When it comes to commercial vehicles there are few who can boast such longevity and success as Ford and here we drive their latest offering with the Ranger pick-up.
It’s safe to say that the Ford Transit has for decades been a tradesman’s favourite. Offered in various forms there is a Transit van for every possible need. Ford have also catered to the small van market from the days of the Escort van, something that continues today with the Fiesta van, as well as two small Transits.
Not everyone likes to drive a van, however. There are many who can justify a commercial vehicle through business, or those who require a decent towing capacity for business or pleasure, and for these people the Ford Ranger pick-up truck fits their criteria perfectly.
The Ranger is no stranger to working life, with a farming friendly base model named an ‘XL’ starting from £23,511.36.
This model may feature fully colour-coded bumpers, but it retains tough-working steel wheels and is the only trim level available as a single cab, to maximize the payload in the pick-up area. It’s also available as a supercab offering some extra room in the cabin, or as a double cab which features four doors and suits carrying a few workmates or the family.
Despite being the basic model, it comes with some essential amenities such as electrically operated and heated door mirrors, emergency brake assist, intelligent speed assist and traffic sign recognition, lane keeping system, auto stop/start, cruise control, electric front windows, DAB radio with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs, air conditioning, quickclear heated windscreen, and electronic shift on-the-fly all-wheel-drive control.
Should you wish for a slightly less mundane looking workhorse, the ‘XLT’ priced from £26,471.36 adds a little style with 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, side steps, front fog lights, automatic headlights and rain sensing wipers, lockable tailgate, leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel, auto dimming rear view mirror, and a 4.2-inch TFT SYNC screen with voice control, App Link and Emergency Assist.
The final model to offer the supercab as well as double cab is a ‘Limited’ which starts from £30,536.36 and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, rear view camera with rear parking sensors, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, power folding door mirrors with puddle lights, chrome rear roll bar, rear privacy glass, easy lift tailgate, SYNC 3 8-inch touch screen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, full leather interior with heated front seats, and electrically adjustable driver’s seat (double cab only).
The last two trims are available only as double cab and start with a ‘Wildtrak’ which, priced from £32,636.36 features 18-inch alloy wheels, side steps with titanium effect inserts, aerodynamic sports hoop with integrated load box illumination, titanium effect grille, door handles and rear steel step, aluminium finish roof rails, partial leather seat trim, and ambient lighting.
Lastly, and pumped with steroids, is the ‘Raptor’ which starts from £41,961.36. This model is the ultimate with its wider track, all terrain tyres, under body armour, and heavy-duty suspension. As far as I’m aware this model will be coming to me towards the end of the summer at which point I will bring you a full road test on it specifically.
Engine wise a 2.0-litre EcoBlue TDCi is available with three power outputs.
Paired only to a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 130ps version will see 0-62mph in 11.1 seconds with a combined return of around a claimed 40mpg. Also available with only the 6-speed manual ‘box is a 170ps version, which will see 0-62mph a few tenths of a second faster with a similar combined return.
A large vehicle like this, for me, deserves an automatic transmission and for that you need to opt for the 213ps version of this engine which is available with 6-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic ‘box. Seeing 0-62mph in around 10 seconds, both should return a claimed 35mpg.
There is also a 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine available but the stats on it aren’t quite as good as the highest output 2.0-litre. Paired with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic ‘box, expect 0-62mph in around 11 seconds with a combined claimed return of 30mpg
When it comes to towing capacity, all but the cheapest, as well as the most expensive, are rated for a 3,500kg plated trailer, with a combined train weight of 6,000kg.
Over the course of a week, I got to know my way around a ‘Wildtrak’ model equipped with the most potent engine and automatic gearbox and, I’ll admit, aside from going incredibly well and being generously equipped, it’s still very much a commercial vehicle in the way that it drives.
It is however, one of the more refined pick-ups on the market and I really don’t feel that you would need much more than this engine and gearbox in a ‘Limited’ trim level for everyday use. Yes the partial leather interior with contrasting stitching in the Wildtrak is very appealing, as too is some of the exterior trim, but I struggle to see the value for what is essentially a workhorse.
My time with the Ford Ranger couldn’t have come more appropriately, as having had some building work completed around the house, the need to remove old and leftover materials was required. For this, a 3,500kg rated twin-axle trailer was hitched perfectly, thanks to the rear view camera assisting.
The load was bulk, rather than weight, yet the 30 or so miles completed, with an end destination in the middle of a forest, was achieved as if there was no trailer attached whatsoever. Whilst entering the forest and nipping onto the local beach, putting the Ranger into four-wheel-drive was done on-the-move, at the twist of a knob.
The model tested with a few options comes in just shy of £35,000 plus the VAT, which is around £5,000 more than a similar Isuzu D-Max. However, the car-like comfort combined with the more potent engine in the Ranger, makes that price difference easily justifiable to me.
All prices stated are plus VAT. The Ford Ranger comes with a 3-year, 60,000 mile warranty (whichever comes first).
Fact File for model tested
Make : Ford
Model : Ranger
Trim : Wildtrak
Engine : 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel
Gearbox : 10-speed automatic
Cost : £34,975 + VAT
Words & Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
images must not be used in any way without prior written consent of the photographer