Ford Ranger Review 2024

Written by Richard Aucock

heycar ratingThe ultimate pick-up truck
  • 2022
  • Pick-up
  • Diesel

Quick overview


  • Large load bed with decent payload capacity
  • Spacious interior with quality finish
  • Good to drive, both on and off the road


  • Very similar to the latest Volkswagen Amarok
  • Diesel engines only apart from the Raptor version
  • Top trim levels can become very expensive

Overall verdict on the Ford Ranger

“Ford knows what to do when it comes to pick-ups, being responsible for the legendary American-market F-150. It has channelled this experience into making the new Ranger one of the best trucks on sale.”

Ford Ranger Review 2023: Driving Dynamic Platinum

The pick-up truck market is an important one, with buyers demanding practicality and dependability above all else. However, comfort and technology are now important considerations as well, meaning pick-up trucks have become more than simple utility vehicles.

Ford found considerable success with the first-generation T6-based Ranger, launched in 2011. It went on to become a global success, even being sold in the United States – the undisputed home of the pick-up truck.

For the latest, second-generation Ranger, Ford has collaborated with Volkswagen. It means the Ranger shares a platform, engine line-up and even a factory with the new Volkswagen Amarok. Despite sharing many components, however, Ford and Volkswagen have each put their own unique spin on the pick-up.

The Ford Ranger comes with an extensive line-up of trim levels, from the utilitarian XL version all the way to the upmarket Platinum. Unlike Volkswagen, Ford offers the Ranger with a choice of single-cab and double-cab layouts.

This means there is likely to be a Ranger version to suit all needs, and every model comes with modern tech such as a reversing camera, digital instrument panel and large central infotainment touchscreen. The Ranger’s cabin feels suitably plush on top-specification models, too.

Other than the high-performance Raptor version, which we will cover separately, the Ford Ranger is exclusively powered by diesel engines for now. A plug-in hybrid model should join the range in 2025, but at present there is a simple choice between 2.0-litre four-cylinder or 3.0 V6 diesel engines.

A twin-turbo version of the 2.0 TDI EcoBlue, with a power output of 205PS, is the notable sweet-spot in the range, and comes with Ford’s excellent 10-speed automatic gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard for all models, as are impressive driving dynamics and relatively refined ride comfort.

Most importantly, every version of the Ranger can carry a payload of more than 1000kg in its large truck bed, making this a very practical track. A towing capacity of up to 3500kg adds to its utility, too.

The biggest challenge for the Ford Ranger is whether to choose one over a Volkswagen Amarok. There is little to choose between the duo, but the greater trim line-up, along with the choice of single-cab and double-cab bodies, is an advantage for the Ranger.

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The Ford Ranger has established itself as one of the most popular pick-up trucks around, and the latest model is likely to continue that trend.

It offers the dependability of engines and transmissions from the Ford Transit van, along with a refined interior and generous payload capacity. The new Ranger is also good to drive for a pick-up truck, meaning it covers almost every base as a potential daily-driver.

Keep in mind that this is still a working vehicle underneath the fresh bodywork, however. An equivalent SUV or estate car will be more refined to drive on the road.

The Ford Ranger offers a considerable amount of choice when it comes to trim levels. There is likely to be a version to meet every need, from the utilitarian XL through to the fancy Platinum model (seen here in our photos).

The Wildtrak version looks like the sweet-spot in the line-up, thanks to the addition of dual-zone climate control air-con, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. It also benefits from a larger 12.0-inch infotainment screen, which makes everything easier to operate.

When it comes to engines, the 2.0 TD EcoBlue with 205PS is likely to suit most buyers of the Ford Ranger. Combined with a 10-speed automatic gearbox, it provides enough power to tow and carry effectively, while also being relatively smooth to drive.

The Ford Ranger is produced in the same factory as the Volkswagen Amarok, along with sharing the same platform and engines. Naturally, this makes the VW the closest alternative to a new Ranger. Each pick-up does have its own unique characteristics, though.

Beyond the Volkswagen Amarok, the Toyota Hilux is a long-established alternative to the Ford Ranger. It boasts an impressive warranty, along with a strong level of performance.

At the cheaper end of the new pick-up truck market, there are the Isuzu D-Max and SsangYong Musso. These can compete with the more utilitarian versions of the Ford Ranger, but they lack the same refinement and technology.

