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Spotlight: Ford Ranger

With more power, increased efficiency and a host of advanced technologies on-board, Ford’s updated Ranger pickup looks set to remain a best-seller across Europe, says Dan Gilkes.

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Power Up

The new Ranger does away with the previous generation’s 2.2 and 3.2-litre diesel engines in favour of Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue range, as already seen in Transit models. Leading the line-up is a 213bhp bi-turbo motor that delivers a mighty 500Nm of torque, up 13bhp and 30Nm on the older five-cylinder engine. There will also be two single-turbo models, boasting a still healthy 170bhp and 420Nm of torque, or 130bhp and 340Nm.

A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with the two high powered engines also offered with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. A wider spread of ratios and real-time adaptive shift scheduling are said to boost economy by up to 9% compared to the current model, with the manual gearbox trucks offering a 4% fuel improvement. Carbon emissions start at 209g/km, rising to just 228g/km for the 213bhp engine, with fuel consumption of 30.7-35.3mpg.

Driver Assistance

Ranger gets Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and an Intelligent Speed Limiter, with Traffic Sign Recognition. There are also lane keeping alerts and assistance systems, Active Park Assist, front and rear parking sensors and a rear camera. The FordPass Connect on-board modem turns the pickup into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. The FordPass mobile app also allows fleet managers to remotely monitor oil levels, tyre pressures and mileage.

The app provides drivers with a vehicle locator, for busy car parks, and a remote lock and unlock feature to allow access for colleagues. Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system includes an 8” touchscreen compatible with Apple and Android, along with Ford’s MyKey system that allows managers to limit driving speeds and radio volumes, plus to permanently switch on safety systems.

Driver Focus

Ranger is offered in single, super and double-cab layouts with four-wheel drive now standard on all three. Higher powered double-cab models come with Active Noise Control for improved refinement and all models feature revised spring and damper rates for a smoother ride.

An Ebony Black interior trim delivers a more upmarket feel, which is taken even further with Ranger Limited models, that feature leather seats and 17” alloy wheels. The Ranger Wildtrak is even more upscale, with dark satin chrome elements and a gloss finish. Both Limited and Wildtrak models now come with an easy-lift tailgate, that employs a torsion bar to reduce the effort required to close the pickup bed. The trucks will also be offered with keyless entry with button start for the first time, with the tailgate lock now incorporated in the central locking.

In Summary

Improved efficiency, increased technology and a sector-first transmission should keep fleet interest high.

Ford sold 51,500 Rangers in Europe last year, with more than 16,000 finding homes in the UK. The revised Ranger will go on sale alongside the new Ford Performance Ranger Raptor by the middle of this year, with no sign of a drop in demand.

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Written by Dan Gilkes

Dan has been a commercial vehicle and construction equipment journalist for almost 30 years. An automotive engineer and former fleet manager, he has driven almost every van, pickup and truck that has been launched in Europe over that time. As editor of VFW, his aim is to keep readers up to date with the latest developments in the light commercial world.

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