Capabilities on and off the road
You need to get used to the dimensions
I’ll start a little differently. I always think that I don’t need a pick-up truck in my personal life, but then when I get the keys from someone, I think that they would like to test it properly. With everything everywhere. And suddenly I’m running through the forest in a checkered shirt and flip-flops, the pickup truck doesn’t even stop, and when I return it after a week, I tell myself that I’d still need it for another week. Although rather for a month. A pick-up is simply a car that has its place in the villages of the Czech Republic. And I’m on one of those.
And when car companies also understood this and started producing more such cars, they did nothing but good. What are we going to talk about, the American RAM from the import is very cool, but it is a monster on our roads that everyone American from Vysočany he wants it badly, but then he pushes it “into the gas” anyway, and it often shuffles along the road and gets in the way. But such a nice diesel pick-up is priceless for the forest and the surrounding area.
A pick-up can be more suitable for you than a classic off-road. For example, the employees of the company Lesy ČR customized, among other things, the original Land Rover Defender. They were golden in the forest, but once you had to go somewhere further, it was a pain. But the pick-up can drive calmly and in relative comfort even on the road. He won’t make the journey through the forest, but it’s a nice compromise. There are many to choose from, for example Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux, SsangYong Musso, Isuzu D-Max – you just have to choose.
New alpha in the area
And it is Volkswagen and Ford that now have an advantage over the others, as these two brands have joined forces to introduce the new generations of the Amarok and Ranger models, which are now de facto siblings. Today we have a Ford, and that’s right with a key advantage over most of the competition – a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine. Volkswagen sells this engine as the 3.0 TDI, Ford as the 3.0 EcoBlue V6. It is placed longitudinally at the front and supercharged by an exhaust turbocharger. Maximum output is 177 kW (240 hp) at 3,250 rpm and a very respectable torque of 600 Nm is available between 1,750 and 2,250 rpm.
Two-liters are also available and have the option of a manual transmission, but the six-cylinder is directly connected to a 10-speed automatic and there is no other option. Normally, the rear wheels are driven and the front wheels are connected or assigned via a multi-plate clutch. There is also a reduction gearbox and an optional rear differential lock. The car is on a frame, with independent front suspension on double wishbones and a solid axle with leaf springs, coil springs and a Watt direct link at the rear.
In other words, it’s just a proper pick-up truck. In addition, Ford gave the new Ranger a face close to its American siblings, so it looks good now and also has a few handy details, such as footrests behind the rear wheels, through which you can swing onto the bed. Two fixed eyes under the front bumper will also be useful. The car’s ground clearance is 229 mm, it can handle wading up to 800 mm, the useful weight of our Wildtrak version is 1050 kilograms and, above all, it tows 3.5 tons.
By the way, the Wildtrak version features leather seat upholstery, the aforementioned assignable 4L/4H drive, roof rails, an aerodynamic protective frame behind the cab, an optical package with dark painted elements or an Off-Road Security package that includes protection under the engine and transfer case including a fuel tank cover or also the mentioned rear differential lock. It is available with a 2.0 Bi-turbo engine or with our six-cylinder engine. Compared to the purely utilitarian base XL version with unpainted bumpers, however, you will pay an additional 318,000 CZK without VAT for the Wildtrak with a six-cylinder engine.
Continuation 2 / 3
Like at home
The technicalities are behind us, but how does one live with the new Ranger? The seat behind the wheel is naturally high. After sitting down, for which I recommend swinging over the running boards and holding on to the A-pillar handles, a wide dashboard opens up in front of you with a vertically positioned center display, and a beautiful long hood takes pride of place in front. In the middle above the driver you will find a bar of buttons for installing accessories – from the winch to the light ramp. A second battery can be used for power supply, for which there is a place under the hood.
In front of the driver is a digital instrument panel and the central infotainment displays a huge amount of information. Fortunately, it is divided into clear segments and has a decent resolution, which also applies to the parking camera. The air conditioning is still controlled by classic rotary controls and buttons, but to heat the seats you already have to look at the display. The space is generous on both rows of seats, which is not the rule for pick-ups, for example, there is not much space in the back in the Hilux, but the Ranger is pleasantly spacious for four, and with a little modesty even five, passengers.
The handling of the pick-up matters a lot, as it can easily crack when it bounces around in the woods, and potholes while traveling on the road will annoy you. This Ranger had 8,500 journalistic kilometers, which is like 20,000 normal kilometers. Only the seat creaked here and there, otherwise it still looked comfortable, as if it had just left the factory. There wasn’t even a lot of light creaking from the plastics off-road, just some squeaks here and there, but it’s not a Range Rover. But the truth will be revealed only after a two-year used car.
As a whole, the interior of the new Ranger looks very spacious and pleasant. The leather is great, the plastics are mostly hard but of good quality, the infotainment software doesn’t freeze, and in general there’s nothing that really annoys me. Above all, the control of all important functions is nice at hand, and once you get used to the high position behind the wheel and the worse driving, the car will feel good even as an everyday vehicle.
This brings me to consumption. This car weighs 2.3 tons, has a V6 and aerodynamics like a bollard, naturally you can tell that it will ripen. Not so, with the car unloaded I drove in the range of 9 to 10 liters, which is less than Ford indicates in the table. With a load, it was 13 l/100 km, but there was also a lot of driving through the forest on wet leaves and several tens of minutes at idle. With a tank of 80 liters of fuel, I managed 700 kilometers in a style that I would describe as combined – once to the editorial office to work, the second time with a two-axle truck to the forest for wood.
