The Ford Ranger needs no introduction, but it’s getting one anyway. The trusty pickup has been around since 1983, when it started life as a no-thrills workhorse, and has grown into Europe’s favourite commercial vehicles.
After a few makeovers in its life, the new Ford Ranger Wildtrak is beefier and better than ever, edging closer to F-150 standards. It’s a shame we don’t get the same engine choices as that, because I think this truck requires them.
2024 Ford Ranger Wildtrak First Impressions
At first glance, the Ford Ranger looks like a school bully. Clearly taking inspiration from the American F-150, the new front grille is aggressive, and muscular arches house big wheels that pump up the height.
The optional Carbonised Grey metallic paint against the privacy glass and black mirror caps add to the tough appearance, but the familiar blue oval makes it more approachable. Still, it’s an intimidating barge.
Interior Design and Comfort
Best Interior Features Of The 2024 Ford Ranger
- Double-cab option provides seats up to five passengers
- Orange contrast stitching adds drama
- 8-inch touchscreen as standard
- Heated Leather seats, mirrors, and windscreen
- Ford SYNC 4
When you finally build up the courage to pass the daunting facade, the interior is much more welcoming. Maintaining the dark theme, the black headlining and leather trim engulfs what little light phases the tinted windows.
Thankfully, bright orange contrast stitching on the doors, seats, and steering wheel brings some much-needed energy, alongside the bold Wildtrak logo slapped on the dashboard.
The spacious Ranger double cab I tested holds up to five people. The front seats are well bolstered to provide support across most surfaces, while the rear seats are pretty stiff but still provide enough cushioning to cope on long drives.
Another perk is great visibility thanks to large windows and huge wing mirrors. Front and rear parking sensors, an advanced automated parking system, and a 360-degree camera were fitted to this truck as part of the optional technology package.
As mentioned above, the Ford Ranger gets an 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, plus a digital driver display. These are posh for a pickup, but they work great. The upgraded 12-inch screen in my test model has the latest Ford SYNC 4 software, which is faster than the standard SYNC 3.
However, I wish the screen was landscape instead of portrait. It’s awkward to use, and takes your eyes away from the road to use the features located in the bottom half of the screen.
Driving Impressions And Performance
Driving the Ranger felt good. It didn’t seem much bigger than a typical SUV around town, but it gives a sense of extra protection. The suspension absorbed road imperfections without fuss, the steering is light, and the automatic transmission glides through gears without a hiccup.
|2.0-litre, bi-turbo diesel
|202 HP @ 3,750 RPM
|500 Nm @ 1,750–2,000RPM
|Fuel Economy (CMB)
Even this most powerful version of the 2-litre engine shouts a lot when you need it. Pulling away from a stop is noisy, as is the drone when sitting at 70 mph on the motorway. Of course, there is a bigger 3.0-litre engine available on some trims, which might have an easier time.
One thing I hate about driving pickups like the Ford Ranger is the weight. Slowing down can be unsettling. During most driving situations, the braking power is more than enough, but I worry what it would be like in an emergency stop.
Cargo And Storage Space
A good pickup needs storage for whatever it is picking up. The loading bed is 1,564 mm long by 1,224 mm wide with a maximum load height of 511 mm and steps around the perimeter for easy access.
That’s pretty deep as far as pickups go, and secure too. The lockable power roller shutter safely hides cargo stored inside, though this will cost £1,600 on the Wildtrak.
How Much Does A Ford Ranger Cost?
On the road prices for the Ford Ranger start at £34,638 (including VAT) for an XL single chassis cab, climbing through the range to the Platinum double cab at £57,318.
These figures will look even more attractive for business customers thanks to the tax benefits. The model tested here is the Ford Ranger Wildtrack double cab with optional extras added.
Is the Ford Ranger expensive to run?
Given the big, square shape of this heavy pickup, fuel economy isn’t great. That said, the 2-litre Wildtrak as tested is reasonable within its class. Ford claim it will see 32 MPG, and I wasn’t far off that at around 27 MPG.
|EPA Rated Economy:
|Fuel Economy As Tested:
Which Ford Ranger is best?
Well, there are two answers to this question, depending on what it will be doing. If you are using the Ford Ranger as a work truck or tow vehicle, I’d go for the Ranger XLT. It keeps the cost down while still providing some useful features like heated mirrors and windscreen, plus tyre pressure monitoring systems. These will be great for early starts and use on unpaved trails.
However, if it’s more of a daily driver, the Wildtrak is a great choice. It has the same great off-road capabilities in addition to LED lights, privacy glass, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel to make it more luxurious. It is manageable around town and the gearbox is smooth. Though, I would opt for the bigger 3-litre engine, and the technology pack for added convenience.