Comfort and design: Ford Ranger interior

“Easy to use, and with a raised driving position for good visibility, the Ford Ranger has taken a noticeable step forward from its predecessor.”

Ford Ranger Review 2023: Interior Platinum

The Ford Ranger is fundamentally very similar to the Volkswagen Amarok, but the blue oval brand has put its own stamp on the interior design.

Although its raised driving position may be the same, Ford has fitted a different dashboard to the Amarok, along with bespoke seats and a new steering wheel. It makes the Ranger feel distinct from the Volkswagen alternative.

It all works well, and leaves the Ranger feeling less like a utility vehicle and closer to a family SUV inside. The view out of the front of the Ranger is aided by a high seating position, plus thin door pillars that help you place the big pick-up on the road.

Even the cheapest XL model comes with a six-way adjustable seat for the driver, meaning there should be little problem with getting comfortable. Choose the Ranger Wildtrak and this unlocks an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, with the Platinum version offering 10 ways to adjust both front seats.

A pick-up truck like the Ford Ranger needs to survive the potential demands of a work, and live up to modern expectations of quality. Thankfully, Ford has achieved these goals with the Ranger.

Lower down inside the cabin you’ll find lots of solid-feeling black plastic, which should endure the rigours of a working life. On XL and XLT versions these hard plastics continue across the top of the dashboard and doors, but fancier models like the Wildtrak use leather-effect trim instead.

The Ranger Wildtrak comes with part-leather seats, while the top-spec Platinum has full-leather upholstery. This certainly lifts the overall ambience of the interior, as does LED lighting.

It is worth noting that the Volkswagen Amarok manages to offer slightly better perceived quality inside, but there is generally little to choose between the two models. Compared with cheaper pick-up trucks such as the SsangYong Musso, the Ranger feels a cut above.

Portrait-orientated infotainment screens are a growing trend, and the Ford Ranger is right on the cutting-edge with a large upright touchscreen display.

All versions, even the entry-level Ranger XL, come with an infotainment touchscreen. For cheaper models, this measures 10.0 inches across, while trim levels from Wildtrak upwards gain a larger 12.0-inch display.

Both use Ford’s SYNC4 software, which is quick to respond and easy to read, thanks to large icons. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity is included as standard on all versions, with at least two USB connections on offer.

The range-topping Platinum model comes with wireless smartphone charging, although this can be added to others via an optional Technology pack.

One major advantage of the Ranger is that Ford has resisted the urge to use the touchscreen to control the air conditioning. Instead, there is a pleasing row of traditional dials underneath the infotainment display. The Volkswagen Amarok requires using the touchscreen to change the temperature.

A digital instrument panel is standard across the range, with numerous options to customise the display. A reversing camera is also fitted to all models, while the Ranger Platinum gets an upgrade to a 360-degree camera.

The Platinum benefits from an impressive B&O premium audio system, too.

The Ford Ranger is now a sizable pick-up truck, measuring 5370mm in length, 2208mm in width, and standing up to 1884mm tall. Such large dimensions make the Ranger a really practical truck.

All versions of the regular Ford Ranger can carry a payload of more than 1000kg, meaning they qualify as light commercial vehicles. The single-cab model has the greatest carrying capacity – up to 1200kg can be transported in its load bed.

There is space to fit a standard Euro pallet in the rear of the Ranger, with multiple hooks and tie-down points included. Ford offers an extensive range of covers for the rear bed, along with plenty of accessories to customise your truck to your taste.

There is also plenty of towing capacity, with all versions of the Ranger able to pull braked trailers weighing between 3420kg and 3500kg.

Being big on the outside means the Ford Ranger is spacious on the inside as well. Both single-cab and double-cab versions offer plenty of room for the driver and front-seat passenger, aided by seats with plenty of adjustment, even on the XL model.

The double-cab Ranger can easily carry four adults, or even five at a push, thanks to more room in the back. Legroom in the rear is acceptable, if not overly generous, while the seat backs are quite upright.

Handling and ride quality: What is the Ford Ranger like to drive?

“The Ranger is surprisingly good to drive, channelling much of the experience found in Ford’s car line-up. Keep in mind this is still a pick-up truck, however.”

Ford Ranger Review 2023: Driving Dynamic Platinum

Pick-up trucks have a reputation for being skittish to drive when unladen, or struggling to deal with bumps in the road. The Ford Ranger shrugs off these concerns, managing to feel controlled and settled, despite its utilitarian design underneath.

