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.
- 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
- 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
|Monthly Rental: *||£305 + VAT|
|What will it be worth: **||£n/a|
|Basic Loadspace Dimensions:||1,530mm long x 1,456mm wide x 465mm deep|
|Engine:||2,499cc four cylinder turbodiesel|
*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.