Ford Ranger review

Category: Pick-up

The Ranger has the same limitations as all pick-ups but is the best of its kind available

Ford Ranger front cornering
  • Ford Ranger front cornering
  • Ford Ranger rear cornering
  • Ford Ranger interior dashboard
  • Ford Ranger load bay
  • Ford Ranger interior infotainment
  • Orange Ford Ranger right driving
  • Orange Ford Ranger front driving off road
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  • Ford Ranger grille detail
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  • Ford Ranger alloy wheel detail
  • Ford Ranger step detail
  • Ford Ranger interior front seats
  • Ford Ranger interior back seats
  • Ford Ranger interior steering wheel
  • Ford Ranger interior detail
  • Ford Ranger interior detail
  • Ford Ranger front cornering
  • Ford Ranger rear cornering
  • Ford Ranger interior dashboard
  • Ford Ranger load bay
  • Ford Ranger interior infotainment
  • Orange Ford Ranger right driving
  • Orange Ford Ranger front driving off road
  • Orange Ford Ranger rear right driving
  • Orange Ford Ranger front left static
  • Orange Ford Ranger rear right static
  • Ford Ranger grille detail
  • Ford Ranger headlights detail
  • Ford Ranger alloy wheel detail
  • Ford Ranger step detail
  • Ford Ranger interior front seats
  • Ford Ranger interior back seats
  • Ford Ranger interior steering wheel
  • Ford Ranger interior detail
  • Ford Ranger interior detail


What Car? says...

The Ford Ranger is from the brand that builds the world’s best selling pick-up truck (the F-150), so you’d expect it to be good – and it is.

Indeed, this latest Ranger offers an impressive blend of good on-road dynamics and working truck abilities with comfort for the driver and passengers. That's fortunate, because pick-up buyers now demand vehicles that are not only competent off-road workhorses, but are also comfortable and pleasant to drive between jobs.

We should point out that the number of pick-up truck models available is dropping like a pallet of bricks. That's down to emissions rules that can lead to manufacturers facing huge fines if their line-up as a whole is particularly eco-unfriendly.

As a result, the Ranger is now only really in competition with the Isuzu D-Max, KGM Musso, Toyota Hilux and VW Amarok. The Amarok shares lots of parts with the Ranger, and is similarly impressive.

There’s the usual array of diesel engines in the Ranger, but Ford is the only pick-up to offer a 3.0-litre petrol (in the Raptor). A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is due to arrive in 2025.

So, do we recommend buying a Ford Ranger? Read on to find out...

Read more: How we test vans


The Ford Ranger offers an impressive blend of comfort and good on-road dynamics, without sacrificing its working truck abilities. It also comes in a greater variety of body styles than the Volkswagen Amarok. It really is the most versatile pick-up truck currently on sale.

  • Big cargo bay with a high payload capacity
  • Space for four six-footers in Double Cab versions
  • Good to drive for a pick-up
  • Not the cheapest pick-up
  • Warranty could be better

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The main Ford Ranger engine line-up is rather simple. There's a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit available with either 168bhp or 202bhp (badged EcoBlue 170 and EcoBlue 205), or a 237bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel (badged EcoBlue V6 240). The entry-level engine comes with a six-speed manual gearbox while the other two get a 10-speed automatic.

There's also a Raptor version with 3.0-litre, 288bhp V6 turbocharged petrol – see our Ford Ranger Raptor review for more on that.

Ford expects the Ecoblue 205 to be the most popular engine, and we can understand why. It pulls strongly from low revs and has plenty of grunt to get up to motorway speeds in short order, or to overtake on a single-carriageway road. We were also impressed with the automatic gearbox – its extra ratios aid low-speed acceleration while helping to maximise fuel economy at a cruise.

The 2.0-litre diesel is one of the smoother four-cylinder engines in the class, but if you're expecting SUV levels of refinement, you might be a little disappointed by the ever-present soundtrack, and the small vibrations transmitted through the steering wheel and pedals.

The V6 is much smoother. While we’ve yet to sample it in the Ranger, we have tested it in the closely related VW Amarok and found it to be gruntier and more tractable. The downsides are its price and poor fuel economy, and given that all Rangers except the Raptor can tow 3,500kg, you might consider the V6 an over-indulgence.

Ford Ranger image
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The PHEV version due in 2025 will mate a 2.3-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and an 11.8kWh battery, for an electric-only range expected to be around 27 miles. That might not sound like much compared with some plug-in hybrid cars, but when you consider the Ranger’s weight, it’s impressive.

