Ford Ranger Wildtrak

2 Feb, 2012 3:57pm Luke Madden

All-new Ford Ranger pick-up driven in range-topping Wildtrak spec


Ford set out to create a Ranger that’s usable every day. By making it refined, comfortable and stylish it has succeeded without compromising the innate ruggedness, off-road ability and practicality of a pick-up. Buyers looking to spend more than £25,000 on a range-topping model like this may well be disappointed with the standard of the cabin, but other than that complaints are few and far between.
A pick-up truck with no compromises: that’s the promise made by the all-new Ford Ranger. It’s designed to be tough but comfortable, rugged but stylish. So is this the pick-up truck that does it all? 

Rugged it definitely is – and stylish too. Our Wildtrak edition tops the range and gets 18-inch alloys, a chrome three-bar grille, roof-rails and tinted windows. That ‘Wildtrack Orange’ paint job and the sheer size of the Ranger help give it real presence too. 

The Ranger is available as a single cab, super cab or the double cab layout tested here. The good news is there’s plenty of room in the back seats for adults and there’s still a huge 1.2 cubic metre load bay. 

Underneath the bonnet is a 3.2-litre TDCi diesel engine with 197bhp, though a 2.2-litre TDCi engine is also available with 148bhp and a 123bhp model will join the range later this year. There’s a choice of two gearboxes – a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic – and our car is fitted with the latter.

The five-cylinder unit doesn’t sound as agricultural as you might expect from a pick-up. Accelerating hard results in a rattly note from underneath the bonnet but otherwise it’s all quite civilized. The automatic gearbox works well too, shifting up and down the gears smoothly. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 10.4 seconds.

High-profile tyres and a raised ride-height help ensure the Ranger rides smoothly on the road. It’s even better off-road, with bumpy tracks seemingly flattened out by the supple suspension. And when the going gets tough, the low ratio gearbox and switchable four-wheel drive reveal the Ranger’s go-anywhere capability. 

But there are a few pick-up truck characteristics Ford hasn’t managed to escape. For instance, the cabin – despite boasting part-leather seats, Bluetooth, sat-nav – isn’t as up-market as Ford’s other models. A few hard and scratchy plastics drag the quality down slightly. 

Then there’s the fuel economy. Ford claims this Ranger 3.2-litre automatic will do 26.7mpg and emit 274g/km, while the 2.2-litre manual is better, claiming figures of 32.8mpg and 224g/km. 

Prices for the Ranger kick off at £15,515, and at that price it looks like good value, offering the kind of go-anywhere ability and relaxing on road drive of the more expensive models. Our £25,040 range-topper looks the part and is incredibly well-equipped but buyers could be put off by the hefty price-tag.

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With the UK inclement weather it would soon turn into a mobile swimming pool or large ice cube carrier full of rusty tools.

Best buy one of those rare British Quality made Ford Transits from Southamptons plant thats getting run down by Ford, Chances are you might get a turkey of a Transit from elsewhere built outside of the UK.

Ford have hit hard times these day, they have had to sell off Volvo, Aston Martin, Land Rover and Jag as they can no longer afford them, good to see TATA have a deep enough pocket to be able to afford to keep a quality brand in things they are accustomed to. Building the Ranger in South Africa on the cheap are just acts of desperation.

Better still by a British made Renault Traffic or Vauxhall Vivaro, if you need to go off road buy a nice Land Rover like every man and a dog uses up and down the land on just about every good ole British farm.

Not many pick-up buying hillbillies live in the UK, most don't own a US passport, and will have never left the USA in their whole lifetime ole chap.

Best left for towing a bed load of Banana's in South Africa where the Ranger is made.

Don't know when the last time you wereon a farm Ivor. just about every farmer I know (and I know a fair few) has a pick up of some kind, mostly of the Nissan or Mitsibushi variety. The dear old Landy is just too pricy for most these days.
Ford have been tinkering around on the edges of this market in the UK for quite a while now, they are really struggling to break in. TheJapanes stranglehold is strong, Fords quality, perceived or otherwise, does not get them more than a second glance.

Tigger agree with you. Don't forget the excellent Isuzu and I would be really surprised if this Ford is anything other than an excellent Mazda in disguise. Don't forget Ford own or control them

George Mc

Disagree Ford seem on the way to recovery they are making oodles of money in the US They have sold most of their stake in Mazda and Ranger was designed by international Ford team based in Australia The new Ranger rated very highly in Aus and SA (better than previous champ Toyota Hilux) South African plant has extremely high quality ratings by world standards

The Ranger has always been a good truck (most of the Farms in this area use them) and yes it has been a rebadged Mazda until now. This one however is 100% Ford designed & Built!

I saw on here a while ago that the double cab has been crash tested and achieved the highest score ever recorded on a pick up (1st one to get 5 star rating) and also got one of the top score for pedestrian safety of any type of vehicle ever tested (81%) so it all sounds good, I think I will reserve judgement (unlike most!) until I have driven it and can form my own opinion not one based on where it is built or what I have heard from other people!

As for IvorBiggens comment..Yaaaaawwwwwn as usual! Yes you will still get a Southampton built Transit if you buy the Short Wheelbase and as for choosing the Renault /Vauxhall (they are the same van!) over Transit, that would mean that you haven't driven them! The Transit outsells it next three competitors put together because it drives far better and generally does the job better than its nearest competitors. I think the sales figures speak for themselves because a lot of vans (thinking particularly of the small businesses in the UK) are chosen by the drivers, besides have you ever tried selling one of the Vauxhall/Renaults second hand??

Not much British input like all Fords these days, Australian designed/South African built Ranger, not much future in the way of British jobs for past on to our our chidden & grandchildren.

Just go look at the latest super bowl Chrysler/Clint advert on You tube, it is advertising hell out of the fact to buy American vehicles to the yanks in the USA then get back to me "Consumer Reports"

Land Rover is British made/British designed and employs Brits

"Tigger" l know where you coming from so many people l talk to who own Nissan/Toyota pick-ups, say they had a Transit pick-up and they hated them were absolute crap.

But what ever you say you can't argue against the F-Series pick-up it is very good, very good and has constantly been the worlds best selling vehicle, we just don't get them here in the UK.

Would still prefer a Land Rover to a foreign designed/made Ranger every time, there are still 10,000s of Pre-1960 rugged Land Rovers still going strong on UK roads.

Nice sales pitch for a redundant Thai mutant....!

and you are a bullshit because I am biased with the new Ranger Wildtrak

Might need to read about it as this model comes with an armadillo what covers the back of the truck. i know as i have one on my 09 model and have been looking to upgrade due to doing 172k

Key specs

* Price: £25,040
* Engine: 3.2-litre five cylinder diesel
* Transmission: Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
* Power: 197bhp
* 0-62mph: 10.4 seconds
* Top speed: 109mph
* Economy: 26.7mpg
* CO2: 274g/km
* Equipment: Sat-nav, Bluetooth, iPod connection, heated seats, part leather upholstery.
* On sale: Now