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Ford Ranger Thunder review

The Ford Ranger has had a facelift. We try the Thunder-spec version to see what's new.

"Want a multi-purpose vehicle? Only a pick-up will do."

What is it?
The Ford Ranger Thunder is a proper multi-purpose vehicle. It can lug loads of up to a tonne in the back, tow three tonnes behind and still carry five people in its leather-lined cabin..

What’s it like on the outside?
A fresh look means the Ford appears sharp compared to its Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara competitors. The Ranger is an imposing choice, thanks to its chrome-capped mirrors and front grille, privacy glass, 16-inch alloy wheels and front foglamps.

What’s it like on the inside?
My car was in popular Thunder trim, so it gets air-con, heated leather seats and illuminated scuff plates. The cabin is tough, with the Thunder additions lifting the low-rent plastics by introducing silver highlights and red-backed instrumentation.

What’s it like to drive?
On the road, the ride feels bouncy and the steering lifeless. Fill up its huge deck with some cement or building sand, though, and the pick-up delivers far greater composure. The 2.5-litre engine is at its best at low revs, so on the road the awkward five-speed manual gearbox will keep you busy. That makes the £1,200 automatic a desirable option. A rugged worker or able all-rounder, the Ranger is a tough machine for business, pleasure or both.

Verdict
When you want a true MPV, only a pick-up will do. And you could do a lot worse than the Ford Ranger Thunder. It might bring compromises for its breadth of ability, but decent spec, reasonable economy and good looks make it an appealing choice in 2.5-litre Thunder guise, although the auto is easier to drive.

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Car Specs - Ford Ranger Thunder

Engine:2.5-litre diesel, 143hp
0-62mph:12.5 seconds
Top speed:TBA mph
Economy/emissions:30.4mpg/255g/km CO2
Price/On sale £19,600+VAT/Now

We rate:
It's a proper MPV
Well equipped

We slate:
Drives like a truck
Shiny dash plastics

Rating: Image removed.

By Bryce Richards

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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