Review: Ford Ranger (2011)
Stylish and rugged looks, comfortable cabin, five star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, impressive towing ability.
Lacks the refinement of its rivals, engines are noisy when pushed, 2.2 TDCi feels lethargic, reports of poor quality paintwork on 2013 models.
Recently Added To This Review
Referring back to door latch failures (8-9-2016). On 18 November 2018, Ford Australia confirmed, very belatedly, reader's long-held belief that his Thai-built 4-door Ford Ranger is not safe. https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recall/ford-motor-company-of-australia-limited-ford-fiesta-and-ranger... Read more
Report of failure of Body Control Module in 2015 Ford Ranger at 3 years 6 months old, so out of warranty. Replacement cost was £1,100. Ford refused to contribute. Transoired that what had happened... Read more
Hole in piston reported in 2.2 TDCI Ford engine in 2013 Land Rover Defender 110 at 40,750 miles. Land Rover initially refused any liability. Read more
Ford Ranger (2011): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure
The Ford Ranger is a rugged and durable workhorse built in the same mould as pick-ups found in America, with muscle car styling and big load carrying potential. Like its stateside cousins, the Ranger is strong, with a 3.5 tonne towing limit. It is impressive off-road too, which makes it ideal for those who regularly need to take one-tonne payloads off the beaten track.
The third-generation Ranger was introduced in 2011 and initially came with a 2.2-litre - with 125PS or 150PS - alongside a more powerful 200PS 3.2-litre turbodiesel. In 2013 Ford gave the 2.2 turbodiesel a small power increase, with 130PS or 160PS. Running costs were also improved.
Good to drive in all conditions, the Ranger benefits from smooth and responsive controls that make it an easy drive on busy motorways or twisty B roads, even with a fully laden trailer in tow. It is good off-road when fitted with four-wheel drive, with high and low ratio gearing that make is easy to tackle steep ruts and inclines.
All models get a large loadbed, with the choice of single, super or double cab bodystyles. Single cab models will carry the most - a maximum of 1269kg - while double cabs will take around 1100kg. Getting into the loadbay is easy and the wide opening makes it simple for fork lift drivers to access.
Ford offers a wide range of tonneau covers, shutters and bedliners to protect your pick-up from damage and kept it secure. There is a range or factory-fit hardtop covers too, which effectively transforms the back of the Ranger into a panel van. Maximum towing capacities were upgraded from 3.3 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes as part of the 2013 facelift.
The cabin is well-made and comfortable with a spacious and durable interior that genuinely feels like it's built to cope with everyday working life. Finding a good driving position is easy and even entry-level models get comfortable and well-padded cloth seats. Double cab models will easily carry four adults and, as you'd expect, things get a bit more luxurious as you move up the trim levels and the range-topping Wildtrak getting leather seats, soft-touch trims and a large eight-inch touchscreen.
The Ford Ranger’s credentials as a workhorse are unquestionable – especially when you factor in the 2013 updates - but it does suffer from a lack of refinement. Especially when compared to the Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Amarok. That said, if you want a heavy duty workhorse, capable of cutting it off-road and moving big loads, few pick-ups come close to matching the Ranger.
Used Buying Guide - Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger is a tough workhorse with proven go anywhere credentials that leave many of its rivals in its dust. It's also an affordable used buy, with lots of well-kept examples on the market. We tell you what to look out for when buying second-hand.
What does a Ford Ranger (2011) cost?
Buy a used Ford Ranger from £16,366
Ford Ranger (2011): What's It Like Inside?
There’s a feeling of invincibility when you’re sat behind the steering wheel of the Ford Ranger. It has that high-set driving position that gives an excellent all-round view, regardless of which cab configuration you choose. The driver’s seat is easily adjusted to provide ideal comfort and the steering wheel also moves for height adjustment.
Some of the cabin plastics may be more utilitarian than Ford’s passenger cars, but the Ranger is well made and feels well constructed when compared to some of the competitions. It’s not the quietest place to sit and while away a journey though, with lots of wind, road and engine noise penetrating the cabin.
As with the exterior, the dash has more than a hint of American SUV and pick-up in its look. It’s not so much glitzy as just a bit more upbeat than some of the other pick-ups in the market. We like it and the Ranger’s instruments and controls are all very easy to fathom and use when driving without the need to take your eyes off the road to locate what you need. A typical Ford dash and driver environment.
