Long Term Test: Ford Ranger - July 2012

Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Great on the open road, our Ranger can be hard work in the city, unless, that is, you’re planning a boot sale… James Dallas reports

Since the Ranger Limited joined our fleet three months ago the contrast between living with it in and out of town has been stark.
Out on the open road our large, well-upholstered pick-up has performed imperiously, providing high levels of comfort and luxury, taking a variety of terrain and weather conditions in its giant stride.
Inside the spacious cabin the environment is classy and comfy. Leather seats and black and silver plastics impart a high-quality feel, and the knobs and switches on the fascia look satisfyingly tough and robust.
But driving in the city is hard work. The engine’s noisy chug means it is somewhat unrefined at low city speeds and the gearbox tends towards notchiness on busy urban routes requiring lots of stop and start.
So despite the generous amounts of kit on the Limited trim, it is hard to imagine many urban customers choosing to use one as a family as well as a commercial vehicle, notwithstanding the tax breaks.
Without the excellent camera that appears on the rear-view mirror when reverse gear is engaged and the added protection of precisely bleeping parking sensors to steer you safely into port, parking in London’s narrow streets would be very tricky.
But the generous load area, recently shod with a Truckman cover, means the Ranger does have its uses for townies, and not just those working on building sites.
Recently our pick-up won admirers when one of our team used it for a ‘car’ boot sale. He packed it full with a range of paraphernalia, most of which previously belonged to his two young daughters. The upper window section of the split tailgate served as an impromptu coat rail for a collection of Disney dresses while the fold-up rear seats proved handy for carrying items upright – an old stereo and its speakers plus a large Grecian urn, for example.
When locked open, the lower tailgate feels indestructible, but clambering into the back over the corrugated floor to retrieve hidden items can be painful on the knees!



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