When it comes to the Ford Ranger, there's really only one trim level people talk about and that's the Wildtrak. It's become a brand in itself, synonymous with the UK’s best-selling pick-up truck. But the Ford Ranger Wildtrak now comes in two flavours, making it an exciting proposition for pick-up owners.
In the past there have been big engines and little engines in the Ranger. In fact, the engine line-up for what is known as the T6 platform of Rangers has gone from having both a four cylinder 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel options to far more powerful but smaller 2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, and now a 3-litre V6 diesel on top.
It’s a rejuvenated line-up that continues to ensure that the Ford Ranger Wildtrak is the most versatile pick-up on sale with an entry-level 2-litre Ranger and a stonking V6 Ranger.
With such a vast range, that includes XL, XLT, Tremor, Wildtrak, Wildtrak X, Platinum and Ranger Raptor trim levels, we’ll keep these models as separate as we can. But, you’ll find reviews of each model in the pick-up truck reviews section.
Despite there being many trim levels, the Ford Ranger Wildtrak has been the out-and-out favourite for UK buyers. Here we’ll look at the merits of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2-litre and 3-litre V6, but for the avoidance of any doubt, except for the engines, the two model are essentially identical. The only discernible difference is that the Wildtrak V6 gets little V6 badges on a black panel on the wings of the truck. The 2-litre has the same panel without the raised V6 logo.
The latest Ford Ranger Wildtrak has had a complete redesign for its looks, practicality and certain under the skin components. The chassis is still the same ladder frame that’s been used for more than a decade – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – but almost everything else has changed.
The most obvious difference between this Ranger and the previous model is the distinctive grille and headlights. Ford calls the design C-clamp headlights. They mimic the US design found on the F-150 Lightning. The grille is more rectangular and upright, and the Ford badge more prominent as a result. At the rear there’s the Ranger name stamped in the tailgate, and there is of course Wiltrak badges on the rear and lower flanks of the truck.
Other notable details for the new Wildtrak include an integrated step in the rear bumper to make access into the rear load bed easier and safer. There’s also two special points in the tailgate to allow you to clamp materials onto it and use it like workbench. The rear load liner also has grooves to allow dividers to be inserted. And there’s even a rule to help you measure stuff.
The interior of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak is all-new and is dominated by the large portrait touchscreen. The oversized tablet screen is becoming a feature of Ford products as it appears in the Ford Ranger Raptor and the Ford E-Transit. For standard Ford Rangers the screen is 10-inches, but for the Wildtrak it gets upgraded to a 12-inch unit.
Beneath the touchscreen, there are physical controls for the heating and the stereo volume, while underneath there’s a storage tray and an area for wireless phone charging. The SYNC4 infotainment system also support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
On the transmission tunnel you’ll find two cup holders sensibly positioned next to the stubby gear selector. Behind that there’s the automatic electronically controlled parking brake, and then buttons and rotating dial for off-road functions.
There’s a very decent sized central arm rest and storage unit, topped with a padded, orange-stitched, cushion that mirrors the leather of the seats.
Additional features that the Wildtrak gets over the standard Ranger XL, XLT and Tremor are dual zone air conditioning, a locking glovebox, vinyl door trim panels rather than plastic, heated front seats, and 8-way adjustable driver seat, heated leather steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting.
The Ford Ranger Wildtrak has always been a pleasant truck to drive on the road. Compared to Toyota Hilux, it is far quieter, handles better and has less body roll. The ride quality is also better than the Hilux, and this latest Ranger is a further improvement. The suspension is quite firm but it’s not overly harsh. There’s a degree of constant bouncing that you get from pick-up trucks but it’s a lot less intrusive than in previous models. It also provides a significant counterpoint to the Ford-made Volkswagen Amarok – but more on that later.
The most obvious talking point is the difference between 2-litre and 3-litre V6 engines. The 2-litre Ecoblue is essentially the same unit found in the previous Ranger, although there’s been a slight tweak to the power control units which has resulted in a slight dip in the horsepower output of the top spec engine. You can only get the 2-litre Ford Ranger Wildtrak with the top power 205PS (202bhp) engine, while the 3-litre V6 Ecoblue diesel Wildtrak gives you a slightly more meaty 240PS (237hp).
Ford Ranger Wildtrak 170PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with six-speed manual gearbox homologated CO2 emissions 221-225g/km WLTP and homologated fuel efficiency 32.8-33.6 WLTP.
Ford Ranger Wildtrak 170PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with six-speed automatic gearbox homologated CO2 emissions 228-232g/km WLTP and homologated fuel efficiency 32.1-32.4 WLTP.
Ford Ranger Wildtrak 205PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with 10-speed automatic gearbox homologated CO2 emissions 228-232g/km WLTP and homologated fuel efficiency 31.7-32.4 WLTP.
Ford Ranger Wildtrak 238PS 3-litre V6 diesel engine with 10-speed automatic gearbox