More industry recognition for Ford Ranger
Tuesday 03 July 2012 | By Evolution InternetBack to Newsroom
Choosing the perfect pick-up truck is a tricky process, so it's often helpful to keep an eye on recommendations from industry experts and award schemes.
Last month, Auto Express announced the winners of its 2012 New Car Awards, with the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger among the vehicles to be commended.
Auto Express insisted that 2012 has so far been a "fantastic year for new cars", with many of the current models on sale proving more efficient and better to drive than their predecessors.
The publication claimed this is just as true in the pick-up category as it is for luxury and city cars.
While the Hilux and Ranger received commendations, Auto Express gave its inaugural best pick-up award to the Volkswagen Amarok. The vehicle impressed judges with its cabin quality, pulling power and performance.
Auto Express commented: "Since its launch last year, [the Amarok] has redefined what buyers can expect from a hard-working pick-up truck.
"The punchy 2.0-litre BiTDI engine produces 400 Nm of torque, making it perfect for carrying or towing heavy loads."
While the Ford Ranger may have missed out on top billing at the New Car Awards, the vehicle has earned widespread praise since its introduction to the North American market back in the early 1980s and is still one of the toughest and most popular pick-ups available in the UK.
Pick-up truck leasing customers who choose the Ford Ranger have traditionally been impressed with its durability, power and load-hauling ability, but it's the vehicle's safety rating that really sets it apart from the crowd.
In February, Ford announced that the all-new Ranger had confirmed its status as the safest pick-up available in Europe by passing the toughest-ever safety test to be carried out by Euro NCAP.
During the test, the vehicle was re-graded using a scoring system introduced for this year. Despite crash test experts really putting the Ranger through its paces, the pick-up managed to record the same five-star rating it achieved in 2011.
This result means the Ranger is still the only five-star-rated vehicle of its kind on the market.
Furthermore, the truck gained two Euro NCAP Advanced Awards for passenger safety.
Michiel van Ratingen, spokesman for Euro NCAP, explained the new scoring system was devised to place even greater emphasis on the protection of pedestrians.
Several unique pedestrian-friendly features have been included on the Ranger. The front bumper incorporates energy-absorbing materials designed to deliver a safety boost, while the pick-up also boasts an under-bonnet structure that reduces the chance of pedestrians suffering head injuries.
However, the Ranger's safety features don't stop there. The vehicle also offers electronic stability programme technology that senses any deviations from a driver's chosen line and automatically corrects road position, helping motorists remain in full control whatever the conditions.
Other safety systems include extra control during hill starts, hill descent control - which kicks in when the Ranger is driven on steep gradients - and trailer sway control, which reduces the vehicle's speed if a trailer it is towing starts snaking around.
"The new Ford Ranger is the only vehicle in its class to achieve the marks we now demand of a five-star safety rated vehicle," Mr Van Ratingen said.
Ford's automotive safety director Stuart Southgate described the Euro NCAP crash tests as the safety barometer against which all new vehicles are measured. It was a "great achievement" for the Ranger to retain its five-star rating, he added.
Mr Southgate commented: "Safety is a core value for Ford Motor Company and we're delighted that the Ford Ranger ... [has] met and exceeded the highest standards demanded by Euro NCAP."
The news was also greeted by road safety minister Mike Penning, who made a visit to the Ford Dunton Technical centre in Essex for a tour of the automotive giant's safety testing facilities at the time of the announcement. The centre is also home to Ford's environmental test and engine dynamometer departments.
"Improvements in vehicle safety technology have contributed enormously to the reduction in casualties we have seen in recent years and developments in this area will ensure that road deaths and injuries continue to fall," said Mr Penning.