Based on this evaluation, it seems that the Ford Ranger, already the top-selling pick-up in Europe, is poised to maintain its title without any imminent challenge.
What Is It?
Introducing the latest iteration of the Ford Ranger, the leading pickup truck in the UK and Europe in terms of sales. Notably, it also holds the fourth position among the best-selling commercial vehicles in the UK year-to-date, as reported by the SMMT.
Undoubtedly, it stands as the sole pickup within the top 10 in this market segment. Nonetheless, the field of competitors is relatively limited at present, with noteworthy opponents including the Isuzu D-Max, the Toyota Hilux, and the VW Amarok. The constraints are attributed to emissions regulations; however, it’s worth noting that a fleet of electric pickups is poised to make its entry soon.
It’s important to highlight that the recently introduced Ford Ranger and VW Amarok share a common foundation due to a collaboration between the two brands. As is customary, the Ranger is offered in both single cab and double cab configurations.
Come On Then, What’s New?
Let’s begin with the aesthetics. Upfront, it showcases a fresh grille design and introduces ‘C-clamp’ LED headlights for the first time, enhancing its visual appeal. The stance is further accentuated by the broader wheel arches. Moving to the rear, the previous sticker is replaced by an embossed Ranger nameplate, taking center stage, accompanied by a newly designed light signature. Overall, it’s an aesthetically appealing vehicle, undoubtedly catching the eye.
However, the changes extend beyond just cosmetic enhancements, as beneath the fresh bodywork lies an enhanced chassis. This updated chassis now boasts a longer wheelbase by 50mm and a wider track by 50mm compared to the previous Ranger model. These modifications translate to elevated ride quality, handling capabilities, and interior space.
Moving indoors, the interior is highlighted by the presence of the new 10.1-inch or 12-inch portrait-oriented center touchscreen, housing Ford’s latest SYNC 4 infotainment system. Furthermore, there has been a noticeable improvement in overall quality compared to the previous model, aimed at better accommodating both professional and family requirements.
What About Under The Bonnet?
The Ranger presents customers with a selection between two 2.0-liter turbodiesel engines, generating either 168 or 202bhp (note that the single cab variant exclusively offers the former). Additionally, a novel 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine delivering 237bhp has been introduced. Ford explains that the decision to provide a range of power and torque options was driven by customer demand for towing substantial loads and tackling demanding off-road conditions, as well as everyday usage like grocery shopping, one would assume.
In the lower tier, the 2.0-liter turbodiesel option is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, whereas the higher-powered version and the V6 are equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission. As previously mentioned, this lineup mirrors that of the Volkswagen Amarok.
We’ve had the opportunity to test the V6 variant, and our experience revealed its impressive on-road capabilities, although it did exhibit a somewhat notable thirst for fuel. For off-road ventures, it offers the standard selectable two- and four-wheel drive modes, encompassing both low and high range choices. Additionally, a novel ‘set-and-forget’ mode has been introduced, automatically transitioning between the two options. For further insights, explore the details provided in the Driving section.
But What’s It Like As A Pickup?
Key statistics encompass the capacity to tow up to 3,500kg and support a payload of up to 1,200kg. Single cab iterations feature two seats and a loadspace length measuring 2,332mm, while double cab models accommodate five seats and a loadspace length of 1,564mm.
Simultaneously, relocating the front wheels by 50mm towards the front has facilitated improved approach and departure angles. The broader track not only enhances passenger room but also provides a bed width capable of accommodating a full-size pallet loaded sideways.
Furthermore, there are hidden surprises such as supplementary tie-down points designed to secure loads effectively, dividers to prevent movement of timber or toolboxes, a tailgate that can serve as a workbench, and an app-controlled lighting system aimed at illuminating tasks in low-light conditions.
How Much Does It Cost?
In the UK, the starting prices stand at £28,275 ($35,708.50)exclusive of VAT (as highlighted by Ford, recognizing that the majority of buyers will be commercial customers) for the single cab variant, and £29,800 ($37,634.42) exclusive of VAT for the double cab option. These figures apply to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in its least powerful 168bhp configuration, which is the sole available choice for the single cab version, as a reminder.
The starting price for the double cab begins at £34,550 ($43,633.20) for the 2.0-liter engine in the higher 237bhp configuration, or £43,850 ($55,378.16) for the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 option. It’s important to note that these prices do not include taxes. It’s worth mentioning that the single cab variant with two doors is exclusively available in the entry-level XL trim. In contrast, the four-door double cab comes in various trims: XL, XLT, Tremor, Wildtrak, and Wildtrak X (depending on the specific 2.0-liter version chosen). For those opting for the 3.0-liter V6, the choices include Wildtrak and Platinum trims.
What’s The Verdict?
“Ford conducted over 5,000 customer interviews during the Ranger’s development, ensuring there will be minimal reasons for buyers to express dissatisfaction.”
It’s been conveyed that Ford engaged in over 5,000 customer interviews and conducted numerous workshops during the development of the new Ranger. Based on this evidence, it’s safe to say that future buyers will have very few reasons to voice any grievances.
The driving experience is adept, the cabin exudes a higher level of sophistication compared to the previous generation, and there’s increased space for both passengers and cargo. While pickups are typically perceived as utilitarian vehicles rather than family cars, spending time in the new Ranger swiftly persuades you that it has the potential to excel in both roles.
Confident driving experience, enhanced cabin quality and spaciousness, while retaining its enduring versatility and capability.
The size is undeniable, and the V6 isn’t particularly budget-friendly. Additionally, the touchscreen tends to attract fingerprints easily.