As with all pick-ups, the excellent company car tax advantages make the Ranger remarkably affordable if you’re running one through work. Those who are paying for one out of their own pot of gold will also find the Ranger competitively priced next to rivals including the Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200.
We wouldn’t bother with the entry-level two-wheel-drive 2.2 TDCi 130 model; it’s not very quick and isn’t any cleaner or more fuel-efficient than the more powerful 2.2 TDCi 160. So it is the latter that’s the best engine for balancing driveability with running costs. The 3.2 diesel is gutsiest but very thirsty, so you won’t see much better than 27mpg on a motorway run.
The cheapest XL trim gets 16in steel wheels, electric windows, DAB radio, Bluetooth and a multi-function steering wheel. However, air-con is an option, so at the very least you would be wise to step up to XLT for some added luxury.
Yet, the Limited trim is where we think your money is best invested. For not much more money, this adds 17in alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, leather seats (heated in the front), dual-zone climate control, an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, rear parking sensors and Ford’s 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring.
Some options worth considering are front parking sensors, a rear-view camera and sat-nav. 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 and it was the first pick-up to gain five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test in 2012. That’s down to various safety features including seven standard airbags, while the optional Driver Assistance Pack adds active safety kit such as lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and automatic cruise control with collision mitigation.
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