Such refinement is still within reason, though. The Ranger uses a ladder-frame chassis and has traditional leaf-spring suspension, so Ford’s tuning can only do so much to combat the laws of physics.

The Ranger’s steering feels nimble and accurate, making it easy to place on the road. It also manages to resist body-roll well, but keep in mind that versions with off-road-biased tyres will run out of grip sooner on tarmac.

Being able to carry more than 1000kg in the load bed means the Ranger’s suspension has to be firm enough to cope. The result is a ride that feels taut, allowing bumps and ruts in the road to be transmitted back into the cabin.

This never reaches the point of being uncomfortable, and the Ford Ranger is a much better pick-up truck to drive than cheaper rivals. Unsurprisingly, only the Volkswagen Amarok really comes close to it.

Ford has kept the engine line-up for the Ranger fairly simple, with a focus on diesel power. Other than the performance Raptor model, every regular Ranger comes with a diesel engine beneath its bonnet.

The 170PS version of the 2.0-litre TD EcoBlue four-cylinder is the entry-level engine, combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. Offered solely for XL and XLT models, it accelerates the Ranger from 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds. A total of 405Nm of torque still makes it effective when it comes to towing and carrying loads.

With 205PS, the twin-turbo version of the 2.0-litre TD EcoBlue engine is likely to be the biggest seller. It comes with a slick-shifting 10-speed automatic gearbox, and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 10.5 seconds. An increase in torque to 500Nm helps this engine feel more effortless.

At the top of the Ford Ranger ladder is 3.0-litre TD V6 EcoBlue diesel, which produces 240PS and 600Nm of torque. The result is a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds, with smooth power delivery and even a pleasing engine soundtrack.

Every version of the Ranger comes with four-wheel drive as standard. Wildtrak models have a locking rear differential, which can be added to other trim levels as an option. A dial allows drivers to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive modes, and also to engage low-ratio gearing. The result is a pick-up truck that is more than capable in the mud, provided you remember its sheer size.

A plug-in hybrid Ford Ranger, combining a petrol engine with an electric motor, is expected to join the line-up in the near future.

Pick-up trucks have come a long way from being pure utility vehicles, and the Ford Ranger is one of the most refined around. The 10-speed automatic gearbox in particular helps transform the Ranger into a comfortable cruiser.

Compared with other diesel engines, the 2.0 TD EcoBlue sounds relatively muted from beneath the bonnet. There are still some vibrations as a reminder of the diesel power, and the 3.0 V6 TD is notably smoother.

Nonetheless, the Ford Ranger is still a pick-up truck. It will never match the refinement of a family SUV, for instance.

The Ford Ranger scored the maximum five-star rating when tested by the Euro NCAP safety organisation, with the Volkswagen Amarok awarded the same. This included an impressive 84 percent for adult occupant protection and 90 percent for child occupants.

Standard safety equipment comprises a full complement of airbags, including one for the driver’s knees, plus Isofix child seat attachments in the rear of double-cab models.

An optional Technology Package can be added to XLT versions and above. This brings pre- and post-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist to the Ford Ranger.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a Ford Ranger cost to run?

“Diesel power may be out of fashion for cars, but it makes sense for pick-up trucks like the Ranger. There is only a small penalty here for choosing an engine with extra power.”

Ford Ranger Review 2023: Driving Dynamic Platinum

The entry-level 170PS 2.0 TD EcoBlue with the manual gearbox is nominally the most fuel-efficient Ranger, with an official average of just over 33.6mpg. This is the same for both single-cab and double-cab body styles.

Fuel economy for the mid-level 2.0 TD EcoBlue engine with 205PS is determined by the trim level chosen. The Wildtrak version averages up to 32mpg, but the off-road tyres of the Wildtrak X and Tremor models see this fall to 28mpg.

At the top of the Ford Ranger lineup is the 240PS 3.0 TD V6 EcoBlue engine with its automatic gearbox. Regardless of trim level, the biggest engine averages just less than 28mpg in official tests.

Many examples of the Ford Ranger are likely to be working vehicles, meaning dependability will be especially important for owners. Being so new, judging the reliability of the new Ranger is hard to do, but so far there have been no major issues reported.

