From £14,753
Redesigned Ford Ranger closes the gap between load carrier versatility and passenger car performance and comfort

Our Verdict

Ford Ranger
The Ranger might appear to have blunt styling, but it is surprisingly aerodynamic

Can the Ford Ranger, the brand's new global pick-up, satisfy a more refined palate?

18 October 2011

What is it?

One sales slump casualty was the market for pickups, but as concern turns from economy to climate, and the prospect of a third successive hard winter, manufacturers are raising their game to grab a slice of booming 4x4 sales. VW's Amarok has set the marker, and new products from Toyota and Ford are joining in, the latter manufacturer with this Ford Ranger Doublecab.

What’s it like?

Designer Craig Metros, a Melbourne-based American, has combined the all-new Ranger’s family resemblance with US Ford products with the practicality needed for Europe, with an overall width 100mm less than some rivals, and detailed attention to aerodynamics. UK Rangers are now built in South Africa, where Ford has invested heavily to guarantee high build quality.

Torquey drivelines are pooled from 161bhp four-cylinder and 197bhp five-cylinder turbo-diesels with six-speed auto or manual transmissions.

The development seems to have paid off. On a variety of roads around the Kruger Park in South Africa, the refinement and build quality was as evident at 40mph on gravel tracks as at twice that speed on World Cup legacy motorways.

Apart from some hard but durable dash mouldings, the interior has been improved to a level more than acceptable for any contemporary volume passenger car. The interior is spacious, with room in the rear for a 1.9m person with the front seat fully back. Their chattels are equally well accommodated, with lidded boxes under the rear seat and a laptop-swallowing glove box.

Should I buy one?

The Ranger is capable of vastly exceeding the needs of most potential buyers, as a drive on a seriously challenging off-road course, lacking only mud or snow, showed.

Axle articulation is first class and the electronic chassis aids, including speed adjustable Hill Descent Control, mean that even those with little experience should keep out of trouble.

Colin Barnett

Ford Ranger Doublecab 3.2TDCi 4x4 Limited

Price: £26,734; Top speed: 109mph; 0-62mph: n/a; Economy: 28.3mpg (combined); Co2: 264g/km; Kerbweight: 2073kg; Engine: 5-cyls, 3198cc, turbodiesel; Power: 197bhp at 3000rpm; Torque: 347lb ft at 1500-2750rpm; Gearbox: 6-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
17

25 October 2011

Have they finally fitted it with remote central locking?!

A guy from work got one of the last of the previous shapes about 2 months ago as a company car and was stunnded to discoved he has to put the key in the door lock to open it!!!!!!

25 October 2011

It's strange how people percieve pickup drivers in the UK in comparison to the US. In the states, people use them as family cars, while here, people use them as tree surgeon transport. I think that the UK is too civilised a nation to resort to using pickups as everyday transport. I have driven a previous generation Ford Ranger before, and it doesn't make you feel like you'd expect to if you were cruising through Texas in an F150. I also drove a Mitsubishi L200 once, and couldn't help but noticing that the rear of the vehicle feels extremely light under cornering. I can now understand why pickup trucks tend to roll over whenever I see them on World's Scariest Police Videos.

25 October 2011

I think UK pickups are a bit too utilitarian.

I do think there is space in the UK for a Luxury Pickup truck, I'm surprised nobody has taken it up, as the Tax benefits of running one instead of a 4x4 would be great.

If Land Rover stuck a Pickup Bed on the back of a Discovery I would have one in an instant.

25 October 2011

Since when is the VW Amorak all of a sudden the best pick up by "setting the marker"?

And since when is a British Motoring hack positioned to make such a call? Stick to what you know, diesel European econoboxes.

The Navara, Hilux & L200 have long been highly regarded as extremely capable and importantly, durable vehicles that are not designed for the hugely badge snobby British market. Most folk who buy these vehicles in the UK buy them for work, use them a s a tool and do not read 'car magazines'.

The Japanese have long been champions of the off road vehicle and VW will have a huge task onits hands to win over loyal Navlux200 buyers no matter what a cocooned British journalist thinks.

DKW

25 October 2011

[quote geed]The Japanese have long been champions of the off road vehicle and VW will have a huge task onits hands to win over loyal Navlux200 buyers[/quote] I've heard opposing info about Amarok sales, so don't know whether they have done very well or very poorly. A VW employee told me they are going to bring out a V6 diesel Amarok to have the edge over the 5 pot rivals, but he didn't strike me as knowing what he was talking about. Does anyone know what's happening ?

26 October 2011

In reality these are commercial vehicles with a family twist. I know quite a few people who have bought them (pick ups rather than the Ford tested) for work purposes but with an eye on family use and most of them consider them to be crude noisy and thirsty. The UK market, especially after the company car tax changes, now look at these as tools.

This one seems to look quite nice inside but I don't think that is going to change many peoples perceptions.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

26 October 2011

Totally pointless for most people in this country other than as a tax lowering scheme.

26 October 2011

I looked recently at getting a pick-up to use as commuter/family/mountain bike carrying transport. Didn't because with the double cab I needed and even barely decent load bed the things were massive and rode badly. Also poor on fuel and too many scare stories of the back end letting go.

Most of the 'leisure' pick-up market died in the UK with the tax change - hence the halcyon day of the L200 Warrior not too long ago.

26 October 2011

I used to drive a works Toyota Hi-lux. It was a proper work horse, carrying quarter of a tonne of gravel on the back, top soil, huge roofing structures amongst other things. It was crude, noisy, slow, thirsty, and bouncy but I loved it. Strangely I could live with one as an everyday vehicle. These trucks are quite charasmatic really.

It was always quite amusing when loaded up with ballast heavily at the back as it had stupid wide non OE wheels/tyres on and the back end would come around on tight corners because the tyres were so squishy. Dangerous when trying to join the A1 as speed needed to be kept up but the slip road was preceeded by a very tight bend. If you didn't have any speed though you'd never get on it.

jch

26 October 2011

[quote geed]

The Navara, Hilux & L200 have long been highly regarded as extremely capable and importantly, durable vehicles that are not designed for the hugely badge snobby British market. Most folk who buy these vehicles in the UK buy them for work, use them a s a tool and do not read 'car magazines'.

The Japanese have long been champions of the off road vehicle and VW will have a huge task onits hands to win over loyal Navlux200 buyers no matter what a cocooned British journalist thinks.

[/quote] You only have to watch the recent coverage of Libya to realise how robust the Japanese pick-ups are, I doubt if Messrs Nissan or Toyota considered fitting a 23mm Triple-A gun when they designed their pick-ups! I doubt if they designed the pick-ups to have their roofs hacked off either. Mind you a gun and ammo will stop the rear end getting 'light' on cornering. ;-)

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