CommercialFleet

Group test: Double-cab pick-ups

Review

Pricing and running costs

In terms of price the Steed is by far the cheapest.

Priced £15,998 ex-VAT in SE, our test model featured asilver metallic finish, chrome side steps, alloy wheels, a rear canopy with roof bars, leather seats, air-con and rear parking sensors as standard.

But the options list is spartan, limited to sat-nav, towbar and a few other odds and ends.

The Steed doesn’t even offer electronic stability control (ESC) as an option and that’s a big minus point.

It does have dual airbags even on the lower spec model, plus ABS and EBD.

The Ranger is priced £21,278 ex-VAT, making it the most expensive.

However, you get a lot for your money, such as ESC and Brake Assist, leather seats, chrome side rails, dual zone climate control, 17in alloys and Bluetooth hands-free phone with voice control.

And bear in mind a cheaper 125bhp option (£18,200) is also available, albeit at a lower spec.

The D-Max looks good value at £18,999 ex-VAT, and everything is included in the price with no extras on top. This includes ESC and ABS, front, side and curtain airbags, alloy wheels, chrome grille and bumper, side steps, air-conditioning and cruise control.

The Amarok, at first glance, looks great value at £18,795 ex-VAT. This price includes ESC traction control, electronic diff lock, hill-hold and side and curtain airbags.

However, we must add metallic paint at £450, load compartment covering at £485 and rear parking sensors at £271 to make a more level playing field which brings the price up to £20,000.

It’s not all about price, of course, and running costs alter the picture.

The Amarok and the D-Max tie for first place when depreciation, fuel cost and service, maintenance and repair bills are taken into consideration over four years/80,000 miles.

Both have running costs of 39p per mile (ppm), putting them just ahead of the Steed’s 40.56ppm. The 150bhp Ranger is cast adrift at a weighty 46.84ppm (although the 125bhp option is 39.74ppm).

Verdict

A narrow win for the Ford Ranger, although extra points come from the fact that it’s available as a single-cab – key for utility-type fleets.

The Amarok and Steed are offered only in double-cab format and if that is your criteria then the Amarok emerges as a clear winner thanks to its low running costs.

However, pitch it against the 125bhp Ranger and the Ford retakes the top spot on the back of its lower cost of ownership figures.

The D-Max makes a superb stand against its rivals, especially when you consider that the Rodeo it replaced was far behind the opposition.

The Steed should not be dismissed out of hand. For the price, this vehicle punches way above its weight and we were impressed with its general demeanour.

However, it’s a new vehicle from a new (to the UK) manufacturer, so we know little about its longer term reliability, which must be borne in mind.

Winner: Ford Ranger

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.