AEven if you don’t want to make friends with Anglicisms – the English term pick-up gets to the point: Come on, tired romper, throw your bike on the back, I’ll drive you home. In addition to craftsmen, farmers, horse and boat owners who need a lot of trailer load, there is a second group of customers in the growing market: They are those who enjoy driving a good commercial vehicle.
Which brings us to the secret of what makes the Ford Ranger so successful. Ford has managed to offer the small truck in such a wide range that almost everyone can find something to their taste. So it happens that four out of ten pickups sold in Germany and Europe come from Ford. The Ranger has a four-cylinder diesel with a displacement of two liters, with a turbocharger it develops 170 hp and two 213 hp (156 kW) with a torque of 420 and 500 Nm respectively. It works together with a manual six-speed gearbox or a ten-speed automatic. The Ranger is available as a double cab with five seats, then the loading area is around 1.5 × 1.5 meters, or as an extra cab with emergency seats behind the driver and front passenger, then the flatbed is almost 1.8 meters long.
All of this, admittedly not in every combination, is available in the equipment variants XL, XLT, Limited and Wildtrak. In addition, an extreme variant with independent suspension and adaptive suspension called the Raptor is sold. For those for whom that is not enough, Ford has now presented three more variants, which are offered in limited editions and for a few thousand euros extra. The Stormtrak is based on the best-equipped series model Wildtrak with the more powerful engine, which is upgraded with a few ingredients (including an electric load compartment blind) and is sold at prices of just under 56,000 euros.
The Wolftrak is designed as a working device, its basis is the XLT. Prices start at around 42,000 euros for the extra cabin with manual transmission. The Raptor Special Edition in an aggressive design is significantly more expensive at around 70,000 euros, but the buyer gets all-round internally ventilated brake discs, 283 millimeters of ground clearance and good off-road mobility for a pick-up. Among the various driving programs there is one called Baja, which allows spectacular drifting on gravel or sand. The Raptor is advertised as a particularly robust device, but it is only allowed to pull 2.5 tons instead of the 3.5 tons that all other versions can hook. All special models have a differential lock at the rear and, like all Rangers, an off-road reduction and switchable all-wheel drive. The power distribution is variable, so according to Ford, the all-wheel drive can also be used on the road.
We had the opportunity to ride the new models for two days, and we can confirm that the tension is minimal, even on dry slopes. The chassis of the Raptor is pleasing, it glides effortlessly over the roughest bumps. We are less satisfied with the automatic. It shifts through the gears without jerking, but the converter works with considerable slip. This not only reduces the feeling of being on the ground off the road, it also increases fuel consumption. The Wolftrak with 170 HP has a standard consumption according to WLTP of 8.2 liters with the manual switch, with the automatic it is 8.9 liters. Subjectively, it is hardly slower than the Raptor with 213 hp, which supposedly manages with 10.6 liters.
According to the display of the on-board computer, it is more like twelve, about eight liters for the workhorse, however, which is why we consider it the more sensible choice, and it runs more disciplined, the Raptor, on the other hand, is supposed to be a rough leg. Despite the variety – we preferred a variant that doesn’t even exist: the Wolftrak extra cabin with the Raptor’s undercarriage. A six-cylinder would be nice. But maybe it will come in 2022, when the successor to the Ranger is presented.