Ford Ranger XL Double Cab
Basic price £23,795 Engine 4-cyl 1,996cc Power 170bhp @ 3,500 Torque 420Nm @ 1,750-2,250
GVW 3,270 Kerb weight 2,130 Payload 1,140 Max trailer weight 3,500
Load space length 1,613 Load space width 1,560
Load space height 511 Width between w/arches 1,139 Load height (unladen) 835 Load volume 1.28
Fuel tank capacity 80 Combined fuel consumption 39.2-40.9mpg (NEDC) Carbon dioxide emissions 179-188g/km (NEDC) Oil Change 2 years/12,500 miles Warranty 3 years/60,000 miles
Even with the departure this year of the Mercedes X-Class and Volkswagen’s Amarok, there is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to top of the line pick-ups. Yet, for those that actually require a working truck, the choice seems to be getting smaller.
Ford continues to appeal to all sectors of the market, from the range-topping Wildtrak and Thunder, to the more down-to-earth XL and XLT models. The XL in particular is now the only model in the range that can be had with a full line-up of cab configurations and a set of steel wheels.
Driving the XL is no hardship however and you can forget the idea of a poverty-spec model in this day and age. Air conditioning, heated mirrors, daytime running lights, a DAB radio with Bluetooth, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition and a Collision Mitigation System all come as part of the standard trim.
The Regular single cab is offered with a 130hp version of Ford’s EcoBlue diesel, but all other models come with the 170hp version. This delivers a healthy 420Nm of torque, which is more than enough for easy acceleration and comfortable cruising.
As we’ve discovered with models higher up the range, the 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine is proving considerably more economical than the previous 2.2-litre. And this is true of this truck. The XL and XLT models are only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, rather than the 10-speed auto transmission that is now available in higher trim levels, but that also is hardly cause for complaint.
The big Ford is equally happy mixing with traffic in town or making progress across country, with its lofty driving position delivering a view across hedgerows and over cars ahead.
The ride and handling are equally capable, the XL doing without the larger alloy wheels of higher-trim models, losing little to them in terms of road holding. Indeed, the ride seems to be smoother in the basic truck, with the suspension soaking up the worst of the UK’s potholed roads.
Another benefit of the less excessive trim level is load-carrying ability. At 1,197kg, the XL has the highest payload of any Super cab or Double cab model in the Ranger line-up. Only the 170hp single cab tops it, at 1,252kg. All Ranger models bar the 130hp Single cab model have a 3.5-tonne towing capability.
That Super cab layout also provides quite a bit more load length in the pick-up bed than the more common Double cab models, with up to 1,847mm at floor level versus 1,613mm for a Double cab truck. Again, if you really need it, the Single cab layout offers up to 2,317mm.
Of course, the rise of the high-specification Double cab 4×4 pick-up shows little sign of slowing, even with the V6 models pulling out of the market. Yet, in truth, unless you really have a need for some of the more luxurious options that come with the higher trim models, the XL may just be all the Ranger that many companies need.