Ford Ranger Review & Prices

The Ford Ranger is a practical pickup truck that drives better than most, especially if you choose the powerful Raptor model. Regular SUVs will be more refined for family life, though

Ford Ranger alternatives
There are currently no deals for this model on Carwow, but you can find and compare great deals on new and used alternatives to the Ford Ranger.
Adventurer's Choice Award
Highly Commended
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Car-like driving experience
  • High-tech cabin
  • Raptor in particular is amazing off road

What's not so good

  • Raptor doesn’t qualify for commercial vehicle tax breaks
  • Some alternatives are more affordable
  • Ford’s warranty isn’t as long as some

Find out more about the Ford Ranger

Is the Ford Ranger a good car?

Pickups like the Ford Ranger live a double life. During the week they’re married to the job, hauling work mates and a tonne of materials wherever you need to go. Come the weekend they switch things up, posing as a regular family car. This ability to do it all anywhere earned it a highly commended spot in the Adventurer's Choice Award at the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year Awards.

Because of its double life, it's a bit like Clark Kent. Sensible when required, but happy to put its muscles to work when a job needs doing.

And if you're looking for a pickup truck that's equally happy doing the family stuff as it is being a workhorse, you could also consider the Volkswagen Amarok and Toyota Hilux.

The double life is true of double-cab pickups at any rate, which have a second row of seats for burly builders and troublesome teens. Most Ford Rangers are double cabs, although you can have a two-door single cab if you need a longer load bed and can do without rear seats.

The trouble with trying to do two things at once is that it’s hard to keep both plates spinning. That’s why, as a rule, pickups are usually better workhorses than family runabouts. The latest generation of pickups – especially the Ranger – ask fewer compromises. Although you’ll enjoy a more sophisticated drive in a conventional SUV, the gap is closer than it’s ever been.

From the driver’s seat, any Ranger is more comfortable and composed than most alternatives, but the Raptor is by far the best version to drive. This high-performance pickup is inspired by the Baja off-road race, and even has a ‘Baja’ mode for messing around in the dirt.

It packs a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol or a 205hp diesel for punchy performance and has a more road-friendly suspension setup. That makes for a much smoother ride but means the Raptor can’t carry such heavy loads as the rest of the range. Truth be told, that means it’s not much cop as a commercial vehicle, but the desert-racer looks certainly stand out on the school run.

The regular Ford Ranger might be the more sensible option, but if you don't need the extra payload, the Raptor is by far the most fun to drive

Conventional Rangers come with a choice of diesel engines, with the most powerful version only a little slower than the petrol Raptor – and a whole lot more sensible. They're not quite as sophisticated as the Raptor to drive, but they're far from the noisy, cumbersome pickups of old.

If you’re running a pickup through your business and keeping a close eye on the bottom line, the 170hp diesel is the most economical, although if you make full use of the Ranger’s payload then the 205hp model is significantly stronger. It has 500Nm of torque, rather than 405Nm. The 240hp engine pushes up running costs and the purchase price, so it’s harder to make a sensible case for it unless you regularly tow a heavy trailer.

The entry-level XL is the only choice if you need the single cab with one row of seats. Double cab buyers have the choice of XL, XLT, Tremor, Wildtrak, Wildtrak X and Platinum models.

You don’t have too many toys in the XL, although it does have a DAB radio and a 10.0-inch touchscreen. It’s the only model with no air conditioning. XLT adds chilled air and alloy wheels, while the other trims come with dual-zone climate control, and an ever longer list of kit as you climb up through the range.

One common criticism of double-cab pickups is that there’s not that much space in the back seats. That’s not a problem in the Ranger, which is so long there’s plenty of space in the cabin and in the load bed.

Take a look at our Ford deals to see how much you can save on the latest models, or browse an extensive stock of used Fords from our network of trusted dealers. While you’re at it, find out how much your current car is worth through carwow’s Sell My Car service.

How much is the Ford Ranger?

At those prices, the Ranger isn’t cheap. If you want a capable budget pickup you might want to take a look at the SsangYong Musso instead. Then again, a Musso isn’t as good to drive as the Ranger and is only available with one engine. The Isuzu D-Max is another pickup to put on your shortlist if you want to keep a close eye on what you spend.

On the other hand, the Ranger is competitively priced with the Volkswagen Amarok. Given the quality of the Ranger’s cabin, the driving experience, and its all-round capabilities, the big Ford is respectable value for money.

