The Ford Ranger first came out in 1982 as the smaller and younger sibling to the F-series and Super Duty. This was the Ranger intended for the US market, while the other variation, a Ranger pick-up, was just another version of the Mazda B-series. This is the version that British consumers know. It’s a pick-up vehicle that’s been seen on many UK roads, but beyond that it delivers excellent refinement, able handling, and top notch quality. So how does the Ranger UK audiences are familiar with fare against the reliable old-school pick-up? Read on to find out.
The Ford Ranger’s design for the international market is distinct from the “One Ford” global manufacturing plan of Blue Oval. The vehicle UK consumers know if sports a steel body on the ladder frame that’s suspended by a live axle and leaf springs on the rear. This enables the pick-up to carry heavy loads on its flat load bay floor and to be able to tow a large measure of tonnes. The set up also allows for better off-roading through the wheel articulation.
There are three versions of the Ranger that are available: Super Cab, Double Cab, and Regular Cab. The Regular Cab has the best carrying capacity in its 2.3 metre long load bay and its 1800-litres worth of covered cargo. The Ranger’s frame is also much wider and longer than previous models, plus its quality is double the stiffness. The frame is also mounted to the body through hydraulic fluid-filled rubber brushes. In effect, the vehicle is able to provide top notch rolling refinement. Better ride tuning is also enabled through the front suspension that switches from the torsion springs to the wishbones and coil-overs. Sound and wind is also insulated through the underbody, roof, doors, and double door seals.
The 2.2-litre four cylinder and five-cylinder 3.2-litre turbodiesel engines deliver power that’s been derived from the Transit range. These units are able to drive through the rear wheels and can reach up to 70mph, save for a switch to the four-wheel drive. Low-range transfer case is another great feature of these units, able to deliver reduction gearing of 2.48:1 but without any locking rear differential. The traction control system can also deliver the same purpose as the good old lockable diff.
The interior is not as impressive as the Ford Ranger’s exterior design. Although you would sit higher on the cabin compared to most SUVs, the front and rear still seem too far away in terms of distance. The mix of materials isn’t as high end as the Ford Focus, but the combination is able to rise above the typical pick-up vehicle. The Ranger also doesn’t include a load-through facility. But you can bind the longer objects on the car’s roof rack.
The 3.2-litre unit is able to keep vibrations in check, but expect it to have some problems going beyond the 1000rpm limit. It will definitely have trouble as it gasps for air right before it reaches the 4000rpm. Thankfully easy pulling power is what the Ranger was made for: the 347lb ft torque peak and the 300 lb ft are able to deliver from 1300 to 3300rpm.
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