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Ford Ranger Wildtrak X review

Overall Rating: 7/10

Who doesn't like a special paint job, but there's more to the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X than its exclusive blue paint.

Ok, so there's not a great deal more, because the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X is essentially an end-of-the-line edition for the 3.2-litre five-cylinder engine. It's Ford's way of freshening up the ever so popular Wildtrak with a few sytling tweaks.

It's also worth knowing that there's just 1000 Ford Ranger Wildtrak X models in this special blue colour, so when you consider that Ford pumps out at least 20,000 Rangers in a year into the UK it's going to be something of a rarity.

So, what's the big deal and the difference between a Ford Ranger Wildtrak X and a standard Ranger Wildtrak. Well, lets start with what's the same to begin with.

The Wildtrak X gets the gutsy five-cylinder, 3.2-litre diesel engine. The same engine that could be found in Ford Transit vans of old. There's the same leaf sprung rear axle, and the exact same payload carrying capacity and towing strengths - namely just over a tonne in the back, and 3.2-tonnes towing.

What's different is that the special edition Ford Ranger Wildtrak X gets a few visual styling tweaks. First up is the paint colour - it's Ford's RS paint colour, and it looks the nuts on a pick-up. Then there's new black trim details to around the grill and the sports hoop at the rear. There's also a locking load bed cover and 18-inch alloy wheels that are unique to the Wildtrak X.

It's a Ranger to set pulses racing, and lifts the range slightly higher to help match the likes of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Volkswagen Amarok that are more squarely aimed at lifestyle buyers.

What's it like on the inside?

The inside is typical Ford Ranger with little to differentiate the Wildtrak X from a standard Wildtrak. There's still a large centre screen, full leather seats and a steering wheel with enough buttons to launch a missle system.

The major point of difference, however, is that the orange details - namely the seat stitching - is replaced by more subtle and nicer blue. It matches the exclusive paint and lifts the cabin interior slightly.

All other features, though, are the same. The cabin is smart, and comfortable. It also capably disguises the size of the vehicle, making it feel more cossetting and comfortable than your average one-tonne pick-up truck.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X interior

What's the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X like to drive?

If you're familiar with the rest of the Ford Ranger models, then don't be surprised to discover that nothing much changes with the Wildtrak X when it comes to driving.

Although the Wildtrak X is at the very top of the Ford Ranger line-up it is still the same pick-up beneath the new paint and the black trim. That's no bad thing, though. Because the Wildtrak X is comfortable to drive, and capable at the working parts too.

The 3.2-litre engine is perhaps the weakest point of the whole setup. Despite being preferable over the four-cylinder 2.2-litre option (not available as a Wildtrak X) the 3.2 is gruff, noisey and not particularly efficient. As a result there's a lot more sense in taking a V6-powered Amarok or X-Class over the top-spec Ranger, but then you'd miss out on the excellent body controll, sharp handling and all round abilities of the Ford.

The Ranger is at home on fast smooth roads, where its high driving position gives you a great deal of visibility. The suspension is also at its best here and the usual bounce characteristic of a pick-up truck is less noticeable. Body roll is well controlled and the steering is fast and responsive. You can feel connected to the road, despite it being a body on frame design.

A big 3.2-litre engine is a good thing, right?

The engine still grumbles along and as you floor the throttle there's a surge-like sound that results in very little action. It's a pretty slow and sometimes loud experience, but it doesn't detract from what is overall the best pick-up truck to drive.

The Wildtrak X is only available with the 6-speed automatic transmission which like the engine is a substantial thing. It's there to deal with the massive amounts of torque, and because of this the gear changes are lacking in refinement. First gear is short to help you tow, and the rest come in sizeable chunks to harness the power and keep the Ranger moving at a decent pace. It lacks refinement, but it gets the job done - much like the engine.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X parked on a sand drive in front of a farmyard building

Should I buy a Ford Ranger Wildtrak X?

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak X is without doubt a lot of money. If you look at the competition, you're stepping on the toes of bigger engines and arguably more desirable badges.

But there's still quite a jump to get to a V6 X-Class over a diesel Ranger, even if it is top-spec like this Wildtrak X.

The fact that its limited to just 1000 units, will keep the appeal for this particular model amongst fans of the Ranger. But were you to be in search of a truly top-end pick-up the five-cylinder engine it probably its biggest let down.

The price of a pick-up has been creeping up over time, but at £40k it's going to make you really think about the value for money you are getting. This is essentially the same Ranger that was launched in 2012, with more and more equipment thrown into the mix. That's a lot for any vehicle to live up to.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X

Price: £38600- £42000

Power: 205 - 205
Torque: 500 - 500Nm
Payload: 1050 - 1050kg
Volume/Area: -
Loadspace Length Max: - mm
Things We Like:
Fantastic new paint colour and matching internal stitching
Things We Like Less:
Still the same old Ranger under the skin
Overall: 7/10

Driving: 7/10
Interior: 8/10
Practicality: 8/10
Value: 6/10
First Published: March 26, 2023
Last Modified: May 1, 2024  
Written by: thevanreviewer

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