The Ford Ranger is making pickup trucks cool again

It’s big, it’s beefy and it’s become rather popular. The Ford Ranger can be recognised instantly thanks to its ultra-mean and aggressive look which is something you won’t find on competing models such as the Nissan Navara or VW’s Amarok. Not only does the Ranger look gorgeous, it’s also a very capable machine, both on and off road. It’s successfully made a name for itself as a rugged, thoroughbred workhorse and a fairly luxurious family SUV, all at the same time. Once you begin to think about it, it’s really not that hard to see why it’s adored by so many. So just how popular is it?

Popularity

Ford Ranger rear side 1

Even though the UK’s pothole-infested roads are bad enough to cause whiplash, our country isn’t one that particularly warrants the need for everyone to drive a 4×4. Despite this, you don’t have to look far before spotting a Ford Ranger on the road. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 the Ford Ranger was the UK’s most registered pickup truck, beating the competition by a significant margin.

In 2018, the Ford Ranger represented almost a third (30.9%) of all new pickup truck registrations in the UK with a total of 16,440. Left in the dust, the Mitsubishi L200 sat in second place at 9,246 and the Nissan Navara in third with 9,243, according to PickupAnd4x4.co.uk.

2017 and 2016 saw a similar pattern with the Ford Ranger thrashing the competition once again, easily beating competing models such as the Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max, as well as more luxurious pickups such as the Mercedes X-Class and the VW Amarok. The numbers don’t lie!

Ford Ranger front 2

Part of the reason why the Ranger comes out on top is because of the wide range of options and variations. The pickup is available in 2-seat, 4-seat and 5-seat configuration and you can also choose from a 2.2-Litre 148bhp diesel engine or a 3.2TDCi 197bhp diesel engine. Next year we’re expected to see the more economical 2.0-Litre turbo EcoBlue engine become available with the improved 10-speed automatic transmission. The Ford Ranger is also one of the only pickups to be rated a full 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Customisation

Pickup trucks are made to be practical. They’re built to be able to carry large items of various shapes and sizes. Be it a Christmas tree or some old dismantled furniture, pickup trucks are created for any and all scenarios. The Ford Ranger not only capably handles any cargo you need to haul, but it does it with style. The grizzly aesthetic of the Ranger has become a significant selling point for the truck and Ford recognised this with the all-new Raptor, revealed in 2018. From factory, the Raptor is de-chromed and offers black alloy wheels which is exactly the cool, lean and mean aesthetic that buyers demand!

Ford Ranger front side 3

Much like the Mercedes “G Wagon” and Range Rover, the Ford Ranger has accidentally gained a reputation for itself as a showpiece. These cars are no longer just workhorses, they’re also fashion statements. The G-Class Mercedes and Range Rover started off life as rugged off-roaders, but nowadays they’re mainly bought for the status of driving a big “flashy” car. This is also becoming true for the Ford Ranger.

Classic Mercedes G-Class 4

There’s no denying that big cars are trendy now and Ford is seeing the benefits of this trend.

Custom Ford Rangers are being sold for well over £40,000 by car customisation specialists. Companies such as Projex Design UK have modified the already-gorgeous ranger with things such as LED lights, painted black trim, Alcantara and leather interiors and cool body kits. The Projex Ranger is priced at a cool £50,000 and is completely blacked out, from end to end. Another custom Ranger sold by Deranged is on sale for £37,500 (excluding VAT) and features a matte grey vinyl wrap, LED lights, satin black roll bars, painted grille, mirrors and door handles, upgraded subwoofer speakers and painted black alloys.

Whips like this only exist because there’s a demand for them. Flashy Rangers are the new thing and they’re awesome. Do you own a cool Ranger or Raptor? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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Doc: “The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”

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