The Ford Ranger.
ROADTEST FACT FILE
Model...2.2 TDCi XLT
Mpg (comb cycle)...Not available
Price...from £19,862.97 excl VAT and fees
Loaned by Premier Ford, Newport
DOGS, surfboards, bicycles and camping equipment are some of the things an active family might take on a journey.
When this happens, a family car might not be big or strong enough to cope.
A double-cab pick-up, on the other hand, has space for the whole family, plus a mountain of equipment. It can tow a boat, trailer or horse-box and can go just about anywhere.
These rugged vehicles have grown in popularity with leisure users and Ford’s new Ranger has been designed both for work and play.
My first impression was of a big, rugged, handsome beast. I wasn’t surprised to read afterwards that the Ranger is "designed to look powerful from every angle". However, the traditional squareness of a pick-up has been replaced with a modern, aerodynamic look — hence the handsomeness.
Next, I was struck by the sensation of driving the beast.
With its long snout, high driving position and imposing size, I felt I owned the road.
What surprised me was light, precise steering, which made the Ranger easy to manoeuvre. The cab is spacious, luxurious and quiet, with plenty of creature comforts.
The Ranger offers an exciting drive, with loads of grip and traction, even in very wet conditions.
It may be a great-looking truck and fun to drive but the new Ranger remains a tough workhorse.
It has a one-tonne payload, three-tonne towing capacity, 800mm water-wading capability and ground clearance up to 232mm.
The new Ranger was the first-ever pick-up to achieve a maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP for overall safety. It has a raft of safety features, including Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and side curtain airbags.
A choice of high and low four-wheel-drive settings mean the Ranger can handle mud, snow, hills and rough terrain.