The pick-up truck market has endured a rough ride in the past couple of years since its peak in 2007, but Ford is hoping to reignite some of that spark with its new Ranger.
It certainly looks the part with a sleek yet chunky appearance, but the Ranger is not just for show, with Ford keen to stress that it is a serious option as a working vehicle.
And a wide range of choices and impressive statistics back this up – it comes with either two or four-wheel drive, 2.5 or 3.0-litre turbodiesel engines, towing capacity for a 3,000kg braked trailer, four trim levels and three different body styles – single cab, super cab and double cab.
Payloads range from 994kg for the 2.5 TDCi double cab auto to 1,160kg for the four-wheel drive 2.5 TDCi single cab.
As might be expected, the range is topped by a lifestyle model – the 3.0-litre Wildtrack – but fleets’ focus will be on the 2.5-litre 143bhp four-wheel drive XL double cab.
Offering 30.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 255g/km, the XL costs £16,750 (ex-VAT) and combines off-road ability with a high level of practicality.
Its engine, which produces 243lb-ft of torque from 1,800rpm, provides the Ranger with strong performance, and although the noise from the engine never lets you forget you are driving a commercial vehicle, its road manners are perfectly acceptable. A chassis cab version is also available with a Ford tipper body.