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.

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