• 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

Credit where it’s due: in the new Ranger, Ford has created a class-leading vehicle that not only betters its rivals on pick-up considerations such as carrying, towing and wading.

It could also present a dilemma to many who run a big family car on their employer’s fleet.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Pick of the pick-ups and great value, but still a committed buy

The Ranger isn’t well mannered or well appointed enough to quite measure up to big passenger car standards, but it gets amazingly close.

A lot closer than any other flatbed on the market, and close enough to make you think long and hard about whether that Freelander, Santa Fe or X3 really is worth the extra.

Most are likely to conclude that the size, economy and slightly trying refinement represent a bridge too far.

But for practical people who could put its ruggedness and utility to good use, and who care more about value and dependability than aspirational allure, it’s a genuine contender.

If you're in the market and looking at the likes of the Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Navara or Toyota Hilux, the Ford Ranger should certainly be on your list.

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