Choosing to focus on their full size trucks in North America, Ford discontinued the Ford Ranger a while back. Well, they did for our market, but the truck is still produced and sold overseas. In fact, the Ranger is sold in 180 different markets, and across five continents.
The Ford Ranger was popular here, but with only a narrow gap in the pricing between it and much larger trucks, it was a tough sell. After all, why settle for a small truck, when you can have a big one for only a little bit more? Ford pulled the Ranger from here, leaving the small truck market for Japanese automakers to fight over.
In Europe, the Ford Ranger competes with the Mazda BT-50, which was once it's sibling over here. It also rivals the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara and the Volkswagen Amarok, which is strikingly similar in qualities. The Ranger and the Amarok are more like passenger vehicles, while the Japanese trucks feel like commercial vehicles.
The 150 hp Ford Ranger XLT 2.2 TDCi really isn't as small as one might think of a compact sized truck. It measures 5.4 metres in length and seats five comfortably. It's 2.2-litre inline four-cylinder engine gets 375 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a six speed manual transmission, with an automatic option. Fuel consumption is an average of 8.5 l/100 km.
Design-wise, the Ford Ranger is fashionable, with lines and design language normally found in cars. It's not all rough and tumble the way that trucks often look. Inside, it's still very truck-like, more about function than creature comfort. It could definitely use an update, in particular, the tiny display screen on the centre console, which isn't much bigger than a smartphone. It's outfitted with plenty of basic gadgets, suck as BlueTooth, USB ports and Sat Nav.
The Ranger is still rugged and capable, the way a truck should be. In fact, it's a little more so than the previous generation. Still, it would be just fine as a daily driver, as it offers a smooth ride, even off the asphalt. It's diesel engine is vibration free, keeping things quiet, even when the windows are down.
Once Ford modernizes the interior of it's Ranger XLT, this truck will be fantastic; and make us long for it's return to North America.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca