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Pick-up of the Year 2022: Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger is the 2022 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux commended

With an all-new model waiting in the wings, this is the last hurrah for the current Ford Ranger. But it’s going out with a bang, courtesy of a fourth straight victory as the best pick-up truck on sale in the UK.

The reasons for its victory are the same once again, with the sheer breadth of variety in the line-up meaning that there’s something for everybody. Whether you need a basic single-cab XL model with an extra-long load bed, a high-spec Wildtrak that can double as work and family transport, or a model that can drive as quickly off road as it does on it in the shape of the Raptor in our pictures, then there’s a Ranger for you.

Electrification hasn’t found its way into the pick-up market just yet, with diesel still dominating the class, and Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine is a strong one. Offered with 168bhp, or 210bhp in higher-spec guises, it delivers plenty of pulling power, whether you’re towing a trailer, carrying a heavy payload or tackling difficult off-road terrain. Switchable four-wheel drive with low-range gears mean that the latter is a piece of cake for the Ranger to take on, too.

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Not only is the Ranger a great workhorse, but it can also do the job as family transport. The ride is smooth for a work vehicle – even when the pick-up bed is unladen – while top-spec models deliver the kind of kit that can match many upmarket SUVs.

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Combine these talents with the favourable tax rates that pick-up trucks enjoy, and the Ranger is a class winner once again. We can’t wait to see if the next model will continue the current model’s winning ways.

Our choice

Ford Ranger 2.0 EcoBlue 170PS Wolftrak (£29,841 ex-VAT)

Ford introduced the Wolftrak special edition at the end of 2021 to add a bit of style to the work-focused end of the Ranger line-up. The 168bhp version of the EcoBlue diesel has plenty of power, while the black exterior detailing, extended rear sports bar and black alloy wheels add to the look. It also includes sat-nav, rear parking sensors and a locking rear diff for improved off-road ability.

Commended

Isuzu D-Max

The D-Max is the only model that Isuzu sells in the UK, but it challenges the Ranger for the number of variants on offer. Mid-range versions offer decent kit for business users that don’t need a flashy truck, but if you do want to stand out, then the Arctic Trucks AT35, with its huge tyres, flared wheelarches and raised ride height, turns plenty of heads.

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Toyota Hilux

Constant updates keep Toyota’s legendary workhorse hot on the heels of the Ranger every year. The latest revisions add more kit without harming the Hilux’s famed off-road ability, while two engine options, a decent range of trims and now the attraction of Toyota’s warranty of up to 10 years make it a hugely tempting alternative.

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The 2022 New Car Awards are brought to you in association with Hankook tyres

New Car Awards 2022: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

Auto Express Issue 1,736

For the full experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special 2022 New Car Awards collectors' edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

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