From £23,278
Ranger has enough abilities to be a contender in the lifestyle SUV market
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
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RangerS 8 April 2017

Meaning of 3.0 TDCi

Whats the fuel consumption rate of the car, like how many km/litre? I have considered everything else about the Widltrak and would love to own it, but I need more details about fuel consumption
philcUK 25 August 2009

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

yes - the original Rangers were just Mazdas (or the other way around) but Mazda apparently stopped its love of the truck at that point and the Ranger has carried on in several new incarnations since then.

It's always been popular with it's owners for it's surprising turn of pace on the road - more than a Hilux, Navara or L200 unless they are fitted with their optional power upgrades. Having seen several of these new models on the road now it looks nothing like a Hilux which appears to be far more imposing and aggressive. the Ranger seems softer and smaller now because of the kinetic makeover. bit of a shame that.

daddy 3 22 August 2009

Re: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0TDCi

TegTypeR wrote:

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 think i read some where that the Ford Ranger is based on a Maza and that only the grill and some cabin trim differ them apart.