I’ve always had a soft spot for trucks. I think a dual-cab truck makes so much sense for people who need an all-round vehicle, especially in a place like the UAE, with its glorious roads or its stunning dunes and everything in between. Over the recent National Day holidays here in the UAE, I had a lot of activities planned. So, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to spend a few days with the Ford Ranger. Focused mainly around camping, I ended up having a lot to do with the truck and was able to really put it through its paces.
While larger trucks like Ford’s own F-150 are a larger commitment, the Ford Ranger ticks a lot of boxes for most people. It’s a mid-sized truck with a decent amount of power under the hood. It comes with a whole load of space and can easily fit a family of 5 in the vehicle. And most importantly, it’s relatively affordable starting at just Dh70,418.25 (including VAT) and offering a variance of options. For the purpose of my testing, I was provided the Ford Ranger dual-cab XLS version.
Now before I get into what the experience was with the Ford Ranger, let’s just take a look at what’s under the hood. The Ford Ranger XLS I drove comes with a 2.2-litre Duratorq turbodiesel engine which produces 150/160 PS and 375/385Nm torque. The mid-sized truck comes with Hill Descent Control, 4X4 Shift-On-The-Fly and electronically controlled Locking Rear Differential.
With room for five people inside (we only had three since that’s all that’s allowed by the UAE right now due to COVID restrictions), a maximum towing capacity of 3.5 tons and a cargo tray capable of carrying up to 1425kg of gear, I was pretty confident that we didn’t need to pack light for when we went camping.
As soon as the car was delivered to me, I noticed that the Ford Ranger is definitely a large vehicle but not so large that you’ll worrying about parking spots all over the city. I liked that.
It’s got a decently spacious interior but being the XLS model it wasn’t as plush as the Wildtrak version of the car. It still has everything you need (from a tech perspective) on the inside. Cruise Control, Speed Limiter, Bluetooth, rear camera, parking sensors and much more. The display on the inside is horribly tiny though. It’s the same display I had in my 2016 Ford Fusion. It’s 2020, I think a larger display shouldn’t be too tough for Ford. That being said, the smaller display is mainly an issue when using the rear camera. You get the information you need but as a person with weak eyes I definitely needed a bit of a squint. Controls on the steering are ample and enable you keeping your hands on them at all times.
Now if you’ve seen recent advertising on the road of the UAE for the Ford Ranger, the company touts a 1250km range on the car in their testing. If you watch the video below, you’ll notice that while the car did reach those numbers, they were in quite ‘perfect’ conditions (driving at 90km/hr and a relatively empty car, etc).
When the car was delivered to me with a full tank, my fuel range read 757kms. While this definitely raised an eyebrow when I first saw it, it became more evident that this was achievable as I drove the car over the next few days. On the first day I drove the car approximately 90kms around the city prepping for my camping trip the next day. On day 2, I drove it approximately 130kms to Ras al Khaimah and then about 10 kms into the desert. On the last day, we drove the same way back out of the desert, spent some time in RAK and then all the way back to Dubai. I returned the car to Ford with over quarter of a tank. To me personally, this was great. It’s definitely not the 1250km the company is touting but the fact that the car can be efficient with its fuel (while being pushed to its limits) is a definite plus for me.
Being a diesel engine, the Ford Ranger does feel a bit sluggish at slower speeds during inner city driving but, on the highways, or in the desert (for an amateur off-roader like me) it was a beauty! The car handled all terrains easily, with 3 people in the vehicle and a load of luggage, wood and camping gear in the back. Frankly, right through our adventure it kept up easily with my friend’s Toyota Land Cruiser (even in the desert). Now everything I’m telling you is based on the 2.2-litre Duratorq turbodiesel engine. I can only imagine how much better all this would be on the 3.2-litre Duratorq turbodiesel engine available in the XLT and Wildtrak.
Should you consider the Ford Ranger?
Now I leave the nitty-gritty details for far more experienced car reviewrs to get into but as I mentioned earlier, I’ve always wanted an all-round vehicle with an affordable price-tag. I drive around the city a lot but have always wanted the option to go off-road without a thought. The Ford Ranger ticked a lot of boxes for me. It’s affordable, durable, fuel-efficient (compared to cars in its segment) and has a lot of space! If you’re looking for a car to do it all and not break the bank, maybe go check out the Ford Ranger. I know I'm already considering one.