The six-cylinder is refined and has a large power reserve. It’s as if every time you put your foot down on the pedal, it’s still extracting something, no matter how fast you’re going. You can overtake on county roads as well as drive fast on the highway. And the acoustic pleasure is priceless. Four-cylinders in such pick-ups can often seem breathless and roaring, as if they were grinding from the last. That won’t happen to you here. It has a utilitarian character in terms of sound, but if you like proper machines, you will enjoy living with it, and you will attribute its occasional noisier expression more to the character of the car than to a flaw in its beauty.
I kind of expected such behavior, the gearbox was more of a surprise for me, and a pleasant one at that. The engine does not understeer unnecessarily, gear changes help relatively quickly and, above all, it is not stupid. The machine does have ten qualts at its disposal, but it operates with them intelligently, it’s not like it’s constantly changing gears and jerking around with you. In addition, when accelerating on the highway, it can use the torque and often does not even downshift, but lets you pull it up to the desired speed with the twister.
Pick-ups of this design have a few limitations, which include, for example, vibrations from the frame chassis or bouncing of the rear axle. But the Ranger is also well-tuned in this respect, it doesn’t bounce even when the body is completely empty. It doesn’t twist in any way and drives firmly, like a somewhat rude SUV. The steering and brakes are also well-tuned, the turning radius is worse, of course, and the car is generally harder to park due to its large dimensions, but you get used to it over time and the cameras help you a lot.
As you can see in the gallery, I turned the car several times for wood. Factors such as a fully loaded 750 kg cart, fallen November leaves on soft ground and persistent drizzle scared me a little, but it was a yawn for the car. The Ranger has dozens of different assistants to help you avoid getting stuck somewhere or embarrassing yourself, whether it’s driving modes for different surfaces, a lock or an assistant for going down hills.
But I didn’t have to press anything, not even uphill. It was enough to work gently with the gas and the loaded car simply started moving even on this basis. I just switched all-wheel drive to four-wheel drive and it went without jerking or significant slippage. I thought the car was playing a joke on me. It was like coming to a sword fight with a bazooka.
When I was driving on the road, I didn’t even know that I was pulling something. But this is not surprising when the Ranger tows 3.5 tons, plus or minus in all specifications. Then, for example, I loaded branches onto the body. After taking them out, I just blew her plastic mat with a blower and there was no sign of the work. The work page is just there and I haven’t even come close to its limits. It can handle terrain, pull boats and take you shopping.
Continuation 3 / 3
The new Ford Ranger surprised me very much with its versatility. It handles beautifully on the road, is comfortable and can function as an everyday car, as well as a work tool. And it’s cool too, it already looks like a proper car, the previous generation was certainly not so macho even in the Raptor version. It doesn’t have any major flaws, just be aware that aerodynamic noise will disturb you in the left lane on the highway. But don’t be surprised, because you are driving in a brick.
And then there are the dimensions, 5370 mm in length and 2028 mm in width. Combined with the smaller range, parking in hatchback spaces is difficult. Otherwise, for me, the Ford Ranger, and probably the Volkswagen Amarok, is the best pick-up on our market right now. It does everything a little better than the rest and it might have a six cylinder. But keep in mind that the tested version of Wildtrak made a significant contribution to everyday usability. For pick-ups, the cheaper the more plastic the truck is, the Ford Ranger is no exception.
|Ford Ranger 3.0 V6: Summary of prices without VAT
|Base price of the vehicle
|990,000 CZK (XL/2.0 Ecoblue)
|Price with tested engine and equipment
|CZK 1,392,000 (Wildtrak/3.0 Ecoblue)
|The price of the tested vehicle
|CZK 1,485,200 (Wildtrak/3.0 Ecoblue)
Technical data: Ford Ranger
Year • level of equipment
2024 • Wildtrak
Number of cylinders/valves per cylinder • timing
6/4 • DOHC
Engine type • displacement
diesel • 2,956 cm3
The highest performance
177 kW (240 hp)
Highest performance at rpm
600 Nm at 1,750 to 2,250 rpm
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h
Gearbox: shifting method • number of steps
automatic • 10 degrees
Fuel tank volume
Weight: operating • total
2 300 kg • 3 350 kg
Wheel track: front • rear
1 620 mm • 1 620 mm
Dimensions: length x width x height
5 370 × 2 028 × 1 884 mm
Standard equipment (Wildtrak): Micro Rib Leather, SYNC 4A with 12″ Touchscreen, Off-Road Security Package, e-4WD, Ambient Interior Lighting, Vinyl Upholstered Door Panels, Dark Headlining, Lockable Front Passenger Compartment, Wildtrak Exterior Package, Roof Rails, Aerodynamic Guard frame behind the cab, 18″ alloy wheels D2ULD, Automatic dual-zone climate control, Terrain Management System, Sector lighting 360 (4 zones), Perimeter alarm with spatial sensor, KeyFree system, Front parking sensors, Heated steering wheel wrapped in leather, Rear dark tinted windows Privacy, Step into the cargo space left and right, Automatic high beam switching, Front LED headlights with C-shaped LED daytime running lights, front LED fog lights and rear LED lights
Optional equipment: Technology Advanced (+13,000 CZK)Power Advanced (11,200 CZK)Audio 106 (CZK 8,000)Electrically controlled aluminum body cover (43,000 CZK)varnish orange Cyber (18,000 CZK)