The Ford Ranger is one of the UK’s best-loved pick-up trucks.
It’s not a style of vehicle you’d naturally expect to sell well this side of the Atlantic Ocean. But ever since UK roads became littered with SUVs, it’s quickly found its way into the hearts of the British public.
And for good reason, too. Unlike some other pick-ups, such as the Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max and SsangYong Musso, it has a split personality; the utilitarian workhorse and a family-friendly five-door.
It’s one of the main reasons why the Ford Ranger continues to be the best-selling pick-up truck in the UK. But it’s not the only reason.
And now, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the American brute to understand why. You can skip to the section you want to read using the chapters on the left, or for a general overview, click here.
Things we like about the Ford Ranger
- Looks great
- Brilliantly practical
- Room for five in the Double Cab and Raptor
Things we don’t like about the Ford Ranger
- Some materials feel cheap inside
- Only the top-spec gets five seats
- Even the entry-level models are expensive to buy outright
Design & styling
The Ford Ranger has become one of the most recognisable vehicles on the road. Its aggressive front end and seemingly never-ending body is something to behold, as is its intimidating presence on the road.
At its biggest, the Ranger is over seven metres long, a full three metres longer than a typical family hatchback, such as a Vauxhall Astra.
It’s tall, too, sitting more than 1.8 metres high – or around six feet.
With that, you’d assume it would be easy to fit five people and still have ample space for everything else.
However, only the Double Cab and top-end performance Raptor provide space for rear passengers.
The lesser-specced Super Cab comes with only one side door (and on occasion rear seats), while the entry-level Regular Cab is a straight two-seater.
Of course, no matter which model you choose, you have plenty of room in the rear loading bay – giving it a practical edge over any SUV.
Also, there are several aftermarket options available if you wish to upgrade the styling of the Ford Ranger. One example is Sterling Automotive, who create bespoke body kits and interior conversions for the discerning customer.
With a wider stance through upgraded wheel arches, Mustang headlights and Italian leather trim, the Sterling Ranger transforms the Wildtrak into a luxurious behemoth.
You can see the Ford Ranger Wildtrak adaptation here.
MPG, running costs & environmental impact
Depending on which Ford Ranger you choose will decide your MPG, running costs and environmental impact.
Due to its size alone, it’s unlikely the Ranger is going to sip away at its fuel reserves on or off the road.
However, the most efficient six-speed manual gearbox still claims a respectable 34mpg – around the same you’d expect from a petrol-powered Range Rover.
Meanwhile, the least economical model – which is the 10-speed auto, 210bhp 2.0-litre diesel – gives a claimed 30.7mpg.
Of course, the fairly low MPG also impacts on running costs, which can range from 38p a mile to almost 58p.
On top of that, there are also road tax costs, which, due to its payload, fall under the flat rate of annual commercial vehicle road tax – except the Raptor – and are usually included in your monthly payment if you decide to lease.
Because it’s such a big vehicle, and it’s powered by diesel engines, the Ranger is quite unkind to the environment.
The most efficient version pumps out 179/km, while the least is a whopping 233g/km. And because the Raptor doesn’t fall under the commercial road tax banner – due to its reduced payload – the road tax charges can be very steep.
Engines, drive & performance
There are three engines to choose from in the Ford Ranger. All are 2.0-litre diesels with a wide variation of power outputs.
In the entry-level Regular Cab, you have the choice between a six-speed manual producing 128bhp or 168bhp. While in the Super Cab, the only option is the six-speed 168bhp variant.
In the Double Cab, you can choose either the 168bhp or a more-powerful 210bhp option, as well as between a six-speed manual ‘box or 10-speed automatic.
In the Raptor, however, there’s only the 210bhp version – albeit, again, this comes with a choice of manual or auto.
To drive, there’s no denying the most-powerful 210bhp model is the best behind the wheel, particularly paired up with the 10-speed auto.
It’s not that the six-speed manual is bad, because it’s not, just expect to have to work the engine hard to make any meaningful progress – especially paired with either the 128bhp or 168bhp engines.
What may come as a surprise, however, is the Ford Ranger Raptor. It may be dubbed as the performance Ranger, but it’s a little underwhelming.
In fact, the Wildtrak Double Cab is actually quicker with a 210bhp power source under the bonnet. And add to the fact the Raptor is less practical and more expensive to buy and run, and it’s certainly something to think about before ordering.
Overall, though, it’s important to remember the Ford Ranger is still a truck. It’s not a smooth-riding SUV, so despite its well-balanced ride and impressive pace, don’t expect Range Rover prowess.
The Ford Ranger interior matches the vehicle’s utilitarian exterior. For the most part, the trim is basic and practical – particularly in the Regular and Super Cab variants.
Plastic makes up much of the dash and surrounding areas, meanwhile, material seats do enough to soften lumps and bumps in the tarmac.
However, in the Wildtrak Double Cab, a bigger screen and part-leather seats make an appearance, as does a chunkier leather steering wheel.
In the Raptor, the interior is upgraded again, with full Soho Grain leather seats and a nicer overall finish, although again, it’s not too dissimilar to the Wildtrak.
On the tech front, the entry-level XL trim features DAB radio, cruise control and air conditioning – but not much more.
For added niceties, you could spend a bit more and go for the XLT or Limited, both of which come with Bluetooth, alloy wheels and front fog lights.
In the Limited, there’s also a rear-view camera, bi-Xenon headlights and rear privacy glass.
As you get up to the Wildtrak, you find what you’d usually discover in a well-specced SUV. Ford’s brilliant Sync 3 infotainment system is complemented by sat-nav and ambient lighting.
And in the Raptor, there’s an upgraded instrument layout and a six-choice terrain management system.
Practicality & boot space
Of course, a key selling point of the Ford Ranger is its practicality. Its gargantuan size makes it the perfect workhorse, albeit not so much if you come across tight corners or tricky parking spots too often.
But at over seven metres long, you’d expect there to be boot space. And indeed there is.
At its biggest – in the Regular Cab – the maximum load length is a monstrous 2.3m, while also offering over 1.5m in width.
To put it another way, you could almost fit an entire Smart FourTwo car in the loading bay of a Ford Ranger.
It can take the weight too, with a payload capacity of up to 1252kg and up to 3500kg in tow.
So, you know it’s strong and roomy, but practicality isn’t just about space. To park, the Ranger’s length makes it tricky, so we’d always recommend having, at least, rear parking sensors. That way you can escape any small dings in Asda car park.
On top of that, all of the Ford Rangers models are four-wheel drive, meaning it can tackle tough terrain as well as it does smooth motorway tarmac.
Reliability & safety
The Ford Ranger is a well-known workhorse, so reliability shouldn’t be a problem, particularly on the newer models.
It also has a five-star NCAP safety rating, meaning you and your passengers are well protected should you get into any bother.
Cost & deals
As we said at the start, the Ford Ranger isn’t a cheap model to own outright. However, on lease, it’s certainly value for money.
Its dependability alone makes it one of the best-value vehicles on the road today, with prices starting from £238 a month excluding VAT.
If you’re wanting a Ford Ranger Wildtrak – which is undoubtedly the most popular model – you can get hold of one for as little as £277 monthly excluding VAT.
If you’d like to know more about the Ford Ranger, contact us and an experienced member of our team can answer any questions.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to see which model fits, you can find your perfect Ford Ranger today using the button below.
Or you can get a tailored price by securing your finance pre-approval online in minutes through our quick and easy Apply Now feature.