The Ranger is a practical and well-priced pick-up that’s surprisingly safe and enjoyable to drive.
It doesn’t get close to the ride comfort, refinement or perceived quality of modern SUVs.
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Ford Ranger performance
Both two- and four-wheel-drive versions are available, plus there are three diesel engines: two 2.2s with 123bhp or 148bhp, and a 197bhp 3.2. The more powerful 2.2 pulls strongly from low revs and can tow trailers that weigh more than 3.3 tonnes when it’s combined with four-wheel drive. The 3.2 is faster, and actually feels pretty brisk.
Ford Ranger ride & handling
The steering is rather slow around town. However, it’s more responsive at higher speeds and is both accurate and nicely weighted. The Ranger also feels more grippy and composed in corners than most rival pick-ups, but the ride becomes bouncy and unsettled on poorly surfaced roads. Four-wheel-drive versions are very capable off-road.
Ford Ranger refinement
Wind and road noise are surprisingly well controlled considering the Ranger’s boxy shape and chunky tyres, but the 148bhp engine sounds coarse under acceleration and when you’re cruising at anything above about 60mph. The 3.2 is even louder, and when it’s idling, the whole vehicle shudders. There’s also a lot of vibration through the primary controls.