Ford Ranger 2.0 EcoBlue Stormtrak 2022 UK review

Ford Ranger 2.0 EcoBlue Stormtrak 2022 UK review

It’s admittedly less so when you’re driving with the load bed entirely empty, putting the weight distribution off kilter so making it a bit bouncier and more tail happy, but there’s obviously an easy solution to that.

The engine is unsurprisingly gruff and noisy as it’s a commercial diesel lump, but it’s pretty powerful when you’re unladen. Indeed, it’s the same 2.0-litre EcoBlue four-pot as used by the performance-focused Raptor, making 210bhp and 369lb ft of torque. It comes as standard mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, which happily slushes through ratios to give you the optimum torque.

You can also manually lock the Ranger into low- or high-ratio four-wheel drive, the latter giving you greater on-road stability or off-road capability in exchange for extra drivetrain noise and reduced fuel economy (which in normal circumstances is about 30mpg). 

Although we were unable to test the Stormtrak properly off road, we know from experience that the Ranger is pretty hard to stump, and it certainly had no problem with the mud-slathered lanes that we encountered across the downland and weald of Sussex in the bleak mid-winter.

Such assured brawniness means the Stormtrak can take a payload of up to 1000kg and tow a braked trailer of up to 3500kg. And that payload is easy to secure, thanks to myriad hitching points all around the load bed for your straps and ropes, including the movable ones on the clever rail running along the side walls. 

The tough plastic liner provides protection against scratching the handsome red paint, too, although when securing a washing machine I noted that the strip of exposed body between the top of the bed’s back wall and the bottom of the cab’s rear window looked vulnerable.

Inside the double-length cab, you find a similar amount of space as you would in the Ford Focus, with good head and leg room for adults. It looks extra snazzy in Stormtrak spec, thanks to its exclusive seats upholstered in leather from the Raptor and ‘technical fabric’.

The dashboard is where the leap from this Ranger to the next will be most obvious, because it’s really starting to look its age now, with its small embedded touchscreen and analogue instrument dials. However, that doesn’t mean it’s bad to use. The software is up to date, being intuitive and loaded with all of the features you would expect; while the chunky physical controls for the air-con actually look to be in a much less accessible location in the forthcoming Ranger, due to the ‘requirement’ of a portrait-orientated laptop-sized screen.