Morveth Ward has been trying out the Ford Ranger courtesy of Vospers.
The Ford Ranger looks positively American, it’s big, it’s butch, and it’s flashy (that in-your-face chrome grill especially purports this!).
It also feels partly American too – it’s got a bit of excitement and drama about it and beneath the flashy looks it’s got a meaty industrial set up with a chunky ladder chassis and 6 stud wheels. A good basis which is then supported by modern electrical aids and ancillaries. This means that it’s butch looks are substantiated, so if you’re going to use this to work as a tool it will amply provide.
I was unhesitant in taking this top of the range Wildtrak, with only 50 miles on the clock, off road to see how it fared. I drive a Land Rover Defender and so do have an easy comparison. I was genuinely impressed by the Ranger, it has a lot of grip thanks to the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and Electronic Traction Control (ETC) and also features high and low range 4×4 and a hill descent function, all of which do their job well. It is genuinely capable.
It also drives well on the road, just like a very large car – this is where 4×4 pickups have really progressed in recent years. You no longer have a huge compromise in terms of on the road driving. This particular model has the 200ps 3.2L diesel which has plenty of power too – it’s all torque and benefits from short gear changes so that you allow the torque to do all the work and you get little reward for holding it in gear and letting it rev. This is better suited really as you get the economy and an easy drive.
All in all – this is a hugely versatile vehicle. Don’t buy one just because you enjoy the size and presence because a decent ordinary car will usually be more economical and slightly better to drive on the road. However, the Ranger goes far beyond what an ordinary car will offer – It is sort of a lifestyle changer that will make you want to load up and go on an adventure somewhere at little notice. It’s fun. It’s also quite accessible to buy with Vosper’s offering prices from £15,333 + VAT together with favourable tax benefits for business.