Long Term Van Test Drive: Ford Ranger - October 2012

Date: Monday, October 08, 2012

The Blue Oval’s new pick-up was one of a glut of new models to swell the sector when it launched in January. So where does it fit into the market? James Dallas reports

In terms of price, spec and sophistication, our Ranger Limited fits into the upper reaches of the UK pick-up truck sector.
The Limited is second-top in a four-trim line-up (under the Wildtrak flagship) but its price pitches it closer to its rivals’ top models. At £22,040, excluding VAT, it is slightly cheaper than VW’s Amarok Highline (£22,575) but a step up from the mid-range Amarok Trendline at £19,995. Mitsubishi’s top-of-the-range L200 (not including special editions), the Barbarian, is priced £22,899 and the closest Nissan Navara to the Limited is the Tekna, which costs £21,870. Toyota’s Hilux looks a snip at £20,300 for the flagship 3.0-litre Invincible, but even following recent revisions its interior and on-road refinement are not a match for the Ranger, or indeed the Amarok.
Isuzu’s D-max flagship, the Utah model, undercuts the Limited with a price tag of £21,499. It features a reasonably sophisticated cabin. But move down the range and the refinement falls away until it more closely resembles that of the Great Wall Steed, which is deliberately targeting budget buyers, with its top-spec SE model priced at £15,998, excluding VAT.
In terms of load-lugging capabilities our Ranger Limited takes the gold medal. Its maximum payload of 1152kg is the best-in-class and its towing capacity of 3350kg outmuscles all of its rivals, with only the D-max Utah getting close at three tonnes.  
The Limited’s green credentials and fuel economy are less impressive. Its official combined cycle figure of 32.8mpg, which we have found difficult to achieve, falls short of its competitors, particularly the Utah’s 38.2mpg. The  Amarok Highline, probably the Limited’s most obvious rival, turns in 35.8mpg. CO2 emissions of 228g/km also leave the Limited with ground to make up.
So, a mixed report compared to its peers, but overall, in combining good looks, driving refinement and brute working strength the Ranger Limited sits close to the top of the class.



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