A week ago, I had the chance to jump behind the wheel of the new 2019 Ford Ranger. This is a truck that I’d been very excited to sample, as it signals Ford’s return to the downsized pickup market (here in the States) but also because I’m a prior owner of a Ranger. When I was in my senior year of college, I picked up a used 1998 Ford Ranger. I drove it for a few years and it’s the vehicle I used to shuttle across the country back in 2003 when I moved to Southern California. Eventually, I blew the engine and sold the truck that very weekend as is, and for a decent price considering. Step further back in time, and I have memories of standing behind the front bench seat of my dad’s first-generation Ranger. My brother and I used to ride back there with fond memories and zero care for safety. The new Ranger is nothing like those two older iterations, but there’s good reason for that… and most important of all, is the fact that this latest Ranger is pretty damn good.
I covered the new Ranger for our friends over at Jalopnik. You should head over there to read my full review of the mid-size truck. Judging by the views on that story, folks are supremely interested in smaller trucks. Look at the resale values on a Toyota Tacoma or the rising amount of Chevrolet Colorados on the road, and that thought is backed up by more evidence. Adding the Ranger back into the mix helps spark greater competition, and should lead to more improvements from Toyota and Chevy, to boot.
If you’re in the mood for video, I drove the Ranger for Truck Central as well. There’s some on-road impressions and a good bit of off-road driving as well.