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Ford Ranger Thunder front three quarters
Ford Ranger Thunder: balances work and play

Ford Ranger Thunder test Review: Mark Bursa

Ford Ranger Thunder 2.5TDCi 143PS Double Cab 4×4

What is it?

Mid-range ‘dual-purpose’ version of Ford’s all-new Ranger pick-up. The Ranger Thunder features the same powertrain and performance as the entry-level XL, but with roomy four-door, five-seat cab and higher trim.

What’s hot?

  • Excellent diesel: plenty of power, vast reserves of low-end torque…
  • But gives decent fuel economy and CO2 levels for its class
  • Anti-stall facility gives off-road exemplary performance…
  • …just put in first, don’t touch the pedals…
  • …and the engine management system does the work
  • Trim is up-market without being overtly ‘flash’…
  • …but you get body-coloured wheel arches, front fogs, 16in alloys…
  • ….chrome on grille, door handles, ‘sports bars’ and rear rollover cage
  • Cab well-finished with carbon-fibre effect soft plastic, comfortable seats
  • Air con standard; Thunder trim adds digital inclinometer and compass
  • There’s plenty of rear legroom – rear seat will accommodate three adults
  • Loadbed has standard protective plastic liner
  • Sturdy tailgate has central latch, so can be dropped with one hand
  • Towing capacity an excellent 3 tonnes…
  • … enough to haul a small digger or a large caravan

What’s not?

  • Umbrella-handle handbrake old-fashioned in age of electronic handbrakes
  • Lots of play in the rather vague steering; turning circle poor
  • Engine noise becomes noticeable ‘boomy’ at motorway speeds
  • Slightly bouncy unladen ride, but still better than most rivals
  • There’s no hard top option at the moment (one is coming)
  • Automatic gearbox is an option – though it compromises performance
  • There’s room on the dash – but no sat-nav option
  • Front seats are heated – but there’s only one switch…
  • …so it’s either both on or neither!

What you need to Know

P11D Value: £19,600
Monthly Rental: * £305 + VAT
What will it be worth: ** £n/a
GVW: 2,995kg
Payload: 994kg
Loadspace Volume: n/a
Basic Loadspace Dimensions: 1,530mm long x 1,456mm wide x 465mm deep
Engine: 2,499cc four cylinder turbodiesel
CO2 Emissions: 255g/km
Power/torque: 143PS/330Nm
Economy: 30.4mpg combined

Concept Vehicle Leasing logo *Monthly contract hire rental generated by Concept Vehicle Leasing. Based on a 36 month lease at 10,000 miles a year, 3+35 payments.

**Trade value of van if purchased after three years and 60,000 miles. (Powered by Deltapoint)

Business Van Manager Road Test Rating

The era of the full-on ‘leisure’ pick-up is over, says Ford. Environmental pressures mean urban buyers of top-spec Chelsea Tractors are downsizing to something a lot greener, leaving the pick-up sector to the business user. So the Ford Ranger Thunder, not the Wildtrak, will be the best seller. It’s well-specced without the Wildtrak’s ‘bling’ – and without the thirsty 3.0-litre engine. And that means the Ford Ranger Thunder is spot-on for the business user who needs a powerful workhorse during the week, but wants to take his family out at the weekend.

Also Consider

Mazda BT-50 4×4 Double Cab TS2

Nissan Navara Aventura 2.5dCi Double Cab auto

Isuzu Rodeo Denver 2.5 TD 4×4 Max Double Cab

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