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.