In the non-PHEV version we've driven so far, the Ranger manages to provide a far more settled experience than the KGM Musso and the Toyota Hilux.

The Wildtrak and Platinum versions come with a softer suspension setup better suited to on-road driving and are among the most comfortable pick-up trucks around (along with the Amarok). The Tremor and Wildtrak X, with their off-road setups, are slightly firmer, although far from brittle.

There can be some bobbing over undulations at motorway speeds in all versions, but it's very well controlled and never unsettling. Indeed, the Raptor V6 variant, with its adaptive suspension upgrade, is the comfiest pick-up on sale.

The Ranger is also one of the most nimble pick-ups you can buy. As you turn in to a tight corner, you appreciate the steering's accuracy and response, as well as the resistance to body lean, which is a particular problem in the Hilux and, to a slightly lesser degree, the Isuzu D-Max.

All models get four-wheel drive and the option of adding a locking rear differential (standard with the Wildtrak and Raptor) to improve off-road ability. We'd recommend keeping it in two-wheel-drive mode on the road to help it steer with greater finesse at low speeds and use less fuel. 

The Tremor and Wildtrak X come with a more off-road focused suspension setup, with a 26mm raised ride height and Bilstein dampers. An extra 30mm between the left and right wheels provides a wider stance to further benefit stability over uneven surfaces. There’s also a Rock Crawl drive mode (as found on the Raptor). All Rangers have a wading depth of 800mm.

As with most pick-ups, if there’s nothing in the cargo bay, the lack of weight over the rear wheels makes it more likely that they'll lose grip on a greasy road.

Driving overview

Strengths Smooth engines; comfortable ride, surprisingly agile

Weaknesses Not as refined as an SUV; poor fuel economy from V6 engine

Ford Ranger rear cornering


The interior layout, fit and finish

Many people love a large SUV or pick-up truck for its high-up driving position, and if that’s you, you’ll appreciate the lofty Ford Ranger.

Even on entry-level models, the driver is treated to a comfortable seat with six-way manual adjustment. Eight-way electric seats with lumbar adjustment are standard on Wildtrak models.

The high driving position and relatively narrow windscreen pillars give you good forward visibility, but the small rear screen and long load bay make it tricky to see what’s behind you. Thankfully, all versions (bar the two-door Single Cab version) get rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera as standard, while Platinum models get a 360-degree camera. 

In terms of interior layout, the Ranger is fundamentally very similar to the VW Amarok, with the same seat mounting points and the positioning of the touchscreen, air vents and digital instrument panel. However, the Ranger interior looks noticeably different, thanks to bespoke seats, a different steering wheel and a rejigged lower centre console.

Ford gives you physical controls for the climate control system that are far less distracting to use while driving than the Amarok’s fiddly touchscreen controls. 

The central touchscreen (10in on the cheapest versions and 12in with Wildtrak trim and above) is portrait-oriented and controls the infotainment functions. It’s the same hardware and operating system as in the Amarok, but the menu layout is different. It’s reasonably easy to get to grips with, and all versions come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring as standard.

There’s no denying the Ranger’s interior has been made with materials designed to withstand a tough life. Rather than being lined with plush materials you’d find on a luxury SUV there’s plenty of hard, scratchy plastics in the entry-level models that make it easier to clean and wash out dirt.

Wildtrak trim and above use a wider range of soft touch materials, with padded faux-leather sections on the doors and dash, a leather steering wheel and floor mats, while coloured stitching and glossy trim finishers add a bit of visual appeal. Indeed, it’s still not a Range Rover but it beats other pickups on sale.

Interior overview

Strengths Good forward visibility; standard-fit rear-view camera on most versions; lots of driver's seat adjustment

Weaknesses Small back window

Ford Ranger interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

The Single Cab version of the Ford Ranger is strictly a two-seater, but those seats give two adults plenty of room, even if they're tall.

The most spacious and practical Ranger – and the one we recommend – is the Double Cab, which has lots of head and leg room in the front and back. It will seat four tall adults relatively easily, or five if those in the back don't mind a bit of shoulder rubbing.

Of course, the fewer seats you have, the shorter the cab is and the longer the load bay becomes. The Regular Cab can take the most gear, but the Double Cab can fit a standard pallet in the back.

The maximum payload weight depends very much on the cab type and engine (all those fancy toys add weight after all), but all models  – including the upcoming PHEV – will carry more than a tonne, with a minimum of 1,035kg. All versions can tow 3,500kg, except the Ranger Raptor which has a payload limit of 652kg and tow limit of 2,500kg.

