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First Drive: Ford Ranger

SECTOR Pick-up PRICE £18,095–£26,245 FUEL 31.7–43.5mpg CO2 171–234g/km

Ford has facelifted its Ranger pick-up with improved technology and the promise of increased fuel economy. While most competitors are looking to down-sized engines, Ford is retaining the 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.2-litre five-cylinder motors from the previous Ranger.

However all now come with Auto-Start-Stop technology, reduced fuel consumption and improved emissions. The 2.2-litre engine boasts 160hp with 385Nm of torque, replacing both 125hp and 150hp engines. The larger 3.2-litre unit retains its 200hp output, backed by 470Nm of torque. Surprisingly, Ford claims that 52% of UK buyers will opt for the higher horsepower engine.

Both engines will adopt selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, with the addition of a 20-litre AdBlue tank, from May production, in time for September Euro 6 deliveries.

Despite the increased power, the 160hp model offers a claimed 43.5mpg and 171g/km of CO2, at least when equipped with a new eco axle ratio. Ranger is to be offered with a choice of eco or 10% lower towing axle ratios for the 160hp models.

Towing capacity remains at 3.5 tonnes with the towing axle, but drops to just 1.8 tonnes with the eco gearing, so Ford is therefore expecting the majority of customers to opt for the towing axle, despite taking a hit on fuel and emissions. 

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with both Limited and Wildtrak models now available with the six-speed auto transmission. The £850 auto box accounted for 63% of Wildtrak sales last year and Ford expects a 17% take-up on Limited, lifting auto sales to around 33% of total Ranger sales.

Indeed the higher trim levels remain by far the most popular, with top-spec Limited and Wildtrak Rangers accounting for 80% of UK demand. Likewise the double-cab layout dominates sales at 94%, with 4.5% super cab and just 1.5% the single cab model.

XL specification, in single, super and double-cab, has electric front windows, DAB radio with Bluetooth, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, plus body coloured bumpers.

XLT only comes in super and double-cab, adding 16-inch alloys, a 4.2-inch TFT screen with Ford SYNC voice control and Applink, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, manual air conditioning and power foldable mirrors.

Limited trucks come with a choice of engines and transmissions, plus 17-inch alloys. The cab gets an eight-inch touchscreen with SYNC 2 voice control and an eight-way electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, heated leather seats and rear privacy glass.

The range-topping Wildtrak only comes with the 3.2-litre engine in double-cab form. There are 18-inch alloys, a titanium-effect grille, the eight-inch screen gets navigation and a rear view camera, plus there are a host of Wildtrak styling add-ons.
Unlike Transit models though, Ranger only gets a three-year/60,000 mile warranty, some way off the five-year warranties that are being offered by Mitsubishi, Nissan and Isuzu.

What we think

A big success, with UK sales growing from 2,400 units in 2011 to over 8,000 in 2015. Expect that to continue, despite increased competition.

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