Over the last year or so DriveWrite has been working through the various double cab pickup trucks on offer from a variety of manufacturers and I haven’t done yet. This time it is the turn of the Ford Ranger. Frustratingly, circumstances meant I have only just been able to spend a week with this vehicle, but fortunately it was worth the wait.
Aren’t Pickup Trucks All The Same?
Well, yes. A pickup truck is a pickup truck and the Ford Ranger is no different. They all look similar and they are all designed to do a job of work although lately they have become more popular as recreational vehicles too; a versatile alternative to the ubiquitous SUV you might say.
The good thing about a double cab pickup is that it will carry four or five people and still have the space to easily shove a wardrobe in the flatbed at the back. Again, all the models from all the manufacturers can do this so I guess it all comes down to personal preference.
My Pickup Choice
All the vehicles of this type I have tested have been fine. For me though, and it has to be said against the run of the opinion of some others, I prefer this Ford, seen in ‘Limited’ trim with the fabulous Performance Blue paint job (at extra cost, natch). Right now the Ranger is my favourite and I would own one if I could. Check out the detailed specification below that includes all the usual technology suspects keeping the solid interior up to speed with the same kit found in your average SUV.
Almost without exception today’s pickup trucks come with a sturdy four-cylinder diesel. Ford offer one for the Ranger but my preference is for the V6 diesel as tested here. Obviously these big beasts are not fast but with the Ford Ranger V6 you can really feel the pulling power. A definite plus point.
As ever, there’s electronic two and four-wheel drive selection options plus a low range setting, all of which can be selected on the fly. A dashboard readout guides users.
Have a glance through the brochure or the Ford Ranger company website and prospective buyers will find a huge array of accessories that let customers adapt the pickup to suit their needs. You’ll find everything from liners to protect the steel load bed, lockable roll-top covers as seen here and on to full-on hard-top covers that effectively turn the Ford Ranger into the aforementioned SUV. If you choose to buy a used model don’t despair; there’s a wide range of after-market options too.
Riding The Pickup
The Ranger is light on its pins. It’s an easy drive with variable power steering and a six-speed automatic box which always seemed ready to select just the right ratio. The big front seats are supportive and comfortable and the ride is surprisingly comfortable.
Given the nature of the beast, rear seat passengers don’t fare quite so well. With the load bed empty – and this is true of any pickup – the back end can get a bit bouncy thanks to the supportive weight-bearing leaf-springs which highlight the vehicle’s commercial roots.
Go over a speed hump and everyone in the back bounces into the air. Kids love that obviously and demand the roughest possible route whilst adults take a dimmer view. For a big ‘un it handles pretty well and body control is good. Sure, it rolls a bit on tighter corners but then who doesn’t?
The View From Up Here
In my view, unsurprising given its American heritage, the Ford Ranger pickup is the best looking of the bunch. It’s also one of the biggest vehicles of its type and it can feel big on the road. That suits me fine because the passengers can look down from their lofty perch on all those crossovers and ‘compact’ SUVs that clutter the roads. Bit thirsty though; I saw just 25mpg although to be fair I did put it through its paces more than might be usual. Ford say 32.1mpg should be achievable but frankly I doubt it.
For me, you can keep your hugely expensive palaces-on-wheels no matter how adept they may be off-road. This car, as featured with nearly five grand’s worth of options, costs just over £38,000. That’s a bargain. When it comes to a do-it-all vehicle you can’t beat a pickup truck and for me the Ford Ranger is the pick of the bunch – so far. Geoff Maxted