Ford Ranger review

Category: Pick-up

Section: Costs & verdict

Star rating
Ford Ranger Raptor 2019 RHD instruments
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

As with all pick-ups, being classed as a commercial vehicle brings the advantage of making the Ford Ranger remarkably affordable if you’re running it through work as a company car. However, because of the Raptor’s reduced payload, that model isn’t eligible for the flat commercial vehicle company car tax rate. It does still qualify for the flat rate of annual commercial vehicle road tax, though.

Those paying for one out of their own pot of gold will find the Ranger competitively priced next to rivals such as the Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara, although the Mitsubishi L200 can be had for less while the Ssangyong Musso provides more kit for your cash.

As we mentioned earlier, the 2.0 Ecoblue 170 is a great choice if you’re planning on using your Ranger predominantly as a work vehicle. However, if you want a pick up that’s as capable on a family trip as it is on a building site, we’d go for the 2.0 Ecoblue 213 with the impressive 10-speed automatic gearbox. Its extra grunt doesn’t come too badly at the expense of fuel economy, at 31mpg compared to 36mpg for the less powerful engine. CO2 emissions, meanwhile, are 205g/km for the 170 and 236g/km for the 213.

The cheapest XL trim gets 16in steel wheels, electric windows, cruise control, DAB radio, Bluetooth, a multi-function steering wheel and a heated windscreen and rear window. However, it’s rather spartan, so you'd be wise to step up to XLT at the very least. This brings a few more creature comforts plus alloy wheels and plenty of chrome garnish.

Limited trim represents even better value for money; a small jump up in price getting you 17in alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, leather seats (heated in the front), dual-zone climate control, an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, front and rear parking sensors and Ford’s 8.0in Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring.

However, if you’re after a pick-up that has all the luxuries of a high-class, modern car, then you’ll want to opt for the Wildtrak. Not only does it look beefier than the Limited Ranger, thanks to 18in alloy wheels, roof rails, LED fog lamps and dark grey exterior highlights, but it also features a plusher interior with sports leather steering wheel, a leather dashboard with contrast stitching, ambient interior lighting and a sound system with active noise cancellation. It’s our choice, while the Raptor is the best Ranger in the line-up if your commute happens to include sand dunes, but it's very expensive.

As we mentioned earlier, on XL and XLT trim, you’d be sensible to consider the rear parking sensors that can be fitted as an option. A load bay cover is also useful if you want to keep your valuables safely under lock and key.

Speaking of which, the Ranger scored highly in Thatcham’s security tests, plus it was the first pick-up to gain five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test in 2012. That was down to its various safety features, which include seven standard airbags, while an optional Driver Assistance Pack adds active safety kit such as lane-keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation.

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Ford Ranger Raptor 2019 RHD instruments

Overview

The Ford Ranger may have the same limitations as all pick-ups, but it’s certainly the best of its kind. It’s great to drive, is available with punchy engines and has an easy to use infotainment system mounted in a well-appointed interior if you opt for our favourite Wildtrak trim.

  • Rides quite well for a pick-up
  • Gutsy diesel engines
  • Competitively priced
  • All engines are pretty noisy
  • Greatly reduced payload on Raptor version
  • Relatively short warranty

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