• The Ranger might appear to have blunt styling, but it is surprisingly aerodynamic
  • Halogen headlamps have daytime running lights at their outer edge
  • This front end is an aerodynamic design, believe it or not
  • Side steps aid access to cabin
  • A higher beltline than the old Ranger, for higher flatbed sides and therefore more cargo space, was in Ford’s design brief
  • Control ergonomics are good and handbrake is of the old-fashioned mechanical type
  • Six-speaker stereo is unexpectedly punchy; you could throw open the doors and have Elvis Presley grace your picnic if you choose
  • Dual-zone climate control is a real luxury, especially as many pick-ups still do without air conditioning
  • It’s a climb to get aboard, but there’s lots of room once you’re in
  • Leg and headroom in the Wildtrak’s rear cabin are on a par with a medium-sized family 4x4
  • You’d expect visibility to be good - and it is, to the nearside particularly so. Commanding driving position helps
  • Tailgate is rated to hold 200kg. It locks with the main key, but not via the remote central locking
  • For a car so vast, it both gains and loses speed quite impressively
  • Easy pulling power is what this powertrain is specified to deliver, and that it achieves very well
  • If you pay for any of your own fuel, have a 148bhp 2.2-litre Double Cab auto; if you don’t, go for the full fat 197bhp 3.2-litre
  • A crude ride gives away the Ranger’s utilitarian intent
  • Limit handling in a car like this isn’t about entertainment; it’s about security and the Ranger is all but failsafe
  • Great value and our favourite pick-up

The act of stepping up into the cabin leaves little room for doubt about the vastness of the Ford Ranger. You sit higher than in most SUVs, but even from up there, the extremities of the front and rear seem an awfully long way away.

The cabin itself is a familiar and quite pleasant place. Its design strikes a more than acceptable balance between durability, functionality and both aesthetic and tactile appeal.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The Ranger displayed a redneck bias to ‘shuffling’ tracks on my iPod. At one point it played Johnny Cash, Toby Keith and Bruce Springsteen, one after the other

The material mix isn’t quite the match of a high-end Focus, but it’s rich enough to avoid any commercial impression and outclass the pick-up standard. Fixtures and fittings are solid and sensibly sized, in order to allow operation while wearing thick gloves.

Passenger space is fine and as generous in both rows as a medium-sized family car. There are lots practical storage solutions, too. The centre cubby is big enough for a pack of drinks cans and the glovebox is sized for a 16in laptop. The rear seat cushions also lift to reveal a large storage box.

Between that storage box and the 1.5m-long load bay, there’s little that you could carry in a large estate car or SUV that you couldn’t in the Ranger.

There’s no load-through facility, but longer items could be lashed to the roof rack of a car so equipped. There’s also a tailgate rated to carry 200kg, so you need have no qualms about climbing on to it to reach a bag or box.

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