After initially struggling to match the sales performance of its Japanese rivals, the Ford Ranger has seriously raised its pick-up game … to the extent that the firm has now headed the UK market for the past three years with around a 30% share. And it’s on course to maintain this chart-topping position in 2019.
Key to Ranger’s recent success was the significant upgrade to its cab interior and overall spec in 2015, and for 2019 the vehicle benefits from a further increase to the level of tech on board. Here we’re talking the likes of Autonomous Engine Braking, Intelligent Speed Assist, Active Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sight Recognition — and so the list of car-type driver and safety enhancements goes on.
Perhaps more important, though, is the arrival of three new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder EcoBlue diesel engines with power outputs of 130hp, 170hp and 213hp, the latter featuring an extra turbo. These motors replace the outgoing 2.2-litre four-pot and 3.2-litre five-piston Duratorq units (although the latter is sticking around until the end of 2019) and, despite their lower capacity, are reckoned to generate more than 6% increase in power and 9% in torque.
Fuel consumption is claimed to be improved, too: 31mpg (combined) for the 213hp 2.0-litre versus 28mpg for the 200hp 3.2-litre. Transmission choices are either a six-speed manual or a 10-speed auto out of the Ford Mustang; towing capacity remains unchanged at 3,500kg; and payload ratings are up to 1,252kg.
Model variants are again much the same, Regular Cab, Super Cab and Double Cab, as are the trim levels of XL, XLT, Limited and Wildtrak, although these familiar names are now joined by the new Raptor flagship.
The ‘in-yer-face’ Ranger Raptor is unlikely to be a big ag seller, in part because its modest 620kg payload means farmers won’t be able to reclaim the £7,979 VAT element of its hefty £47,874 recommended retail and also because its towing capacity is trimmed to 2.5t. The upside is that its front/rear coils and Fox Racing shocks enable it to ride better than your average 1t pickup, and it looks the business, too. This 213hp/10-speed auto head-turner is a double-cab for the enthusiast.
Predicted sales split is XL 2%, XLT 3%, Limited 21%, Wildtrak 64% and Raptor 10%. The first deliveries of the new Ranger are now being completed.