Ed Keohane
19 August 2009

What is it?

The Ranger Wildtrak four-door pick-up is the latest Ford offering to the lifestyle SUV market. What was once a rudimentary builder’s friend gets an up-to-date design inspired by Ford’s Kinetic styling, a 154bhp 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine, a proper double cab, heated Alcantara front seats, electric folding door mirrors and a suitably funky centre console and dash with inclinometer.

A towing capacity of 3000kg, low-range transfer box, impressive off-road ability and a good turning circle means that jetski or boat owners should be able to move anything short of the QE2 down to the waterline and back.

What’s it like?

Most Ranger drivers will need little of this all-terrain potential and be much more concerned with on-road stability, handling and refinement. The new, free-revving turbodiesel has a class-leading 280lb ft of torque at 1800rpm, allowing relaxed motorway cruising and comfortable, if well planned, overtaking. Wind noise at 70mph is quite obtrusive, but no more so than in any of the four-wheel-drive competition.

Car owners might also take some time to get accustomed to the ladder chassis and live, leaf-sprung rear axle. It excels at absorbing large potholes, but the ride suffers over transverse ridges and can be surprisingly jittery on apparently smooth road surfaces.

There’s a reassuring, natural balance with good stability on long bends and, though the rear can be provoked to step out of line when unladen, its resistance to understeer is always impressive.

Inside, the driving position is good and the dash is clear, though the lack of a reach-adjustable steering wheel in a vehicle this size would never be tolerated within the traditional car market. Rear-seat passengers get head restraints and a fair amount of legroom, but little else in the way of creature comforts.

Should I buy one?

If you need the genuine off-road ability or are determined to drive a pick-up, the Ranger Wildtrak offers an excellent, appealingly styled alternative to the ubiquitous Toyota Hilux or old-school Land Rover Defender. But if you’re simply looking for a commuting vehicle that can also take the family camping, then the Skoda Octavia Scout or Yeti, Ford’s own Kuga or the Nissan X-trail are more convincing competitors.

Join the debate

Comments
18

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

Never thought i would see the day when a western car company takes a exterior design que from a japanese car- This looks exactly like the new Toyota Hilux. Otherwise i think it's not bad for what it's meant to be.

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

kurdo_kolene wrote:
Never thought i would see the day when a western car company takes a exterior design que from a japanese car- This looks exactly like the new Toyota Hilux.

I'm not sure, but I think the underpinnings are Japanese any way.

I know quite a few people that have "traded" out of this sort of vehicle (Mitsubishi's etc) as they are just a little too "industrial" for every day family use.

 

 

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

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

It does look a lot like the Toyota, which is no bad thing I guess. Still quite unusual for Ford to take styling trends from someone else though. What I don't get is how a modren 3.0TDCi diesel can only generate 150 odd bhp and 280 odd lb ft of torque. Even odder that that's class leading. That's less power and only 20 lb ft more than VW's 2.0l Diesel! If Land Rover could make a Disco pick up with their new 3.0l diesel they'd be laughing!

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

nbranfor wrote:
What I don't get is how a modren 3.0TDCi diesel can only generate 150 odd bhp and 280 odd lb ft of torque. Even odder that that's class leading.

Those engines are built to last upward of 400k miles, same thing as lorry engines, so it's not at all surprising that the power and the torque have been reduced in order to increase the longevity of the motor.

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:
by Ford’s Kinetic styling, a new 154bhp 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine, a proper double cab, heated Alcantara front seats, electric folding door mirrors and a suitably funky centre console and dash with inclinometer.

Correct me if i'm wrong but that 3.0-litre has been around for a over a year now. Also doesn't the Navara's 2.5 dish out more torque than the Ranger?

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

Still a mile behind the Navara in terms of street cred styling.

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

Orangewheels wrote:
Still a mile behind the Navara in terms of street cred styling.
The Navara has street cred?

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

Dan McNeil wrote:
Orangewheels wrote:
Still a mile behind the Navara in terms of street cred styling.
The Navara has street cred?

It became popular with builder and contractors (I think courtesy of a decent options list - leather, sat nav.....). Never done anything for me.

Wasn't it the Navara that didn't perform very well in crash tests though?

 

 

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

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

If this is based on the 2006 model then that only scored 2 stars in NCAP which considering even an Indian water butt could make 5 these days is diabolical.

http://www.euroncap.com/tests/ford_ranger_2008/342.aspx

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

5 years 10 weeks ago

Just can't get past that price. Why would anyone spend that money on a poor ride, cramped interior and a really dodgy image. Twentyfive grand still buys an awful lot of proper car or proper 4x4.

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