Performance and drive comfort

Better to drive than most pickups, but not as good as the best conventional cars

In town

It’s a big vehicle, the Ranger, much bigger than most big 4x4s. You do notice the sheer bulk when driving around town.

Thankfully it doesn’t have the turning circle of an oil tanker, even though it’s the size of one. It will perform a U-turn in less space than a Toyota Hilux, for example, though the steering wheel requires a lot more turns than a regular car, which means exerting more effort.

Every XL and XLT model has a six-speed manual gearbox. The rest of the range has a 10-speed automatic which takes the strain out of stop-start driving. It's the better option for getting around town.

Once you are used to the Ranger’s size, it’s reasonably easy to drive on urban roads. You sit up high with a good view out, so although it doesn’t exactly shrink around you it’s not intimidating either.

Every engine has enough poke for nipping into gaps in traffic. Even the entry-level 170hp engine is up to the job, although this version is noticeably slower to accelerate with a full complement of passengers and a tonne of bricks in the back.

There is some bouncing and fidgeting from the back of the Ranger, although by pickup standards it’s reasonably comfortable. The Raptor, with its more sophisticated rear suspension, smooths over rough roads much better than more humble Rangers.

On the motorway

There’s some whistling from around the door mirrors, but otherwise the Ranger is quiet at speed. Expect no more than a faint hum from the engines and some road noise from the chunky tyres, though the regular model in particular is noticeably less refined at higher speeds than a typical SUV.

The Ranger is more comfortable over bumps on the motorway than around town, but the rear still fidgets a bit unless there’s a heavy load in the back. It just feels like it never quite settles on a poor road. The exception is the Raptor, which rides more smoothly on its coil springs rather than the leaf springs fitted to other models.

Go for the 170hp engine and performance is adequate but underwhelming. Any of the other engines have enough poke to jump when a gap opens up in the outside lane.

On a twisty road

Some pickups stumble like drunks at closing time when the road starts to twist and turn. Not the Ranger. It steers accurately and keeps lean in check. It's not remotely 'sporty', but it's more fun and capable than you might expect.

The Raptor takes things to a whole new level. It’s like the love child of a pickup and a hot hatch, with surprising agility for a two-tonne truck. Get carried away and it will push wide in corners, but it’s streets ahead of most pickups.

How about when the road ends and the muddy track begins? Well, every Ranger comes with a switchable four-wheel-drive system, so you can change from rear-wheel drive to a 4x4 setting. There’s a low-ratio mode for really serious off-roading. All Rangers – and especially the Raptor – are very capable when the going gets tough.

Space and practicality

A roomy and practical workhorse, although there’s no super cab in the UK

You sit up high in the Ranger, and even entry-level models have six-way adjustment for the driver’s seat and four-way adjustment for the passenger seat. Wildtrak models have eight-way powered adjustment for the driver, while the Raptor has 10-way adjustment of heated and cooled seats for the driver and front-seat passenger, and a memory function for the driver.

Whichever model you choose there’s enough adjustment for the seat and wheel to find a supportive and comfortable driving position, although the extra adjustability of the Raptor’s seats allows for more fine-tuning.

Forward visibility is very good, although the view behind you is compromised by the narrow rear window. Huge door mirrors help, as do the standard fit rear parking sensors and rear-view camera. Front parking sensors are fitted to the Wildtrak and Raptor, and the Raptor also has a 360-degree camera system.

Interior storage is pretty good, but you might expect a bit more from a work-focused vehicle. The glovebox is a useful size, and it’s lockable on all models except the XL and XLT. Chunky door bins have room for a bottle or flask, and there’s a huge space under the armrest. Twin cupholders take care of your morning brew on the way to the first job of the day, and there's a shelf ahead of the passenger.

Space in the back seats

Go for the single cab, and there are no back seats. More practical for most – especially those who need their pickup to double as a family car – is the double cab. There’s a lot of space in the back, so two adults can travel in comfort. Three will fit if they don’t mind rubbing shoulders.

Storage is rather disappointing though, with tiny door bins and the pockets in the back of the front seats about all you get. Though you do have two USB slots as well as a three-pin plug socket.

There are ISOFIX mounting points for the outer rear seats, and the rear doors open wide so they don’t get in the way when lifting a bulky child seat inside.

Boot space

The size of the Ranger’s load bed depends on whether you go for the single cab or the double cab.

The advantage of having no rear seats is a bigger load bed. The single cab’s load area is 2,332mm long (without a bed liner), 1,584mm wide, and 529mm high.

