 Ford Ranger: We already drove it (basically)


Let’s get this out of the way up front: The truck you see here isn’t exactly like the one we’ll get when the Ford Ranger returns to the States in 2019. But we think it’s very representative, and it’s certainly as close as we’re going to get for a while. Did I mention we’re impatient?

For those out of the loop, the Ranger was last sold in the US as a 2010 model. That was a compact truck. In the years since, Ford started building a “global” Ranger for sale just about everywhere around the globe – except for here. That latest Ranger, referred to as the T6, is more of a mid-sizer, similar in dimensions and specs to GM’s Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins as well as the Toyota Tacoma and the aging Nissan Frontier.

But the Ranger that everyone else gets doesn’t meet US crash standards. Yet. So Ford is going to build a new one – we believe it will be a refreshed version of the current truck as opposed to a new ground-up design – that can be sold here, as well as China, apparently. It should be at least as good as the truck we drove around New Zealand’s southern island – a Wildtrak model with a five-cylinder 3.2-liter diesel and a six-speed automatic with nice stuff like adaptive cruise, lane keeping, and Sync 3 with Apple CarPlay. The color is called Pride Orange.

Back to our impatience: We decided to fly across the world to sample the current global truck. Why New Zealand, you might ask? Because it’s beautiful, because we wanted to go there (see previous reason), and because the Ranger has been the best-selling vehicle in that country for a couple of years running. (Fun fact: They call pickup trucks utes down there.) The goal was to find out what we’ve been missing.

Turns out a lot, actually. Watch the video to see what we learned on this little adventure, and see why this feature-packed pickup may just be worth the anticipation.

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