Drive’s Seán Creedon gives his seal of approval to the revamped Ford Ranger pick-up
There is not a huge demand for pick-up trucks in Ireland, probably due to our inclement weather. As I have said before on these pages there is not much point going down to your local hardware store to purchase a bag of cement, throwing it in the cargo area and finding it washed away by the time you get home.
Pick-ups are best suited to countries like the US and Australia where you are guaranteed long dry spells. But small builders, if there are any left in Ireland, and people involved in the agricultural business may require a vehicle of this kind.
Many people associate safety with fast cars, but safety is also very important on the farm or on building sites and the revamped Ford Ranger which I drove last week, is the first pick-up truck to be awarded a maximum five-star safety rating by safety testing body, Euro NCAP.
The Ranger achieved one of the best overall scores ever awarded by Euro NCAP; its five-star rating reflects a strong performance in adult, child and pedestrian protection.
Like nearly all new cars or pick-ups, the new Ranger is a big improvement on the previous model. It’s now a vehicle that you would be proud to park in front of any home or office and not just at the mart or hardware store.
I mentioned Australia earlier and this new version of the Ranger was designed and developed by a global Ford team headquartered in Australia. The design and product development teams had full access to Ford’s global capabilities, testing facilities and extensive pickup truck knowledge. Everything is new: engine, gearbox, frame, suspension, steering system, brakes, chassis, exterior sheet metal and vehicle interior.
Ford say they wanted to give customers a tough truck that they can truly rely on whether in high waters, on challenging terrains, or just commuting to work, and with the new model, all of that is now available.
First impressions are lasting and the horizontal slatted grille makes an instant impression. The headlamps are also improved as are the side mirrors.
If you plan to take the Ranger off-road it’s good to know that you have ground clearance of 229mm, which is high and the 4x4 can tow up to 3.350kg and wade through 800mm of water even when fully laden—a claim that might well be tested during the Irish summer!