Categories: News

First review Ford Ranger MS-RT: the pick-up with Mustang technology

What is striking about the Ford Ranger MS-RT?

This late in the life cycle, Ford will no longer make major technical changes. You have to look for the innovations in the MS-RT purely in decoration and equipment. It is of course not as brutal as the Ranger Raptor or the also new Raptor Special Edition, but Ford has certainly opted for sporty accents with the MS-RT. You can recognize it from the front by the grid grille and the modified bumper with large black air intakes and integrated fog lamps at the bottom. Dark gray 20-inch alloy wheels are standard. That’s not one, but three sizes bigger than the Ranger Wolftrak has. Those fat wheels are not only tough, they also offer a little more steering feel on asphalt.

Ford has mounted a real diffuser at the rear and roof rails are standard. In the Netherlands, the Ranger MS-RT is only supplied with the so-called Supercab. This ‘one and a half’ cabin has two emergency seats in the back in most foreign countries. For tax reasons, this is not the case in the Netherlands. Compared to the base versions and the Wolftrak, the MS-RT is quite thick on the inside. The hard dashboard plastic is covered here with the mantle of leather love and trimmed with beautiful stitching. If you like to sit on leather, you don’t have to sit on the dashboard; the seats are also upholstered with cowhide. The three-position seat heating prevents winter buttocks. A reversing camera in turn ensures that you leave the derrière of the car undamaged.

What are the benefits of the Ford Ranger MS-RT?

The range of engines of the Ford Ranger is nice and clear. The midsize pick-up is only available with a four-cylinder diesel engine. The 170 hp entry-level model is available in the basic versions and the Wolftrak. In the MS-RT, the two-liter achieves a power of 213 hp and a torque of 500 Nm. In this sporty version, Ford combines it with the ten-speed automatic transmission, which is also in the Ford Mustang. The powertrain provides adequate performance: the 100th sprint is completed in about 10 seconds. You don’t have to worry about wheelspin, because four-wheel drive is standard. The transmission reacts alertly to changes in the position of the accelerator pedal or the slope of the road surface. If you nevertheless think you know better than all the chips and sensors, then you can do the pluses and minuses with a button on the side of the poker.

In the Netherlands you can hardly drive off-road, but if you are a beachcomber or forester, the Ranger is also excellent professional transport. Only then would we choose a version with smaller wheels and higher tires, such as the Wolftrak or Stormtrak. With its selectable low range and limited slip differential, greasy mud, sand, gravel and steep slopes are no problem, just mild challenges.

The loading platform is covered with a robust plastic, so you don’t have to worry about paint damage. This way you can throw in 1000’s of firewood, gravel tiles or tools without any worries. Still too little space: hang a fat trailer behind it; the draw weight is 3.5 tons.

What are the downsides of the Ford Ranger MS-RT?

Despite the beautiful decoration, the Ford Ranger MS-RT remains a commercial vehicle. You notice that from the rather vague controls; the 20-inch wheels with their flatter tires can’t hide that either. The rigid rear axle with leaf springs gives the car a somewhat bouncy character when unloaded, although that is not really bothersome. And whether it’s because we hardly ever drive new diesel cars these days – we found the engine noise to be quite prominent at lower speeds and during acceleration. The contractor or horse breeder will not lose sleep over it. But if you’re a high mileage business rider considering the Ranger for its looks and four-wheel drive, you’ll need to keep this in mind.

You can control the climate control and seat heating via the touchscreen or via the button panel below. Maybe you get used to it, but driving with route guidance, we were a few times inadvertently roasting our own buttocks, while we actually wanted to turn the air conditioning down a degree.

When will the Ford Ranger MS-RT come to the Netherlands and what are the prices?

The Ranger MS-RT is available immediately. The starting price is EUR 50,900. Now, as a private individual, you should not immediately hit the dealer at top speed, because then the final bill will be a lot higher. VAT and bpm are not included in this price. And we are not talking about a few grabs, but about many thousands of euros. In short, just like all pick-ups, the Ford Ranger is only interesting as a commercial vehicle.

What do I think of the Ford Ranger MS-RT?

Although I don’t belong to the target audience, I do have a thing for pick-ups. Maybe that’s because I lived on Curaçao for a while. There, in addition to a Japanese or Korean sedan, the average family almost always has a pick-up at the door. Often with a double cabin, because in Curaçao there is – in my opinion rightly – no tax rooster that crows at that. With the pick-up you can go to the beach with the whole family on Sundays. You can also use it if you have cut the spiky bushes in your yard with the machete and take the green waste to the landfill. Wonderful, such a practical workhorse that can take a beating and where a scratch or dent does not affect the appearance.

If I ever bought a pickup, the Ford Ranger stood a good chance. But as Raptor SE. It only looks really cruel, with its modified grille, the extended fenders and special striping. But more importantly: due to its modified rear axle with coil springs and wider track, it also drives a lot better. I am happy to take the reduced payload (600 kg) and lower towing weight (2500 kg) into the bargain …

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