Multipurpose vehicle. Think of those words and usually, a large, boxy vehicle with seven folding seats and sliding side doors springs to mind. However, there is an argument that a pick-up truck, such as the Ford Ranger, is actually a more accurate representation of a multipurpose vehicle.

That’s because the Ranger, which made it onto our best pick-up for towing a caravan guide, can double up as a hardworking vehicle during the week, then turn into rugged, family-fun transport at the weekend.

What’s a Ford Ranger like inside?

The Ford Ranger is genuinely pleasant to be in. A double cab model will best suit family buyers, in which case there’s loads of space up front for two adults, and you’ll be able to find an ideal driving position, no matter how large or small your stature.

Better still, there’s reasonable space behind for three adults to sit comfortably, so if you have a family caravan and are travelling with a couple of teenagers, they’ll be able to sit far enough apart for conflict not to be an issue.

Ford Ranger cabin
Plenty of room up front and an excellent choice of driving positions

Entry-level XL models offer tech such as hill-start assist and trailer-sway control, but not much in the way of luxury kit.

That’s why the XLT is probably going to be a better bet, because it comes with a Quickclear windscreen, air conditioning, cruise control and heated door mirrors.

Next up are Limited models, which have heated front seats and rear parking sensors, while top-spec Wildtrak versions feature. a handy reversing camera, roller shutter for the load bed, and sat nav.

The load bed is large, at more than 1.5m long and over 1m between the wheelarches. Obviously, it would be better to find a used example with a roller shutter, for security.

How does it drive?

Ford vehicles are known for driving well, as seen with the Ford Kuga which features in our best tow car guide.

The Ranger lives up to this reputation – up to a point. The engine range comprises a 3.2-litre five-cylinder unit, then a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel, replaced by a 2.0-litre diesel with a single or two turbos in 2019.

The 3.2 unit is strong, and has no trouble pulling a heavy trailer. The 2.2-litre is quite strong, but a bit lethargic. The twin-turbo 2.0-litre is the pick of the bunch – stronger than the 3.2 and more economical. The 3.2 and 2.2 are vocal when asked to work hard, but the 2.0 doesn’t make so much fuss.

Ford Ranger from rear
The rugged Ford Ranger is well suited to off-road journeys

Pick-ups tend to feel quite unruly when they have an empty load bed, and there’s no denying the Ranger feels more settled with cargo in the back, but it deals with twisty roads better than most.

It has sharp, accurate steering and corners tidily, while the four-wheel-drive system gives the Ford good traction during hill starts and when it is pulling away on a slippery surface.

The Ranger tows with authority, but can be unsettled by sidewinds on motorways.

Check out our caravan towing tips guide for advice on how you to tow like a pro too.

What you need to know about a Ford Ranger

What will it tow?

  • Kerbweight: 2246kg
  • Towing limit: 3500kg
  • Towball limit: 225kg
  • 85% match: 1909kg

Running costs

  • Insurance group: 42E
  • Annual VED: £290
  • Average economy: 36.7mpg
  • Interim/full service: £125/£163

Servicing prices supplied by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262

Trouble spots

Ford recalled thousands of examples of the Ranger because the rear differential drive pinion might fail.

Faulty airbag inflators caused another couple of recalls, and a front seatback that wouldn’t lock in position forced another recall – the latch had to be replaced.

In addition, flexible hoses for the front brakes had to be replaced because they could fail, with potentially obvious consequences.

A full list of recalls can be found at

What to pay for a Ford Ranger

  • High: Price: £72,000; Model: 2022 2.0 EcoBlue Wildtrak Deranged; Miles: 4950
  • Sweet spot: Price: £29,000; Model: 2021 2.0 EcoBlue Wildtrak; Miles: 26,000
  • Low: Price: £5000; Model: 2012 2.2 TDCi Limited; Miles: 228,000


The Ford Ranger is a good alternative if you are looking for a rugged vehicle that can cope with an ‘anywhere, anytime’ kind of lifestyle. It is a solid tow car and won’t be difficult to live with the rest of the time.

  • Having a good pair of mirrors will be an important part of safe towing – take a look at our guide to the best towing mirrors if you need a hand with finding the pair for you.

Or you could try

Ssangyong Musso
The Ssangyong Musso

Ssangyong Musso

The Ssangyong Musso is available with just one engine option – a 2.2-litre turbodiesel that is strong, but can’t match rivals for economy and emissions. The firm suspension also means a pretty hard ride, but the upside is that the Musso is extremely stable when towing. It feels good inside, with plush plastics, and leather upholstery on some trims.

Toyota Hilux
The Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux

The double cab is your best option – it lets you juggle work and family life. The 2.8-litre turbodiesel is punchy and civilised, and more economical than the 2.4-litre model. Inside, there’s ample space for five, and everything feels well put together. Better still, the Hilux rides well no matter where you drive, despite having the sort of stiff suspension that can cope with heavy loads.

See our review of the 2021 Toyota Hilux.

Isuzu D-Max
The Isuzu D-Max

Isuzu D-Max

Like the Ranger, the D-Max is available in a number of bodystyles, including single cab, extended cab and double cab. It also has a switchable drive system that allows you to choose two- or four-wheel drive. Inside, it’s well equipped, with a large touchscreen and dual-zone climate control, and while the trims are designed for a tough life, they feel plush, too.

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