From £22,2448
Ford is seeing off its hard-working pick-up truck with four special editions, including this premium-minded one

What is it?

Even in its 12th and final full year on sale, the P375-generation Ford Ranger remained by far Britain’s favourite pick-up truck.

In a stupendous year for Ford Commercial Vehicles (in which the Transit Custom was the UK's best-selling LCV, outselling even the best-selling car, the Vauxhall Corsa, and followed by its larger Ford Transit sibling), 17,830 new Rangers took 42% of the pick-up market. That’s pretty impressive, even if the Ranger no longer has to worry about the Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara or Volkswagen Amarok, as these have all been taken off sale in recent years.

Some of these Rangers would have been in the four special guises that Ford has introduced to celebrate the end of the P375 line: the MS-RT Limited Edition, Raptor Special Edition, Stormtrak and Wolftrak, all of which are still available to order.

In Ford’s words, the Wolftrak is “an intrepid, rugged pick-up designed around the needs of customers who work outdoors and desire commanding off-road performance without compromising comfort and desirability”. Meanwhile the Stormtrak – which we’re testing here – is “a premium truck offering distinctive styling and premium features for customers who value outstanding capability and a generous specification to support their active work and lifestyle needs”.

In our words, the Wolftrak is essentially the basic Ranger XLT with a unique tubular bar for holding in loads and hosting accessories; special grey paint; a matt-black grille; extra underbody cladding; 17in alloy wheels; and plastic side steps. The Stormtrak is essentially the plusher, double-cab Wildtrak with special red paint; red grille inserts, LED headlights; extra underbody cladding; a ‘sports hoop’; a black rear bumper; body stickers; and a liner, divider and Ford’s new Power Roller Shutter for the load bed.

2 Ford ranger stormtrak 2022 uk first drive review side pan

What's it like?

Apart from the reasonable pricing and practical advantages of buying an LCV from Ford in the UK, one of the major reasons for the Ranger's continued success over the past decade must surely have been the way it drives.

Never has "it drives like a truck" sounded less of an insult. You can convince yourself that the Ranger is a big SUV – an old-school 4x4 one, that is – such is the quality of the ride and handling. It never feels agricultural like, say, the Ssangyong Musso. The Ranger is a Ford and it tries hard to make you remember that.

It's admittedly less so when you’re driving with the load bed entirely empty, putting the weight distribution off kilter so making it a bit bouncier and more tail happy, but there’s obviously an easy solution to that.

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The engine is unsurprisingly gruff and noisy as it's a commercial diesel lump, but it’s pretty powerful when you’re unladen. Indeed, it’s the same 2.0-litre EcoBlue four-pot as used by the performance-focused Raptor, making 210bhp and 369lb ft of torque. It comes as standard mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, which happily slushes through ratios to give you the optimum torque.

You can also manually lock the Ranger into low- or high-ratio four-wheel drive, the latter giving you greater on-road stability or off-road capability in exchange for extra drivetrain noise and reduced fuel economy (which in normal circumstances is about 30mpg). 

Although we were unable to test the Stormtrak properly off road, we know from experience that the Ranger is pretty hard to stump, and it certainly had no problem with the mud-slathered lanes that we encountered across the downland and weald of Sussex in the bleak mid-winter.

Such assured brawniness means the Stormtrak can take a payload of up to 1000kg and tow a braked trailer of up to 3500kg. And that payload is easy to secure, thanks to myriad hitching points all around the load bed for your straps and ropes, including the movable ones on the clever rail running along the side walls. 

The tough plastic liner provides protection against scratching the handsome red paint, too, although when securing a washing machine I noted that the strip of exposed body between the top of the bed’s back wall and the bottom of the cab’s rear window looked vulnerable.

Inside the double-length cab, you find a similar amount of space as you would in the Ford Focus, with good head and leg room for adults. It looks extra snazzy in Stormtrak spec, thanks to its exclusive seats upholstered in leather from the Raptor and ‘technical fabric’.

The dashboard is where the leap from this Ranger to the next will be most obvious, because it’s really starting to look its age now, with its small embedded touchscreen and analogue instrument dials. However, that doesn’t mean it’s bad to use. The software is up to date, being intuitive and loaded with all of the features you would expect; while the chunky physical controls for the air-con actually look to be in a much less accessible location in the forthcoming Ranger, due to the ‘requirement’ of a portrait-orientated laptop-sized screen.

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9 Ford ranger stormtrak 2022 uk first drive review dashboard

Should I buy one?

“Woah, how much do those cost? That’s all you would ever need.” Really? Of all the shiny new cars we test, it’s a tradie’s truck that gets attention in the supermarket car park? But I suppose this bloke's comment is quite right. The Ranger has a powerful engine, a well-sorted chassis, solid off-road credentials, a nicely appointed cab that can accommodate four adults and a load bay that can be turned into a big boot with an optional Aeroklas canopy. 

It makes sense why so many people now run pick-up trucks as private vehicles, and it’s easy to see why the majority of them go for the Ranger. And at only about £600 more than the everyday Wildtrak, the extra-cool look and feel of the Stormtrak seems a no-brainer for potential buyers.

3 Ford ranger stormtrak 2022 uk first drive review tracking rear

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Join the debate

Add a comment…
xxxx 3 February 2022

Ford seem to be promoting trucks ahead of hatchbacks, saloons etc are they trying to tell us something.

frarob 3 February 2022

I live in the land of gargantuan pickups, and proudly drive a 2019 Ranger XLT loaded up with all the tech, comfort, and FX4 Off-Road packages. 2.3 4 cylinder gas motor with a Ford Performance ProCal tune and a Ford Performance exhaust. It is my daily driver, with an E36 M3 convertible, a Bronco Sport, a Prius V, and a big Bronco ordered as the remainder of the fleet. I consistently tell people that most do not need an F-150. They are shocked when I tell them I am pushing 335-340hp/400lb ft while maintaining an average of 22.5 mpg. I can tow 7500 pounds, and the payload is nearly a ton. I can park it in my garage. It is a rolling multitool to me, perfect size and menu of function.

Will86 3 February 2022
frarob wrote:

I consistently tell people that most do not need an F-150. 

Most people don't need 5 cars either.

frarob 6 February 2022

Odd comment for an automobile enthusiast oriented website. Many enthusiasts own multiple vehicles, particularly when one or more have a specific role and use based upon location, terrain, and climate. Do you express the same dismissive attitude toward the staff of this fine publication - certainly multiple car owners - or do their tales entertain? I enjoy the Land Rover/Innocenti/BMW joys and perils shared. I am employed in "the industry" and feel exactly 0% guilt regarding the number of vehicles owned, and in fact am looking to add another - I don't have a track car currently, and would like to go vintage racing again. Best wishes and stay healthy.

Marc 9 February 2022
Perhaps he's an enthusiast with small willy.