There are plenty of cars on the market that are designed to suit both working and family life, but in the commercial world, this crossover is largely limited to the pick-up. Enabling the transportation of equipment and products, and with seats to accommodate more than one passenger, these vehicles are invaluable to many. Our Ford Ranger pick-up review looks at this popular model and what it’s strengths and weaknesses are.
In its third generation, the Ford Ranger has been brought in-line with other models from the brand, including the Edge and Kuga. It sports a distinctive front grille and angular headlights at its nose, while its profile is robust, with high, chunky wheel arches and muscular shoulders. There’s no doubt it’s built – on the outside at least – primarily as a workhorse. At the rear are vertically arranged tail lights and a squared tailgate, again designed for practicality over style.
Inside is where the Ranger transforms from hardworking business partner to comfortable family vehicle. The plastics and materials are, of course, durable, but the seating is contoured and comfy with a more luxurious finish, and the pick-up adopts features from Ford’s passenger cars, such as the switchgear and a host of technology.
Either side of the main dial on the instrument cluster are digital colour displays, and there’s a central armrest under which is a clever storage cubby. The overall space is very good, with room for tall adults to travel comfortably in the front and rear. Higher spec models come with a few extras such as cup holders and additional storage pockets to ensure the cab stays uncluttered.
There are used Ford Ranger pick-ups for just about every requirement, from the Regular Cab – a two-seater with impressive load capacity – to the Double Cab, which offers varying payloads and four seats.
The Regular Cab is capable of carrying 1,296kg of gross payload and offers 2,317mm length. Opting for the Super Cab gives you two small seats, but these are best suited to younger children or for use as storage for tools than for adults. Depending on the model, you can expect between 1,070 and 1,230kg in terms of payload. The Double Cab offers the most room for passengers, but its maximum payload is 1,199kg. That said, there’s always the option of towing – a braked trailer of up to 3,500kg can be towed behind this flexible pick-up.
Pick-ups offer a sweet spot between cars and vans when it comes to performance. The Ford Ranger gets the balance virtually spot on, with ride comfort and body control being car-like, while the steering is responsive enough to cope with the extra weight. The high ground clearance and large wheels make it capable off-road too, meaning it’s practical for jobs that take you onto building sites or family adventures that take you onto country tracks.
Naturally you’d expect a strong set of engines to haul people and cargo about. The Ranger comes with two diesel engine options: a 2.2-litre and a 3.2-litre. The former reaches 62mph in 11.8 seconds and is flexible enough to cope with most situations. If you carry large loads on a regular basis, however, you may want to choose the 3.2-litre unit, which delivers 197bhp and 470Nm of torque to haul around cargo with ease. It’s available with manual or automatic transmission and offers smooth acceleration even when loaded up.
Ford is well-known for its attention to safety, both on passenger cars and commercial vehicles. A whole host of features is fitted to the Ranger, including airbags, a collapsible steering column and an advanced stability control system. In addition, there’s Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, which are particularly useful when the pick-up is carrying weight in the back, and Trailer Sway Control is in place to prevent trailers straying and keep everything stable in adverse conditions.
Other measures include Load Adaptive Control and Roll-over Mitigation. There’s no doubt, then, that occupants and cargo are fully protected in just about any situation. If you want more, vehicles with the Driver Assistance Pack incorporate some handy driving aids such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Auto High Beam headlights.
The entry-level trim is the XL, which is more about business practicality in terms of its spec. Useful features are the order of the day, with Ford’s Easy-Fuel system, heated electric mirrors and a DAB radio providing convenience and a reliable level of entertainment. Step up to the XLT and alloy wheels are included, as well as a selection of comfort features. Air conditioning keeps the cab cool, while cruise control makes motorway driving easier.
Limited models take things to the next level, with Ford SYNC being installed to make accessing the vehicle’s functions simple and intuitive. There’s a touchscreen that provides access to the audio and driver assistance functions, as well as voice command, so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road as you change settings.
The top spec model is the Wildtrak, which includes all of the aforementioned features, 18-inch alloy wheels, Titanium-effect exterior trim, and satellite navigation. There’s also a rear-view camera and ambient lighting for the cabin, making night time drives relaxing and serene.
Vanwise Group has the Ford Ranger for sale in various guises at our locations in Maidstone andHarlow. To find out more about the used vehicles we have in stock or to talk about finance packages, contact our expert team today.