The pick-up truck is a special sort of motor. Over in the States and in Oz, they’re a religion but, in the UK, we’ve never quite bonded in the same way.
For us they were a farm car at best, but generally too big for British roads. Now we’ve got used to massive SUVs crowding out the traffic (that’s you, Audi Q7), we’re all taking another look.
This Ranger has just been chosen by the MoD as the motor of choice to support the Army, Navy and Air Force in the UK. In a world of military 4x4s, the Land Rover Defender is yesterday’s news. The pick-up is the new king. Kneel, puny human!
Likely repayments: £370 a month with a £5,500 deposit
Engine: 2.2 litre
0-60mph: 11.8 sec
Top speed: 106mph
Woah! That is one huge mother...
…trucker, yes. The Ranger is one of the biggest cars on sale in the UK. It’s 5.4 metres from snout to arse, nearly two metres wide and just about two metres high too. On a standard British street, it’s like parking an oil tanker by the kerb.
Why would I want to drive something that vast?
Because it makes you feel like a god. In an era of chop-your-dick-off-and-hug-a-polar-bear electric mobiles, this is a rolling pint of pure testosterone daring you to down it in one.
It has wing mirrors the size of dinner plates, a load bay that can hold a cow and wheel arches you could rent out to a family who’ve just failed their loan repayments.
So it’s manly, then?
Manly doesn’t even cover it. Look out the back window and the rear view is split by protective metal bars like you’ve been thrown into an episode of Prison Break.
Drop the load bay gate at the rear and it reveals a plastic moulding that – we kid you not – has four recessed circles perfect for holding cans of lager. And check out that chrome grille. If that doesn’t scream out to drive right through a herd of rutting deer to hit dinner, we don’t know what does.
Am I going to feel like a knob driving it?
You won’t care when you’re driving it, soldier! The Ranger makes you invincible. Kind of. It’s more like driving a small truck than a big car. The 2.2 diesel engine gives you the full old-school rattle (no poncey noise-deadening here) and puts out grunting noises as it reaches high into the revs.
You’ll feel like you can do anything. And you probably can. The Ranger switches between two- and four-wheel drive with the twist of a button, and it’s in 4WD that the Ranger really comes into its own, sticking to the road like a squashed badger.
What’s it like inside?
It’s plastic fantastic, and like going back 20 years. There are luxury SUVs around, but that’s not why we’re here. Our boys need something they can hose out at the end of a shift once they’ve rescued some blubbering rookie from a stormy mountain top.
What will the ladies think?
Depends what kind of a man she’s after. If she really wants a strapping fella in a lumberjack shirt to save her, then this is the motor. You can whisk her off her feet and go live in a log cabin somewhere.
Are Our Boys going to be OK?
The Ranger has won International Pick-Up Of The Year, and for good reason. It’s a proper brilliant motor that will never let you down. Invest in one of these and you’ve always got someone watching your back. With the Ford Ranger, our military chaps are in good hands.
Words by Conor McNicholas. Follow his motoring brains on Twitter.