Ford is clearly determined to take full advantage of the yawning gap left by rival manufacturers (Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz et al) that have decided to depart from the purpose-built 4×4 pick-up market. It has been doing so by promoting a group of Ranger four-door five-seater double cab special editions – Raptor, Wolftrak, MS-RT and Stormtrak – designed to suit different tastes and pockets.

We opted to sample the Stormtrak – and it’s not a vehicle to be seen in if you happen to be shy and self-effacing. 

Finished in red, with red highlights on the grille, it comes with black decals on the bonnet, body sides and tailgate, chunky three-dimensional Stormtrak badges and red-illuminated Ranger sill plates. What Ford describes as a sports hoop is mounted behind the cab and boasts a light.

Power comes courtesy of a 213hp 2L diesel married to a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

Ford has never been a manufacturer that stands still and a new Raptor will appear towards the end of the year powered by a 288hp V6 petrol engine; yes, you read that correctly. Businesses that acquire one will not be able to reclaim the VAT as its payload capacity is less than 1,000kg, which leads one to the conclusion that it is aimed at a coterie of well-heeled leisure users; remarkably well-heeled given the price of a litre of unleaded.

The new Raptor will use the same bodyshell as the Ranger due in 2023 developed as a joint venture between Ford and Volkswagen; VW’s version will herald a return of the Amarok badge.

Power choices will be a 2L diesel at either 130hp or 170hp or a V6 diesel likely to pump out 246hp.


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Load bay

Access to Stormtrak’s cargo box is by means of a rear tailgate released using a single, centre-mounted handle. It drops down to sit horizontally, and can’t be lowered any further because of the presence of a bulky combined bumper and step.

Four tie-down points are set into the sides of the cargo box and are supplemented by four sliding restraints halfway up. The latter are optional.

Roof rails are included in the Stormtrak package should you need to add to your carrying capability, and our demonstrator was fitted with an optional trailer towing pack.



Interior and equipment

Be in no doubt that you are sitting in a Stormtrak. The Stormtrak logos tell you so, and are accompanied by copious amounts of red stitching.

The seats are partially trimmed in leather while the steering wheel is fully-trimmed.

In-cab storage facilities include bins in all doors and a lidded, but not a lockable glovebox. The fascia boasts a couple of USB ports plus two 12V sockets.

Stormtrak comes with air conditioning (and a cool box for your chocolates!) plus satellite navigation and a DAB radio, both controlled by an 8in touchscreen. 

The package includes SYNC 3 which allows you to manage your phone, music, apps and sat nav with voice commands, and have your text messages read to you out loud. It will additionally help summon assistance in an emergency.

Electric windows are installed in all four doors. 

The large, electrically-adjustable, heated exterior rear-view mirrors can be folded inwards automatically, and both feature separate wide-angle sections. They also feature puddle lamps so you don’t end up with water lapping over your ankles if you climb out of the cab in the dark.

The height, reach and rake of the driver’s seat are all adjusted electrically, both front seats are heated, and their occupants are protected by airbags.

The back of the console between the front seats is graced by 12V and 230V sockets which
can be used by the rear passengers. All three seats are provided with lap-and-diagonal belts and headrests, and while legroom for the two outermost passengers is reasonable, anybody who occupies the centre seat will find it is restricted.

The centre seat’s back can be pulled down and turned into an armrest, complete with a couple of cup holders, if only two rear passengers are present. You’ll find a brace of cup holders between the front seats too.

On-board safety devices include ABS, Electronic Stability Control with Rollover Mitigation and Load Adaptive Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist, Lane-Keeping System, Trailer Sway Control and Traffic Sign Recognition. 

Installed too is Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pre-Collision Assist and Pedestrian Detection. It warns you if you are getting too close to the vehicle in front, or the proverbial little old lady totters out in front of you, and applies the brakes if you do not respond.

Also present are Cruise Control with Adjustable Speed Limiter Device, and ISA. The initials stand for Intelligent Speed Assistance and you can deploy it to ensure Stormtrak sticks to the prevailing speed limit.

Stormtrak’s bulk means that it is difficult to squeeze it into a typical urban parking space, but the front and rear sensors and the rear view camera make the task easier. As it happens our truck was fitted with an optional pack that among other things includes Active Park Assist, which helps you wriggle into a tight slot, and a facility that dips your headlights automatically to avoid dazzling other drivers.

Traction Control System and Hill Descent Control are fitted, and can be switched on and off as required.

The wipers start operating the minute raindrops spatter across the heated windscreen. LED front fog lights supplement the LED headlights and LEDs illuminate the truck’s interior. They should all last for ages.

Ventilated brake discs are found at the front while drum brakes are deployed at the rear. The front suspension employs coil springs and double wishbones, with leaf springs and an anti-roll bar doing duty at the back. 

Our Stormtrak’s 18in black alloy wheels were shod with 265/60 R18 Continental Cross Contact tyres, and pressure sensors are fitted which will warn you if they start to deflate. Electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion steering delivers a 12.7m kerb-to-kerb turning circle.




Complete with two turbochargers mounted in series – one high-pressure, one low-pressure – and high-pressure common-rail direct fuel injection, Stormtrak’s four-cylinder 16-valve EcoBlue diesel pumps out a healthy 500Nm of torque across a narrow 1,750rpm-to-2,000rpm plateau. Maximum power kicks in at 3,500rpm. 

A diesel particulate filter, exhaust gas recirculation, and selective catalytic reduction are installed to ensure compliance with the Euro 6 exhaust emission rules. The 20L AdBlue reservoir will need topping up every so often.


