The new Ford Ranger made its North American debut yesterday, and will be arriving in dealers' showrooms in the Spring as a 2019 model.
It's been a seven-year absence for the Ranger, which is well established in the rest of the world. Ford is walking a tightrope in North America with the Ranger, as the Blue Oval already has the best selling vehicle on the continent, the F-150.
Differentiating the two (other than size and capacities) will be critical. The Ranger will be aimed at a younger, more adventurous demographic and its packaging reflects that. For instance, one can carry a mountain bike in the back seat- no placing that expensive bit of kit out in the bed!
The interior is comfortable for four – five at a pinch. The driver's seat has a commanding view and a generally intuitive set of controls, many with actual buttons or knobs for a more tactile feel.
The jury is still out on whether Ford is making the right move with the Ranger. But in a truck-crazy market, and Ford's dominant position in that market, it seems that success is almost certainly guaranteed.