Our long-term pick-up now sports a covered load area, which has come in particularly handy during the recent prolonged spell of wet weather. James Dallas climbs in the back
Since we initially reported on our Ford Ranger pick-up it has gone back to base to be fitted with a Truckman cover for its load area.
This £2040 (exc VAT) addition, colour-coded in our Ranger’s Performance?Blue paint, has made its considerable bulk even more imposing and already come in very handy during the recent deluges in keeping loads dry. So far the stuff in the back has included a kitchen bench and a couple of old spinning wheels liberated from years spent gathering dust in a farmyard shed.
The tailgate is robust and locks up reassuringly firmly, with the ignition key securing the lower door and a separate key used for the upper door/window, which, incidentally, the driver should not rely upon for a clear rear view.
However, the relatively high load floor height of 835mm (slightly lower than the Mitsubishi L200 and Toyota Hilux, both 850mm, but higher than the VW Amarok, 780mm, and Isuzu Rodeo, 785mm) can make lifting objects into the back a bit of a strain.
The interesting meteorological development in the UK of a rainy season in the middle of a drought caught out many less robust vehicles but not the sturdy Ranger. It happily sploshed its way through flooded country tracks and sodden fields, and on rainswept motorways felt every inch like the king of the road.
In top gear and with cruise control engaged – which can be selected simply with the steering wheel-mounted controls – our 2.5 TDCi Ranger purrs smoothly and quietly along for miles on end, providing a comfortable and relaxing ride for all on board, including an eight-year old daughter in the back who has been prone to bouts of car sickness.
But life with the Ranger in the city is less harmonious. It’s too big to comfortably negotiate the maze of back streets, which means eschewing those congestion dodging rat runs. Also, you could do with
long, wide off-street parking.