Keyless entry and start is fitted, alas. We say ‘alas’ because of the security issues it raises, and the best advice we can give is always keep the key fob in a Faraday pouch when not in use.

Something Stormtrak is not short of is on-the-road performance. It accelerates strongly away from rest, and the 10-speed auto box delivers all the power that is on tap smoothly.

It also delivers a kick-down facility that allows you to surge past slower-moving traffic whenever it is safe to do so.

For a big, heavy truck it handles remarkably well, swinging confidently through bends and feeling completely in command of the highway. On the negative side, the ride could perhaps be better-damped and the cab better-insulated from external noise, but
these are minor issues compared with the plus points.

Auto-start-stop is provided and will hopefully help keep today’s painfully high fuel bills under control if you leave it switched on. We averaged 31.7mpg according to the truck’s on-board computer; somewhat less than the 36.2mpg figure cited by Ford.

If you need to venture off road then four-wheel-drive is easy to engage, and you can do so while the truck is in motion. All you need to do is twist a knob between the front seats and select 4H.

Turn it to 4L and you get four-wheel-drive plus a low-ratio set of gears. Grab handles are mounted on both A-pillars, so the front passenger will have something to cling onto if the going gets rough.

Not that it got that rough when we went off road. We contented ourselves with a modest trundle across a boggy construction site, then through a five-bar gate into a muddy and gently-undulating field beyond. 

An incline at the far end posed a bit of a challenge, but nothing that could not be overcome by remaining in 4H. We reckon that Stormtrak will be well on top of the requirements of most business users.


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Service intervals are set at one year/10,000 miles, and if that seems on the short side, it’s understandable. Take a 4×4 off road and you could do all sorts of damage to it without being aware of the harm that has been done, so getting a workshop to pop it on a ramp reasonably frequently and take a look at the undercarriage is no bad thing.

Stormtrak comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which could stand to be made more generous, and a spare wheel – far better than one of those pesky inflator/sealers.

Ford Ranger Stormtrak 

Price (ex. VAT) £36,375

Price range (ex. VAT) £24,750–£49,775

Gross payload 1,024kg

Load length 1,575mm

Load width (min/max) 1,139mm/1,560mm 

Load bay height 511mm

Loading height 857mm

Gross vehicle weight 3,270kg

Braked trailer towing weight 3,500kg

Residual value tbc

Cost per mile tbc

Engine size/power 1,996cc, 213hp @ 3,500rpm

Torque 500Nm @ 1,750-2,000rpm 

Gearbox 10-spd automatic

Fuel economy (combined WLTP) 36.2mpg 

Fuel tank 80L

CO2 201g/km

Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls

Service intervals 1yr/10,000mls

Insurance group 40E

Price as tested £38,600

*after 48 months @ 20,000 miles a year – source – KWIKcarcost


Metallic paint £600

Cargo area management system £100

Trailer tow pack £400

Wildtrak driver assistance pack £1,125


Isuzu D-Max

Price (ex. VAT) £21,104–£48,604

Gross payload 1,045–1,205kg

Braked towing weight 2,500–3,500kg

Engines 164hp 1.9 diesel

Verdict: While the wide range of derivatives and the stress on on-board safety can
only be applauded, the D-Max is light on power, with only 164 horses on tap. Isuzu needs
to emulate Toyota and offer a more powerful diesel as an alternative. Still a good package though – check out the Arctic Trucks AT35 D-Max – and good enough to win the What
Van? Pick-up of the Year Award for 2022. 

SsangYong Musso

Price (ex. VAT) £23,265–£31,665

Gross payload 1,050–1,140kg 

Braked towing weight 3,200–3,500kg

Engines 181hp 2.2 diesel

Verdict: A well-priced, well-equipped truck that is usefully capable off road, Musso has not long been upgraded, with a redesigned front-end. Good to see such a remarkably-generous warranty. Think about investigating the long-wheelbase Rhino variant if you need to carry more; it offers additional load floor length. Specification levels are high across the line up,
but a few more on-board safety systems need to be provided if Musso is to stay abreast with marketplace trends. 

Toyota Hilux

Price (ex. VAT) £25,136–£55,969

Gross payload 1,000–1,030kg

Braked towing weight 3,500kg

Engines 150hp 2.4 diesel, 204hp 2.8 diesel 

Verdict: The new 2.8L diesel affords the legendary (an appropriate word in this context) workhorse a long-overdue power boost. Any drawbacks are more than compensated for by Hilux’s well-deserved reputation for durability and its undoubted off-road credentials. As well as the new engine the latest offering gets a restyled exterior, an upgraded interior and an assortment of mechanical changes.

The Final Verdict 

Design 9/10 – Looks fabulous and it’s practical too. A great combination.

Cabin 8/10 – A good environment. Heated front seats and an electrically-adjusted driver’s seat.

Ride 7/10 – Not its strong suit and could stand to be better-damped.

Refinement 8/10 – Offers a smooth drive despite the ride’s limitations, and is well put together.

Load area 8/10 – Ample with good braked trailer towing capacity. Power-operated cover a good option.

Handling/performance 8/10 – Well up to the mark, with Stormtrak surprisingly nimble round bends.

Engine/transmission 8/10 – An effective combination, the 10-speed auto box proving its worth consistently.

Standard equipment 8/10 – Lots of goodies and more focus on on-board safety than usually with 4×4 double cabs.

Operating costs 6/10 – High fuel cost with warranty that should be 100,000. Residual values look healthy.

What Van? subjective rating 9/10 – Conscientious people should go for the new Maxus T90EV electric 4×2. If you fancy a bit of fun, get yourself a Stormtrak.

Overall Rating = 79/100