The gear lever for the manual gearbox is set quite high in the centre console, which makes it easy to reach for any size of driver. Top-spec Wildtrak models come with a reversing camera mounted in the rear view mirror, which is a simple, neat way of installing this most useful device. It offers a good view of what’s behind the Ranger and makes backing into tight space a real cinch.
The Wildtrak also comes with navigation, air conditioning, chunky 18-inch allow wheels and two-tone fabric seats. Good as all of this is to have, though, the Wildtrak is perhaps aimed more at leisure than serious work use.
For business users looking to balance the books and comfort, the entry-level XL offers ESP traction control, hill start assist and trailer sway control. There are also twin front, side and curtain airbags, as well as a driver’s knee airbag but little in the way of creature comforts. For this reason, we’d recommend moving up to the XLT that comes with Ford’s Quickclear windscreen, Bluetooth connection and steering wheel controls for the CD stereo. For the Limited, Ford adds a third 12v power socket and rear parking sensors.
If you choose the super cab model, you get two rear-hinged doors that open to allow access to the space behind the front seats that acts as additional storage. If you need to carry more than one passenger, the double cab has two proper doors that open in the same orientation as the front pair.
They open to reveal a bench seat for three occupants and each has a three-point seat belt. There’s reasonable leg and headroom in the back seat of the Ranger double cab, putting it ahead of most rivals in this respect.
Behind the cab lies a load bed that can easily accommodate a Euro pallet and considerably heavier loads than much of the competition. With a maximum payload of 1269kg depending on which model you choose from, it’s a heavy duty workhorse.
The tailgate drops down flat and flush with the load bed, making it simple to heft in heavy items. Four load hooks help keep items in place, while an optional load bed tray will keep it from becoming scuffed and damaged.
The tailgate can be locked separately to the passenger cab and Wildtrak models come with a lockable roller shutter as standard and this is an option for other trims. There’s also a 12v power socket in the load bed of all Ranger models, while a tow bar is an option across the range. Depending on the model of Ranger, it can tow between 2500kg and 3500kg.
What's the Ford Ranger (2011) like to drive?
A 3.2-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel with 200PS is the most powerful engine in the Ford Ranger, with 470Nm of torque on hand to help the Ranger surge off the line and overtake slower traffic.
The 3.2-litre motor feels very strong and potent, but is vocal with lots of diesel clatter at start-up and under hard acceleration. That said, it's the best engine in the Ranger line-up.
All of the 3.2-litre models come with four-wheel drive as standard, which helps them make light work of heavy-going off-road conditions. It also makes it an ideal tow vehicle thanks to its low-rev shove and a maximum towing capacity of 3350kg with a braked trailer. This towing limit was raised to 3500kg as part of the 2013 facelift.
The 3.2-litre engine also gained improved fuel economy in 2013 from 29.7mpg to 34.0mpg while CO2 emissions were lowered from 249g/km to 218g/km. If you opt for the six-speed automatic economy drops to 31.7mpg while emissions rise to 234g/km, although the optional automatic makes an equally good job of driving the Ranger as the standard six-speed manual.
At launch the Ranger was initially offered with a 2.2-litre - with 125PS or 150PS. However, this was increased slightly in 2013 to 130PS or 160PS. Running costs were also improved for the 130PS unit, from 37.2mpg and 199g/km of CO2 to 43.5mpg and 171g/km.
Even with the automatic gearbox fitted, the 160PS 2.2-litre turbodiesel delivers a claimed 35.3mpg and 209g/km CO2 emissions. These are the figures for the double cab version, but if you choose the much more workmanlike single cab model, you can expect an official 38.7mpg and 191g/km to make it a more affordable choice.
Given the choice, we'd recommend spending more for the 3.2-litre unit as the 2.2-litre engine is prone to feeling lethargic when pushed. Both of the engines lack refinement though, with lots of noise breaking into the cabin. That said, they're smooth to drive, with predictable power delivery and all of the other controls are light and well matched.
Most Rangers get four-wheel drive as standard and it is here that the Ford really impresses, with superb off-road ability. The switch between two-wheel and four-wheel drive can be made on the move, while the Ranger also boasts low-ratio gearing for tackling really tough ruts and inclines.
From 2013 Ford also added hill decent control and hill hold assist as options, along with an electronic diff to give the Ranger better traction in heavy mud or snow.
Real MPG average for a Ford Ranger (2011)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
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