There are lashing rings to tie down loads in the bed, which has 1233l of load capacity and can be secured with an optional manual or electric roll cover. Ford has partnered-up with off-road kit suppliers ARB so you can get all the lightbars and roof tents you could possibly need at a dealership.

A Flexible Rack system can be fitted to Tremor and Wildtrak trims as a cost option. That gets you a large sliding hoop over the load bay at the same height as the roof rack, allowing you to carry long items.

You'll be able to the PHEV Ranger as an external generator, powering your tools, camping equipment or anything else using up to three sockets. That power comes primarily from the Ranger’s hybrid battery, but can switch over to the engine if it runs down.

Practicality overview

Strengths Space for five adults; PHEV version can be used as a generator

Weaknesses Poor payload capacity for high-performance Raptor model

Ford Ranger load bay

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Ford Ranger and other pick-up trucks are classed as commercial vehicles, which makes them remarkably affordable to run as company cars. If a model can carry more than 1000kg, you'll pay a flat commercial vehicle benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rate regardless of how much CO2 it produces.

In the Ranger line-up, that means all versions except the Ranger Raptor. As a cash buy, the Ranger is competitively priced next to the Toyota Hilux but the Isuzu D-Max and the KGM Musso can be had for less. The Ranger is significantly cheaper than a VW Amarok, though.

Official fuel economy figures of around 32-33mpg for the 2.0-litre engine is competitive with rivals, while the 28.0mpg for the 3.0-litre V6 matches the VW Amarok that shares the same engine.

Unfortunately, Ford says the PHEV Ranger can only be charged using AC power outlets, meaning charging is capped at a charging speed of 7kW – and even slower if you plug it into a three-pin socket. Nonetheless, plugging the car in overnight should see you with a full battery the next morning.

The Ranger PHEV should drastically lower your running costs compared with other Ranger models – if you keep its battery charged. The car can even use smart geo-fencing to automatically switch over to electric power when you enter an electric-only zone, potentially helping you to avoid a hefty fine.

The cheapest XL trim gets 16in steel wheels, a multi-function steering wheel, a heated rear window, digital dials and adaptive cruise control, but it's rather spartan. You'd be wise to step up to XLT at the very least to get a few more creature comforts, including manual air-con, a heated front windscreen, plus alloy wheels and body-coloured bumpers. 

Tremor adds the off-road suspension, 17in alloy wheels and off-road tyres.

If you want a pick-up that has all the luxuries of a modern car, you’ll want to opt for the Wildtrak. It looks beefier, with 18in alloy wheels, roof rails, black exterior highlights and a plush interior. You also get a heated leather steering wheel, heated seats, a leather dashboard with contrast stitching, ambient interior lighting, rear privacy glass and a larger infotainment system. As mentioned above, this comes with softer suspension for added road comfort.

The Wildtrak X swaps the Wildtrak's softer suspension for an off-road set-up, and also adds side-steps.

The Wildtrak is our pick of the range, unless your commute includes sand dunes or similar, in which case the Raptor is the best Ranger. In fact, it’s so well equipped, we can’t see why you'd opt for range-topping Platinum. 

When it was tested for safety in 2022 by the experts at Euro NCAP, the Ranger was awarded the full five stars, and its highest score was for protecting child occupants. As standard, it comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, intelligent speed assist and traffic-sign recognition. 

While the Ranger itself didn’t feature in our 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, Ford as a manufacturer ended up towards the middle of the table, in 17th position out of 32 car makers. Volkswagen finished in 22nd position, while Toyota was much higher in second place.

Ford gives you a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty. The Musso comes with a five-year or 100,000 mile warranty, while Toyota’s warranty programme is up to 10 years or 100,000 miles (if you regularly service it at a franchised dealer).

Costs overview

Strengths Competitive pricing; good safety credentials; most versions are well-equipped

Weaknesses Slow PHEV charging; rivals have longer warranties

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Ford Ranger interior infotainment


  • By pick-up standards, the Ranger is reasonably fuel efficient. Our favourite engine, the EcoBlue 205, has an official efficiency figure of 32mpg.

  • Yes. All Rangers come with all-wheel drive, which can be switched to rear-wheel drive. As an option (standard on the Wildtrak and the Ford Ranger Raptor versions), you can add locking differentials to help with very challenging terrain.

  • Many manufacturers have stopped making pick-ups but the Ranger still has to face off against the Isuzu D-Max, the KGM Musso, the Toyota Hilux and the VW Amarok. Even so, we think it comes out on top.