Wrestling with the Ford Ranger Wildtrak

In Car Reviews, Ford by Neil Lyndon

Seeing the aluminium-finish roll-top cover on the load box of the new Ford Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab 4×4 when that pick-up arrived for a week’s loan seemed to make it a complete beau ideal.

 
Neil Lyndon drives the latest Ford Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab 4×4.
 
For those with a soft-spot for pick-ups (count me a founder member of the club), one of the few faults that can ever be found with this form of car creation is its open load space.

It’s untidy. It looks as if the vehicle is incomplete. It fills with water in rainy weather. It is open to prying eyes and thieving hands when the vehicle is parked. And it contributes to the unbearable racket in the cab when the car is in motion.

It’s ideal, of course, if you want to sling a bicycle and some surf boards in the back and tie them down for a quick drive to the beach; but this hardly qualifies as a routine event in Fife, where I live.

A more usual feature of domestic life is the trip to the dump (or “the cowp”, as it is known in the local patois). For this essential duty, a pick-up is usually perfect. In the case of the Ranger, however, it was marred by the cover.

In the first place, it’s a bastard to release. You have to get a firm grip on a long strap and heave it hard to the right before it clicks the lock and allows the cover to slide and fold up. Then it’s a pig to manoeuvre all the way open to its locking position. The load box is so wide and high that you can’t easily reach in to push the cover back by hand and the strap does nothing from a shallow angle.

If you fill the load box to the level of the cover with binbags and then pull it closed, there’s space for hardly any more of them than you could carry in the back of a hatchback. If you leave the cover open, it kind of defeats the purpose of having the cover, part of which is to prevent the load from being blown out into the road.

When you see that this device adds almost £1400 to the overall price of the Ranger, you might conclude that you could live without it.
No builder’s favourite currently in the market comes with more car-like luxuries in the cab. Colour contrast stitching for upholstery and floor mats makes you feel abashed about climbing in with muddy boots. Ford’s latest 8.0-inch Sync 3 touch system links with satnav, DAB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and rear-parking camera.

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To pamper you further, you get heated seats, heated windscreen, dual-zone climate control and cruise control. Ford have ransacked their supplies of safety systems in the Driver Assistance Pack which includes devices for lane-keeping, traffic sign recognition, collision mitigation and auto-dimming from high beam headlights. You might almost think you were in a car.

That delusion would not last long once you had got this behemoth moving, however. Notchy gearbox, jiggly ride, slow steering, sluggish acceleration and leaning body in corners add up to a driving experience which has to be endured rather than enjoyed. Both Mitsubishi’s latest L200 and Isuzu’s D-Max offer happier times on the road, though neither can beat the Ranger’s braked trailer weight capacity of 3500 kg.

Lift the fuel flap on this Ranger and you’ll find a filler neck for AdBlue which makes the mighty five-cylinder 3.2 TDCI engine Euro6 compliant. It doesn’t, however, do anything for the fuel consumption, which stuck stubbornly under 30 mpg during our week. Nor does it help with CO2 emissions which are way over 200 g/km.

Nor does that additive make the engine any less like a concrete mixer to listen to.



Car reviewed: Ford Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab 4×4 – Base Price On the road £33,404.74 price as tested £37,610.64 0-62mph 10.9 secs Top speed 105mph Fuel Economy combined 33.6mpg CO2 emissions 221g/km Engine 3194cc TDCi 5-cylinder EU6 Max Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 6-speed manual


  • Spacious interior

  • I am a big fan of pick-ups

  • Quite well specced

  • High emissions and quite thirsty

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About the author
Neil Lyndon

Neil Lyndon

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Neil Lyndon has been a journalist, broadcaster and writer on the UK's national stage for 40 years, writing for every "quality" newspaper on Fleet Street. He started writing about cars and motorbikes for The Sunday Times in the 1980s and was Motoring Correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph for 20 years, having previously written a column on motorbikes for Esquire. He is also recognised as a leading commentator on gender politics, having published No More Sex War in 1992 - the first ever critique of feminism from a radical, egalitarian point of view.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Ford Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab 4x4
Author Rating
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