Ford's new Ranger is a definite game changer. First up, it looks bloody fantastic. The new Ranger looks nothing like the trucks that have gone before, and that's a good thing. Inside it's solid, mature, cleanly styled and clearly arranged. It's a comfortable place to be in, front or back, and there are loads of cubbyholes for you to store you stuff in.
Fire up the engine and you are greeted by a deafening...silence. It is the least diesel-sounding pick-up engine around: no chatter, no reverberations, just a barely audible hum. Nail the throttle and there's a metallic growl as the Ranger surges forward. Mid-range acceleration from 100km/h is relentless. You become acutely aware of the Ranger's bulk, because you feel like you're surfing a runaway elephant.
The rest is trad Ford Ranger, which is shorthand for pretty damn good. The steering is light and flows nicely, and it's good fun to chuck the Ranger down a twisty road. It's far less roly-poly than the old truck, and is without a doubt the best handling pick-up on sale today. Its clean and intuitive steering and the considerable containment of body roll make the Ranger a decent drive, and the Ranger seemed to traverse the worst ruts and bumps with impressive fluidity.
In all the new Ranger has excellent underpinnings and engines, intelligently adapted and carefully tuned - all wrapped up in Ford's latest designer metalwork. It feels as solid and hushed as a bank vault to drive, and offers sublime levels of power and comfort while being massively able and fearsomely well-developed with as much off-road ability as you'd want. So yes, whatever your needs, this is the pick-up for you.
The important bits:
- 4 cyls
- 148bhp at 3700rpm
- 375Nm at 2500rpm