It’s always a great week with a Ford Ranger Wildtrak
Car Reviewed: Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2.0 Diesel
Ford has always made great pick-ups; the Ranger, now in its fifth generation, not including facelifts, has now really become special, and why is it special? Mainly because most manufacturers just aren’t making pick-ups anymore; even Volkswagen are closely related in a partnership with Ford, building the Amarok. The Ranger has always been a success for Ford, and the range probably has the pick-up you are looking for. Isuzu, Toyota and Ssangyong are the competition.
Pick-ups have really become dual-purpose vehicles for many; the double cab makes it as good as many cars for refinement, comfort and size with the load-lugging ability you would expect. People love them for their versatile and reliable nature, power and towing ability, off-road capability and nostalgia; Rangers have been around since the late 90s in the UK and USA since ’83.
This Ranger is the Wildtrak 2.0 Diesel; with 205PS and ten-speed auto transmission, It has more than enough grunt for any task given; off-roading is a breeze with the easily selectable options on the e-4WD system. On the road, driving this commanding vehicle with a 0-62mph in 10.5 secs and a top speed of 112mph is just a joy. It can be quite a lively performer; motorway cruising is a breeze with intelligent speed assistance and auto cruise control.
The model tested was painted in Agate Black (pictures shown are in Cyber Orange). The Ranger certainly managed to command a road presence that kept people clear and out of its way. With bags of lovely torque 500Nm from just 1750-2000rpm, the transmission added a touch of calmness to the proceedings.
It is a slightly more bouncy ride, without a load on board, but better by far than some of its competition. The high-up driving position makes driving the Ranger enjoyable, and with all the cameras, it’s pretty manoeuvrable in even the tightest spots.
Don’t let its Wildtrak side detract you, for within the sanctuary of its premium cabin lies a realm of comfort and sophistication. Inside the Wildtrak, it’s very well presented, hard-wearing, easy-to-clean materials ‘Built Tough’ to coin a phrase that Ford uses on the animated graphics of the display when you press the start button. Infused with the latest technological wizardry, the Wildtrak boasts an enchanting array of features, keeping you connected to the world while staying in command of every adventure. The technology package 71 was an £1100 option on the model bringing many safety systems, auto cruise, parking aids, 360 degree cameras, auto headlights, zone lighting and a 13pin socket and tow hitch.
Another £1600 option that made life easier is the power roller shutter over the pick-up bed; this was an easy two presses from the key to open it, and the load box liner, with ties, makes it look smart and easier to clean out.
There is always a feeling of country music and some Americana road trip when it comes to pick-ups. I had quite a few miles to do this week, cheesily, I stuck the Eagles on repeat, and the B&O 8-speaker sound system handled it admirably. The 12″ multifunction display is pretty impressive for a vehicle of this type; Ford SYNC IV with navigation is pretty impressive and, over the years, has really come into its own. Attractive and intuitive. Air con and heating controls are separate from the multifunction display with buttons; the settings are displayed in an easy-to-read fashion.
The outside of the vehicle now features a bolder grill, giving it a punchy look as it approaches you. It’s as bold as it can be; the Bolder grey painted wheels on 18″ A/T tyres set the look; in the land of picks ups, only Ford’s own Ranger Raptor looks better.
For a week of driving on all roads from motorways, towns and fast A and B roads, the fuel consumption stuck to the WLTP figures of around 32mpg, which is reasonable for a vehicle of this type, CO2 emissions are 230g/km.
The e-4WD system is easy in it operation with a rotary selectable dial to change to 4wd High on the fly, other off road settings are available.
With a legacy that echoes through time, the Wildtrak is more than just a vehicle; it’s a symbol of heritage and a testament to a spirit of adventure. It carries a legacy of trust and reliability, and for many contractors, it’s also an excellent pick-up. The Ranger Wildtrak is built for business and pleasure; other models are in the range single cab or double cab with a choice from three engines.
The man from Drive.co.uk
After many, many years of being passionate about cars, spending too much money on cars and too much time driving. I now spend my time running and developing Drive.co.uk a fun expressive motoring lifestyle website along with some very good writers.