Ford Ranger Review & Buyers' Guide
Tuesday 17 July 2018

Ford Ranger Review & Buyers' Guide

£14,756 – £24,279

Available as Single Cab (4x2/4x4), Super Cab (4x2/4x4), Double Cab (4x4), Chassis Cab (4x4) | Engine options 2.2TD 125/150hp, 3.2TD 200hp | Payload (kg) 1,090 – 1,340

Our Verdict
ranger-2012-bg2-1Ranger is an impressive package that deserves to do well in what is fast-becoming a highly-competitive sector of the market. Ford is back in the pick-up game and in a big way.

A significant advance on its predecessor, Ford’s all-new and attractively sculpted Ranger pick-up boasts new four-cylinder 2.2- and five-pot 3.2-litre Euro 5 Duratorq TDCi diesel engines plus a new six-speed manual gearbox. An automatic six-speeder is up for grabs as an alternative.

There is the choice of either a 125hp or 150hp version of the smaller of the two powerplants — 320Nm and 375Nm of peak torque respectively — while the 3.2-litre has a hefty 200hp on tap; maximum torque is a mighty 470Nm. Having driven both a 150hp and 200hp Double Cab we don't really see the point of the latter; the former is perfectly sufficient and will use less fuel.

The steering has been redesigned, so have the chassis and suspension, and there is a big stress on safety. As a consequence Ford’s new offering has achieved a maximum five-star rating under the Euro NCAP crash test protocol; the only pick-up to ever manage this feat.

Like its predecessor, Ranger is marketed as a 4x2 and a 4x4, and with three different styles of cab. As well as the two-door Regular and four-door Double, buyers can opt for the Super, which has two conventional front doors, two small rear-hinged back doors, and no B-pillar. As a consequence users enjoy unobstructed access. There’s also a two-door chassis cab on offer, ready to take a dropside or tipper body.

ranger-2012-bg2-2Irrespective of model, Ranger’s load bed is 1,544mm wide, narrowing to 1,139mm between the wheel boxes. All models have sidewalls and tailgate 511mm deep. Length varies according to body configuration with the Regular Cab providing 2,317mm. This drops to 1,847mm on the Super and 1,560mm for the Double Cab.

Rear loading height is 835mm, reducing to 724mm on the 4x2 Regular and Super Cabs, but due to the substantial rear bumper arrangement the tailgate cannot be dropped down fully; it’s held at 90° by cables. Gross payload capacity ranges from 1,090kg to 1,340kg while braked trailer towing capacity goes up to an impressive 3,350kg.

Specifications start with the entry-level XL and finish with the goodie-laden Wildtrak. It comes complete with Sat Nav, which includes a rear-view camera — a small screen appears in the left half of the rearview mirror; very neat — and 18in alloy wheels. Our pick would be either the 150hp 2.2TDCi XLT or Limited, the two middle trim levels which both feature Bluetooth connectivity. All models have daytime running lights.

ranger-2012-bg2-3aFor a pick-up truck the new Ranger rides and handles surprisingly well on conventional road surfaces, but really comes into its own off-road. Steep ascents, precipitous descents and fast-flowing rural streams hold few terrors for it. The manual gearshift quality is particularly impressive for a 4x4 pick-up, as is the amount of feedback provided by the well-weighted power steering.

In two-wheel drive mode it’s the rear pair doing all the work. Four-wheel drive is engaged electronically via a turn wheel next to the gearstick. There’s a Low- as well as a Hi-range set of ratios available and the whole system is controlled using the standard-fit ESP system. It includes de-selectable Traction Control and selectable Hill Descent. It’s even possible to tackle steep descents in neutral with the electronics taking care of everything.

Ranger is covered by a three-year/60,000-mile mechanical warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion cover and service intervals are set at 20,000 miles.

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Ford Ranger electronic Hill Descent explained…


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