Ford Ranger long-term test: report 2

The Ford Ranger was named Pick-up of the Year at the 2021 What Car? Awards, but now we're seeing if it continues to impress when you live with it every day...

Ford Ranger side

The car Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2.0 Ecoblue Run by Max Edleston, junior photographer

Why it’s here Because we want to put this What Car? Award winner to the ultimate test – everyday life

Needs to Be practical, good off-road, comfortable for long trips and not break the bank on running costs

Mileage 3585 List price £40,695 Price as tested £41,695 Test economy 30.2mpg Official economy 36.2mpg

9 July 2021 – Workhorse wonder

One of the things I like most about having a pick-up truck as my work vehicle is its 'go anywhere, do anything' ability, because What Car? photo shoots often take place off the beaten track.

With the Ford Ranger, I don't have to worry about getting stuck or scraping the undercarriage, because it sits so high from any terrain it's resting on. And thanks to its large, open load bay, I can even use it as an impromptu platform for taking elevated pictures.

Here I learned a lesson from my previous experience with a Mitsubishi L200 that was fitted with a hard-top canopy, instead going for a roller cover that allows me to open the Ranger's load bed right up but still hide my gear from sight when needed.

Max standing on Ford Ranger

I like the way it makes the Ranger look, and the fact that it's completely waterproof means I can leave lights and other equipment in the back of the truck and not have to panic if it starts pouring with rain. 

There has been a small niggle, however, because the opening, closing and locking mechanism is based around a small switch controlled by a piece of cord, and I initially found it quite difficult to operate. It's getting easier all the time, but in the first couple of weeks of use it was quite infuriating.

The Ranger also comes with three driving modes and two four-wheel drive modes to help me get just about anywhere. However, I’m yet to use the heavy-duty low-ratio gearbox, which is meant for the very toughest terrain, because so far the standard four-wheel drive set-up has been more than up to any job.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term Ford Ranger >>

Read about more long-term test cars >>

Also consider