The double cab’s bed is shorter, measuring 1,564mm, but it’s still big enough for a standard pallet.

With the exception of the Raptor, all models have a payload of over a tonne. That means they can be classified as a commercial vehicle for tax purposes. The Raptor’s rear suspension isn’t as tough as the leaf springs fitted to the rest of the range, so the payload is just 652kg.

It also has a maximum towing figure of 2500kg, whereas other models are approved for towing 3420-3500kg.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Well made with impressive infotainment, although cheaper models have a smaller screen

Commercial vehicles don’t tend to have the nicest interiors. They’re tools for work rather than luxury travel.

Only these days, buyers expect a few more creature comforts, even during the daily grind. If you are going to spend hours behind the wheel, it ought to be in a cabin that’s well made and has a sense of style.

Ford understands that, and the latest Ranger is a much nicer place to spend time than the old model, or most of its pickup alternatives. The design is modern and there’s a premium feel to the materials used. Leather upholstery adds to the upmarket ambience in Wildtrak and Raptor cabins.

In most models the instruments are part-analogue, part-digital, with an 8.0-inch LCD screen. The Raptor upgrades to a fully digital 12.0-inch display.

All models have a large portrait-shaped infotainment system. On Wildtrak spec and above it increases from 10.0 inches to 12.0. Either way you can use voice control as well as pressing on-screen icons.

It really does look good, especially in high-spec Rangers with the bigger screen. The display is crisp and clear, and the menus are easy to find your way around. All versions are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can mirror your smartphone if you prefer.

All models have two USB chargers in the front. Go for the Raptor and a wireless charging pad is fitted. XLT and Wildtrak buyers can add wireless charging as part of an option pack.

Another handy Raptor feature is the USB port integrated within the rear-view mirror, just where you might want power for a dash cam.

Ford has kept the air conditioning controls separate from the touchscreen. That’s a big plus in our book, as physical buttons are much easier to use without distraction than a fiddly touchscreen menu.

MPG, emissions and tax

The petrol Raptor is the thirstiest model in the range – you can’t expect great economy from a two-tonne pickup with a twin-turbo V6. It returns just 20.5mpg on the combined cycle. Hoon about and expect that to drop into the teens.

You won’t have as much fun, but you’ll spend less on fuel if you choose the diesel Raptor. This returns 26.6mpg, according to the official figures.

The regular diesel models promise lower running costs. The 170hp engine paired with a manual gearbox is the most frugal combination, returning 33.2-33.6mpg depending on the exact model.

Pick the 205hp diesel for a useful increase in performance and slightly higher fuel bills. Expect 27.1-32.1mpg. This engine is always matched to Ford’s 10-speed automatic.

There’s also a more powerful 240hp V6 diesel. You can make a case for this engine if you regularly tow heavy loads, and 28mpg isn’t unreasonable.

Carbon dioxide emissions range from 220g/km for the 170hp diesel up to 325g/km for the petrol Raptor. This still puts lower-powered models in one of the highest first-year road tax bands, with the Raptor comfortably in the priciest range.

If you are buying a Ranger for your business, the Raptor is best avoided as it’s not classed as a commercial vehicle so you won’t be able to reclaim the VAT portion of the price. The Raptor also makes least sense for company car drivers, representing a massive jump in your monthly payments compared with the regular versions.

Safety and security

Pickups don’t always perform well in Euro NCAP safety tests. The Ranger is an exception, with an excellent five-star rating. It scored 84% for adult occupant protection, 90% for child occupants, 74% for vulnerable road users, and 84% for its safety assist systems.

All models come with driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags. There’s also an airbag for the driver’s knees. Trailer Sway Control, to prevent snaking while towing, is a standard feature, along with a system that mitigates the chances of rolling over.

Option packs are available to add more driver aids, including adaptive cruise control.

All Rangers have remote central locking and a Thatcham-approved security system.

Reliability and problems

It’s early days to make a firm judgement about the Ranger’s reliability. But judging by the previous model we wouldn’t expect too many serious problems with the Ford. We’ve heard of the odd electrical niggle and some gearbox issues, but generally the old Ranger has a reputation for being tough and durable.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Ford’s warranty lasts for three years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. That’s well beaten by the Toyota Hilux’s 10-year, 100,000-mile cover (provided the vehicle is serviced by a Toyota dealer), and the five-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the SsangYong Musso.

Ford Ranger alternatives
There are currently no deals for this model on Carwow, but you can find and compare great deals on new and used alternatives to the Ford Ranger.