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Truck

This is the new, fancier Ford Ranger Platinum

Dinosaurs for the fast ones, precious metals for the fancy ones. What’s not to get?

Published: 29 Nov 2022

Welcome to the Ford Ranger Platinum – Ford’s best chance of selling Europe on the idea of a pick-up truck as a one-and-done machine. Use it for work, weekends away or just Waitrose runs; Ford’s big pitch is that for family, fun and... really hard work, its dolled-up pick-up will sort you out. 

So there’s a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, with more than 235bhp and 440lb ft, and a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes. Oh, and proper four-wheel drive, naturally. But then in the Plutonium spec, it’s paired with a 10-speed automatic and phrases like ‘re-engineered to reduce noise and vibration’, then draped in tinsel like 20-inch alloy wheels with machined faces, privacy glass and LED lights.

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The tailgate has a soft-close feature to separate it from the slam-bam-here’s-an-invoice-ma’am method favoured by tradies since time immemorial. Inside, you’ll find wireless charging, buttons that make the Ranger Polonium park itself and a suite of electronic nannies that’ll fret about lane changes and cross traffic to the point that you nickname the whole system Marvin. There’s leather on the seats, LCD screens on the dash and little B&O symbols on the speakers. Clearly, Ford wants the Ranger Promethium to be the family car of choice for those who live on the frontier of nation and nature. 

Obviously, the idea of a family-ready pick-up is something that’s been going on for quite a while over in North America, and has also taken root in Australia. But then the US and Canada have been nuts for pick-ups for decades now, and the Australians a) need something to replace their utes, and b) drive on the sort of roads that stretch the definition of what, exactly, constitutes ‘a road’. 

So a tough, reliable truck – with enough niceties to use for family life – makes sense for those who live and work where man meets unappeasable mother nature. But what of Europe? The roads are smooth, the distances small and – certain Baltic and far-northern parts notwithstanding – the flora and fauna are harmless. Even the elements aren’t anywhere near as merciless – in the depths of winter, it’s no huge ordeal to drive from Scandinavia to south London in a sports saloon. And we should know... we did it. 

So to ask at least £44,000 for a gigantic, diesel-powered heffalump that’s going to be underutilised overkill for most of us... well. You can get a nice Jag XF Sportbrake for that, which’ll include all the toys the posh Ranger comes with, barring exchanging a B&O stereo for Meridian. Add a few options to the Ranger Palladium and you’re also in the stomping grounds of a Volvo V60 Cross Country and Audi Allroad, in case you insist on ground clearance and all-wheel drive. So while a tarted-up Ranger might be Ford’s best chance to sell us all on the fancy pick-up, we’re not convinced it’s a good chance... 

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