Ford Ranger Ambleside
Forget conventional 4x4s – if you want a real all-rounder, only a pick-up will do! The new Ford Ranger can lug loads of up to a tonne in the back, tow three tonnes and carry five people. This workhorse is a proper multi-purpose vehicle.
A fresh look means the Ford appears sharp compared to its Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara competitors. In popular Thunder trim, it gets air-con, heated leather seats and illuminated scuff plates.
On the road, the ride feels bouncy and the steering lifeless. Fill up its huge deck with some cement or building sand, though, and the pick-up delivers far greater composure.
The cabin is tough, with the Thunder additions lifting the low-rent plastics by introducing silver highlights and red-backed instrumentation. Outside, too, the Ranger looks an imposing choice, thanks to its chrome-capped mirrors and front grille, privacy glass, 16-inch alloy wheels and front foglamps.
The 2.5-litre engine is at its best at low revs, so on the road the awkward five-speed manual gearbox will keep you busy. That makes the £1,200 automatic a desirable option. A rugged worker or able all-rounder, the Ranger is a tough machine for business, pleasure or both.
Rival: L200 Warrior
The Mitsubishi is cheaper than the Ford, and has always been a big seller in this market. Bold looks help it to stand out, but the cabin feels cheaper than the Ranger. It can’t match the Ford’s towing ability, either – although if that’s not a key feature, the L200 remains a real contender.
Author: Kyle Fortune