Ford Ranger Platinum 2023 review: an intriguing alternative to an SUV

The Ford Ranger Platinum is a well-rounded upmarket pick-up, but it’s pricey as a result

  • 4.0 out of 5

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    The exterior of the Platinum will appeal to those looking for something more eye-catching than a traditional family-friendly SUV, and there are some welcome extra amenities inside, too. Only available as a five-seat double-cab, the interior features heated and ventilated driver and passenger memory seats with 10-way power adjustment, a leather steering wheel, some wood grain trim and a Bang and Olufsen eight-speaker sound system. The 360-degree camera is very responsive and extremely helpful in a vehicle this size. 

    Overall, it’s a pleasant place to spend time. We thought the Wildtrak would be able to challenge plenty of upmarket SUVs for cabin quality, and that’s even more true of the Platinum. All the frequently-used touchpoints are clad in leather and even the hard plastics are well-screwed together, so it certainly doesn’t feel cheap in there. Adults sitting in the front or back will have plenty of space and there are also lots of storage areas dotted around. 

    The steering at low speed feels incredibly light, and combined with the soft suspension and high centre of gravity, you’ll find the Platinum wobbles around a fair bit. The faster you go the more settled it feels, however, and at motorway speeds the Platinum becomes a decent cruiser, despite the noticeable wind noise. We were pretty impressed by the Ranger’s ride on 18-inch wheels, and there’s really no discernible difference when you switch up to the 20-inch rims: there’s a bit of shuffling from the off-road tyres, but larger potholes and bumps are soaked up just as well as in most SUVs.

    On-road refinement is almost on a par with many family SUVs (and potentially some luxury SUVs), but it’s off-road where the Ranger Platinum’s more utilitarian underpinnings shine through. The fairly self-explanatory driving modes range from Normal, Eco, Slippery, Mud and Sand with ‘Tow Haul’ for when you want to make use of the impressive 3,500kg towing capacity. We took the Platinum down a boggy lane which would’ve certainly caused a few SUVs to flounder, but the pick-up truck easily dealt with the conditions, with no sign of getting stuck. 

    Our depreciation figures of the new Ranger only extend to the Raptor currently, which has a pretty poor 45 per cent residual value after three years. That’s concerning for other Ranger models, but the performance-focused Raptor isn’t classed as an LCV and appeals to a more niche market. The Platinum’s huge 1,041kg payload means that, unlike the Ranger Raptor, the Platinum is classified as an LCV and should retain its value a little better. 

    Our test vehicle was also fitted with a rather swish powered roller shutter on the load bay that you can open and close with the key fob. At £1,800 excluding VAT, this feature doesn’t come cheap, however. 

    During our time with the Platinum, we tried it out in plenty of different environments and found it to be a smidge thirstier than the quoted 28mpg. The 24mpg we saw is probably a little unrepresentative, though, so if you’re careful, you could probably get quite close to the claimed economy figure.

    Model: Ford Ranger Platinum
    Price: £45,900 (ex VAT)
    Powertrain: Turbocharged 3.0-litre V6
    Transmission: 10-speed automatic four-wheel drive
    0-62mph: 8.7 seconds
    Economy/emissions: 28mpg/266g/km
    Payload: 1,041kg
    On sale: Now

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