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Ford Ranger evaluation
Pick-up trucks have long been big news within the USA, however few might have expected them to take hold over here in quite the way they have. The Ford Ranger has significantly captured the imagination of patrons on this side of the pond, constantly being the biggest selling pickup in the UK.
Trims range from workmanlike with metal wheels and lashings of black plastic to the efficiency-focused Raptor. The highest models aren’t short of creature comforts, either – vital when even stalwarts like the Mitsubishi L200 and Toyota Hilux, not to mention newer arrivals like the Ssangyong Musso, all provide luxurious versions.
Though these pickups have a fashionable image, they’re about a lot more than just about looking the part, and aren’t afraid to get their arms dirty. The Ranger has a hefty towing limit, can carry heavy loads with ease and is reasonably useful off-road, too. As an alternative to a large SUV, a Ranger might make sense – especially if you happen to can benefit from the attractive company automotive tax rates of models with a maximum payload that exceeds 1000kg (which excludes Raptor trim, incidentally).
For those searching for a workhorse, the 2-seat Regular Cab and four-seat Super Cab would possibly tick the correct boxes, but the more fashionable Double Cab is our favourite; its five-seat format and four proper doors make it household-pleasant, and it’s available within the widest range of trim levels. Don’t worry if the numerous permutations of Ranger are complicated; our in-depth overview will assist you to to determine which engine, bodystyle and trim degree are right for you.
And in the event you decide that a Ford Ranger or considered one of its pick-up rivals will fit neatly into your way of life, head on over to our New Car Buying pages to see how much we may prevent – without any awkward haggling.
The Ranger’s strongest 2.0-litre diesel is without doubt one of the smoother engines within the class, but those expecting SUV levels of refinement may be a little disappointed by its ever-current diesel soundtrack. That said, when paired to Ford’s optional 10-velocity automatic gearbox, progress is effortless – the additional ratios aiding low-speed acceleration while additionally helping to reduce engine noise at a cruise. It also makes for a prepared load-lugger; proving powerful enough to manage even when packed to the brim with household and luggage – you’ll get 1024kg within the load bed, and it’ll tow up to 3500kg as well – albeit not on the identical time.
The six-pace guide can also be spectacular, with an extended however accurate throw, nonetheless, it's important to be prepared to work it hard to make significant progress, especially with the less powerful 168bhp 2.0 Ecoblue 170 engine. This engine is completely suitable for those who’re planning on utilizing your Ranger purely as a work-horse (there’s plenty of low down grunt for towing or carrying heavy objects) but if you would like your pick-as much as work as both a instrument and family transport, its lack of punch at motorway speeds could be a little limiting.
As for the ride, the Ranger, like all pick-ups, bobs round even over small undulations, changing into bouncier and more unsettled because the surface gets worse. Nevertheless, its first rate ability to soak up the shock of bumps still units it apart from firmer rivals such because the Toyota Hilux and Ssangyong Musso, so, while it’s hardly cosseting, it's the most comfortable pick-up out there. The Raptor gets a more sophisticated rear suspension setup that improves the ride comfort – especially on tricky off-road terrain – but it’s expensive. Impressively, its Fox Racing shock absorbers and all-spherical coil springs imply that the sooner you go off road, the smoother the ride gets.
Although agile dealing with isn't necessarily a priority amongst commercial vehicles, you will be happy to study that the Ranger is one of the most nimble pick-ups you can buy. Turn into a decent nook and it's straightforward to understand the steering's accuracy and response, as well because the Ranger's resistance to body lean.
Compared with other trims, the Raptor has a strengthened chassis and larger suspension travel, along with enormous off-road tyres, all of which assist to make it even more capable off the overwhelmed track than the rest of the Ranger line-up. Nonetheless, count on a little bit more body lean in bends, and be prepared for the truth that the chunky off-road tyres haven't got quite as much buy on blackhigh as the more road-biased tyres fitted to different Rangers.
All models come with four-wheel drive and the option to add a locking rear differential (customary on Wildtrak and tha Raptor) to spice up off-road ability, however we'd recommend keeping your Ranger in two-wheel drive mode on the road. This helps it to steer with greater finesse at low speeds (in four-wheel drive, it won't flip as sharply) and use less fuel. As with most pick-ups, you must be aware that if there’s nothing within the cargo bay, the light back end will cause the rear wheels will lose grip quite readily on a greasy road.
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