The pick-up segment is pretty compact these days. The Volkswagen Amarok will be the successor, while the Mercedes X-Class is also having a bit of trouble. The Ford Ranger – which we are looking at today – will also be replaced soon, but while it lasts, is it still a good competitor to the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max?
Well, to find out, we’ve put it to the test in an upgraded Wolftrak form, which delivers a more ruthless look than the standard Ranger.
Wolftrak has been designed to offer the kind of rugged, rugged and drop-down design one would expect from a pick-up truck. So it comes with a standard load-bearing bed guard, which means you can haul all sorts of stuff back there without worrying about damaging the paint.
Plus, it’s got a variety of standout features including various matt black parts in areas like the grille, skid plates and wheel lip molding. It is also equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in chunky tires that are ready for off-roading. Inside, there’s plenty of high-end gear installed as standard – but more on that later.
You might think the Wolftrak would be equipped with a 2.0-liter biturbo engine from the Raptor, but we have a slightly underpowered – but no less powerful – bike installed here. This is a 2.0-liter single-turbo diesel, with 168bhp and 420Nm of torque, which in our test car was managed by a six-speed manual gearbox – although an automatic is also available.
Acceleration is decent at 11.1 seconds from 0-60mph, while a top speed of 112mph is more than adequate for a truck like this. There’s also four-wheel drive to choose from, while Ford says the Wolftrak is capable of carrying a payload of 1,000kg and also has a towing capacity of 3,500kg.
The Wolftrak is a pleasure to drive, given its upright position and rudimentary chassis. Of course, like most pick-up trucks, it feels a little jittery when carefree in bed, but on a cruise it’s pretty quiet and smooth. There is a lot of wind noise produced when traveling on the highway, but this is what this type of vehicle expects.
The engine might not look that powerful on paper either, but it has a pretty decent amount of thrust while the deep torque reserves mean that there’s always power there if you need it. The engine sound transmitted to the cabin even has a good sound.
Although the six-speed manual is a bit blurry in its operation, it is quite light and easy to use. The only real issue is the Ranger’s size, which comes into play when trying to navigate busy parking areas – though you’ll notice it when you sign up for a pick-up truck.
Wolftrak takes the look of an already commanding Ranger and takes them one step further. With a variety of matte black elements, it sure has an almost threatening stealth appeal while the large wheels and tires give some indication of the type of terrain it can traverse.
You get some Wolftrak badges but it’s pretty subtle and doesn’t scream as loud as the Raptor, which is emblazoned with badges and logos all over its body. If you are looking for a truck with a lot of presence but without too many extras, then the Wolftrak will no doubt prove to be interesting.
This is not a farm pick-up truck. With various leather-clad elements and an eight-inch touchscreen, the Wildtrak cabin feels very luxurious. You can only specify it as a dual taxi too, which means that it is the best option if you want to carry passengers. Our trucks didn’t have a cover on the top of the cargo hold, so this meant we had to haul stuff and stuff in the back of the truck, which felt unsafe. A cover for the weight bed would easily fix this, mind you.
You also get a good view of the road ahead, of course, while the seats themselves have four-way adjustment so you can get a pretty good position. They are also comfortable and soft.
As we’ve already highlighted, there’s an eight-inch infotainment system included as standard on the Wolftrak and it runs Ford’s Sync 2.5 system which, while not the newest the company has to offer, is decent enough to operate and includes Apple CarPlay, so it’s easy to integrate your phone via cable. USB.
Elsewhere, we have a six-speaker sound system and Ford’s smart Pass Connect technology, which lets you remotely connect to the Ranger via a smartphone app. Through this, you can check to see if it is locked and even be warned if an intruder tries to gain access to the vehicle.
Wolftrak feels like a fitting version to celebrate the end of this Ranger generation. With extensive standard equipment and rugged build quality, it feels like a showcase of why this truck has proven so popular – and left us with high expectations for the new.
Should you still consider it? Very. If you’re looking for a pick-up that pulls, carries, and goes off-road without a hitch, then the Ranger Wolftrak is still a great choice.