In the latest Honest John Satisfaction Index survey, Ford placed in the lower half of the table, not far behind Volkswagen. This was based upon older models, however, so hopefully the new Ranger can improve upon that score.

The Ford Ranger XL in single-cab form is likely to be the cheapest version to insure, being placed in group 37 out of 50. This is relatively high, but reflects the power and scale of the Ranger.

It is only a small jump to group 39 for the top-specification Ford Ranger Platinum, powered by the 3.0 V6 EcoBlue engine. For comparison, this is usefully lower than the group 45 rating for the equivalent Volkswagen Amarok Aventura.

As a light commercial vehicle, pick-up trucks like the Ford Ranger are treated differently to cars when it comes to VED (road tax). They attract a flat rate of VED, regardless of how much CO2 emissions a particular pick-up truck generates.

The latest rates for new light commercial vehicles see an annual charge of £320, or £176 for six months.

How much should you be paying for a used Ford Ranger?

“The latest Ford Ranger is still new to the market, but used models are now available to buy without any delays”

Ford Ranger Review 2023: Rear load space

Although the Ford Ranger is a relatively new model, used examples are already filtering through to the used marketplace. A mid-range Wildtrak version with the 205PS 2.0 TD EcoBlue engine could be yours for around £43,000.

Proving the level of demand for the new Ranger, examples of the top-spec Platinum version stretch between £65,000 and £70,000 on the used market. This is more than the new price of £55,000 with VAT.

The Ford Ranger has a comprehensive number of trim offerings, from utilitarian models for work use to high-end luxury specification.

The Ford Ranger XL kicks off the lineup as a no-nonsense option. It comes with 16-inch steel wheels, black plastic bumpers and halogen headlights. On the inside, the seats are finished in fabric Accent/City trim, plus you get an 8.0-inch digital instrument panel.

The 10.0-inch central infotainment touchscreen comes with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and two USB ports. A rear-view camera and rear parking sensors are fitted, too.

Moving up to the Ford Ranger XLT brings more refinement, with body-coloured bumpers, door handles and side mirrors. The tail lights are upgraded to LED items, while wheels are now 16-inch alloys.

Rain-sensing wipers, a heated windscreen, a leather-wrapped gear knob and satin aluminium trim for the air vents are included as well. The sound system is upgraded to a six-speaker setup, plus there is an overhead console with a sunglasses holder, an electrochromic rear-view mirror and manual air conditioning. Navigation is added to the infotainment system.

The Ford Ranger Tremor brings more aggressive styling to this pick-up truck, with 17-inch black alloy wheels, all-terrain tyres with white lettering and black Ford badges. The ride height is also increased, thanks to adjustable Bilstein suspension dampers.

Other Tremor features include extended wheelarches, a tubular sports bar for the load area and aluminium side steps. Inside, the seats are finished in easy-clean vinyl.

In Wildtrak specification, the Ford Ranger benefits from 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, and heated power-folding side mirrors. There is also an aluminium sports hoop for the rear bed, privacy glass and rear bumper steps.

Inside, the Wildtrak has a larger 12.0-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, heated seats for the driver and passenger, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel and keyless start. The seats are finished in Wildtrak-embroidered part-leather upholstery.

Intended for more off-road action, the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X has 17-inch black alloy wheels, a steel bash plate, twin front tow hooks and all-terrain tyres with white lettering. On the inside, the seats are upholstered in part-leather and Miko suede, with Wildtrak X logos and Cyber Orange stitching.

At the top of the tree is the Ford Ranger Platinum, with unique 18-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights and a unique satin aluminium front grille. 

The seats are finished in premium leather, with the front pair heated and ventilated. There is a B&O premium sound system, intelligent adaptive cruise control, active parking assist and a 360-degree surround-view camera. The instrument panel is upgraded to a 12.4-inch display, plus you get wireless smartphone charging.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Unlike the Volkswagen Amarok, every version of the regular Ford Ranger can carry a payload of more than 1000kg. The single-cab model is the most accommodating, able to haul a considerable 1200kg in its load bed.
The Ford Ranger comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard. Compared with what other truck manufacturers now offer, this isn’t especially generous. It can be extended at extra cost, however.
The towing capability of the Ford Ranger will be determined by which engine you choose. Most versions can pull braked trailers of up to 3500kg. Choosing the entry-level 170PS 2.0 EcoBlue manual in double-cab form drops this slightly, to between 3420 and 3450kg.

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