Ford Ranger (2012) Wildtrak Double Cab 3.2 TDCi 200PS road test review

Ford Ranger (2012) Wildtrak Double Cab 3.2 TDCi 200PS road test review

The TotallyMotor Verdict


Here we have Ford’s all-new Ranger pick-up truck. Designed to be sold in Ford dealers all over the world – hence the American, but not unattractive, flavour to the styling and large, aggressive proportions. It’s big, it’s bold and with this most powerful 200bhp, 3.2-litre engine, it’s also plenty quick enough.

In the top of the range Wildtrak spec we see here – plus £480 for the Wildtrak Orange metallic paint – you’re looking at £25,040 for a brand new all-new Ranger – and that includes standard kit here of jazzy leather seats, an uprated stereo and 18-inch alloys wheels. It’ll pull up to 3,350kg on a braked trailer and is quoted to return a combined fuel economy of 26.7mpg, with CO2 rated at 274g/km.


Ford Ranger (2012) Wildtrak Double Cab 3.2 TDCi 200PS road test review

First impressions:
The all-new Ford Ranger is a handsome big chunk of truck in my opinion and blows the previous Ranger incarnation out of the water in the styling department. This is a full-size pick-up with stand out modern styling and plenty of aggression. Exactly how I like my pick-ups!

Ranger’s front-end is instantly recognisable with a chunky 3-bar front grille and scowling headlights. This test truck has black body detailing, bash plates and front grille; a chrome finish for these parts is available too. Black for me though, please.

This Wildtrak-spec Ranger also benefits from suitably tough-looking 18-inch alloys, side steps and a rear ‘roll over’ bar. It’s sounding like a pretty good haul so far for just over £25k.


Into the interior:
This Ranger's big, so it’s a manly climb up into the driver’s seat, even for a long-shanks like me. Inside we find a spacious 5-seater double cab, Wildtrak leather seating, a fully electrically-adjustable driver’s seat and a loud ‘n’ proud uprated stereo. Said stereo also connects – and charges – your iPod with one simple (included) connector cable. You can then control your iPod via the headunit. This confirms that the new Ranger gets Ford’s latest gadgets, ‘cos truckers need tunes too!

No complaints from me for Ranger interior space, and even with my driver’s seat quite far back, I don’t think the rear seat passengers would have cause to grumble either.

There’s an expected ruggedness to the interior space as it could well get knocked around in its lifetime, but Ford haven’t sidestepped the styling in favour of toughness. The Ranger Wildtrak is more of a ‘lifestyle’ truck than the cheaper and less jazzy-looking Rangers lower down in the range, and stepping back on the outside or surveying the inside, I certainly felt like a bit of dude in this Ranger’s company.


The drive:
With the most powerful Ranger engine under the hood – a 5-cylinder, 3.2-litre turbodiesel – this Ranger Wildtrak is quick. Floor the power-pedal and she picks up a fast-forward-marching head of steam that’ll see you hitting motorway-joining speeds in safe style.

I wasn’t mad on the automatic gearbox which I found to be sometimes ponderous when looking for a gear for last-second pullaways. It’s all fine from stationary but I did catch it out from time to time. There is a manual shift mode to hold and select the gear yourself and this somewhat solves some sluggish gear changes.

Saying that, I still think I’d keep to the auto option for my own Ranger because around town or stuck in traffic the auto ‘box turns every drive into a cruise, and it’s very rare that pick-ups get hustled through twisty bends – it’s just not their driving style.

The all-new Ranger sticks to leaf springs for its rear suspension – to keep the load bed free from suspension turrets – so the rear-end can get a little flighty over bumps while turning, and you have to watch the huge waves of torque pumping through the rear wheels on wet roads. However, the traction control system soon gathers any drifts before they get too sideways, and it's great to have so much grunt on tap. 

The coil springs and dampers up front do a decent job of keeping the Ranger on the straight and narrow and compared to other recent TotallyMotor truck test drives I’d say Ranger is no wobble-wagon on the driving front.

During my week-long truckin’ fun with the Ranger I saw 25-26mpg on the in-dash economy readout and that’s nearly right on the money with Ford’s quoted combined economy of 26.7mpg.

So, if you’re looking for a lifestyle truck that seriously hauls ass, take a look at the Ranger 3.2. Torque fans will not be disappointed!

Ten second sum up:
The all-new, 2012 Ford Ranger Wildtrak (with the 3.2-litre engine up front) is one serious chunk of truck that fully looks (and goes!) the part, and it does all of its pick-up truck duties too with a euro-pallet-size bed and huge towing capacity.


Prices and availability:
The Ford Ranger pick-up range starts from £14,753.63 (plus VAT). Price as tested, £25,520 (inc. VAT, and metallic paint at £480), for the top of the range Wildtrak model with a 3.2-litre engine. Available now.

Words & pics: Daniel Anslow

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