When it all comes down to it, the right tool can make child’s play of men’s work and if you’re looking for the best all-round contender in the pick-up sector from the 2019-2022 era, then Ford’s Ranger for many buyers may be exactly that – the right tool. As well as being practical, spacious for cargo and good for towing, this much improved post-2019 version of the T6 generation MK3 Ford Ranger pick-up got a 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine that was significantly more efficient. It was also smarter, safer and very media-savvy, plus it was very decent to drive for a vehicle of this kind and there was even an extreme Raptor version at the top of the range capable of rally-style off roading. Across the Ranger line-up, the idea was to tempt everyone from builders to surf-boarding, mountain-biking families with what turned out to be a very complete product indeed.

The History

Think of a pick-up and Ford is a name you just can’t ignore, the company represented in this growing segment since the turn of the century by the tough, versatile Ranger model. The T6 generation MK3 design, first launched in 2012 and heavily updated in 2016, enjoyed a long production life, but its final updates received in mid-2019, were the most significant of all. That final 2019-2022-era version is the one we’re going to look at here.

These days, the lifestyle part of this market is more important than the section of it that appeals to farmers and construction site workers and the Ranger model line was created in direct response to that customer shift, launched in its rather crude original form back in 1999, when it replaced the previous rather half-hearted Cortina and Sierra-based P100 pick-up models. That first Ranger was facelifted in 2002 but the second generation model of 2006 was a much better effort, updated in 2009, but that contender still couldn’t properly compete with the tough Japanese triumvirate that in the first two decades of the 21st century tended to rule this market segment this side of the Atlantic, Mitsubishi’s L200, Toyota’s Hilux and Nissan’s Navara. Hence the need in 2012 for the third generation T6 Ranger design, the original version of the vehicle we’re looking at in this Review.

What we’re looking at here is very different from the pick-up that first appeared in Ford dealers back in 2012 – and that’s the case even if you don’t opt for the rather extreme ‘Raptor’ ‘Ford Performance’-engineered flagship version. All variants of the post-2019-era version of this pick-up got an all-new 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine that could be mated to the advanced new 10-speed auto transmission we first saw in the Mustang sportscar. Ford also matched – and in many respects surpassed – the class standard in terms of drive dynamics, media connectivity and camera-driven safety kit. Plus, as before, mainstream versions of this truck could carry over 1.2-tonnes and tow over 3,500kgs.

Sounds promising doesn’t it, should you be looking for a pick-up from this period. This model was finally replaced in Autumn 2022 by an all-new design.

What You Get

The kind of Ranger you’ve chosen will be instantly evident from a glance at its nose, revised on this post-2019 model. The standard range variants now have smarter front grilles with a central horizontal bar split along its length in two slim sections. This styling feature is grey-finished on the utility-orientated XL models, gains silver embellishments on the plusher XLT and Limited variants and is titanium-trimmed on the Wildtrack lifestyle derivative that 64% of Ranger customers choose.

At the rear, the size of the cargo bed is dependent on which of the three body styles you select. There are three: a two-seater ‘Regular Cab’, a so-called ‘Super Cab’ with occasional rear seats and the four-door Double Cab that most end up buying. The owner of an ordinary Ranger might notice that the top Raptor model is 168mm wider, thanks to its redesigned suspension and a track width that’s 150mm greater.

At the wheel, you climb up high to perch behind the wheel of any pick-up and this Ranger is no exception. There are plusher, more sophisticated cabins from pick-ups in this segment from this era, but this one does at least seem well put together and features some plush touches on top variants.

What To Look For

Quite a few Rangers will have been seriously used off road – or for really heavy loads – so previously owned examples ought to be thoroughly checked. Have a look underneath and under the arches. The Ranger is built extremely tough, and has benefited from many years of continual development. The interior isn't the last word in sophistication but it is hardwearing. As usual, check for damage to exhausts and suspension from off-roading, check that the load bay tie-downs aren't bent or broken and ensure there's life in the clutch, diffs and dampers. It might have been used for some very heavy towing.

On The Road

Changes made to the post-2019 version of the MK3 Ranger saw all derivatives re-fettled beneath the bonnet with the addition of a fresh range of 2.0-litre four cylinder EcoBlue diesel engines. There are two single-turbo versions of this unit, one with 130PS and the other, far more widely available, with 170PS. This more powerful unit, like the top Bi-turbo 213PS version of this engine, could from new be optionally ordered with much more sophisticated automatic transmission, a sophisticated 10-speed unit borrowed from the Mustang sportscar. By 2019, all Rangers were fitted with 4WD, though you’ll need to stay in 2WD if you’re travelling at speed in this pick-up on dry tarmac.


You can't deny that this improved post-2019-era version of the ‘T6’-generation MK3 Ranger is a thoroughly engineered product. It was the first Ford pick-up to credibly justify market sales leadership. It's spacious, clever, decently good looking, able to carry large loads and in this post-2019 form, finally had engines efficient enough to stand comparison with the competition. It all means that customers in this class who habitually might simply sign up for another Hilux, Navara or L200 from this period in this segment really ought to consider this Ranger too. That was Ford’s objective here. Job done.