From £21,278
Redesigned Ford Ranger closes the gap between load carrier versatility and passenger car performance and comfort

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

Add a comment…
ianp55 10 November 2011

Re: Ford Ranger 3.2 Doublecab

The only Amorok's I've seen have been in VW Commercial Van dealers, it looks smart but I suspect the reason we ain't seen many is that it's built in Argentina, that's a long way to bring it over here.

ianp55 10 November 2011

Re: Ford Ranger 3.2 Doublecab

Interesting thought if not for Blighty but for the US it could go up against the Cadillac Escalade pickup, might pick up a few buyers over there.

The only market segment I could think of over here might be League One footballers

Honest Paul 8 November 2011

Re: Ford Ranger 3.2 Doublecab

I drove one of these yesterday, tremendously impressive. Quiet, refined, torquey and comfortable. It'll wade rivers one foot deeper than the RR Evoque can manage and demolishes off road courses. The gearbox is rated to 600lbft torque and the engine is running a very low state of tune so an ECU tune to, say, 260bhp and 450lbft torque would make it a riot. I'm buying one.