Brave early adopters may have exposed themselves to industrial size discomfort and road pace, but they had latched onto something fantastic. For a long while the merging of everyday comfort with the tenacity of a donkey was a tricky hack for many manufacturers and it was Ford, and not Toyota to our surprise, that managed to find a more convincing cross-culturally acceptable even-keel between the two extremes.
The Ranger ride quality is deeply impressive – smooth, calm and sure – and the ease of operation of its mechanical wares can be mastered by a pimply youth. Its fairly wide range of refined ecoboost engines is suited to different applications.
The five-passenger cab exudes an air equal to mid-level passenger cars with the toys to match. It’s even more spacious inside than a Focus. And then there is the loading bay. Hatchbacks and sedans of any dispensation or price cannot compete with it in terms of sheer loading.
There was a hand raised in defence of the Toyota Hilux, but the majority of judges felt that the Ranger is currently second to none. It was a ground-breaking car when it first arrived on the scene and in its newer clothes it loses none of its decorum. It’s a daily family runner, a Dad’s weekend garbage disposal unit and, where adventurous families are concerned, they can also try out the Dakar Rally during the January holidays.
– Phuti Mpyane