The Ford Ranger is the best-selling pickup truck in Europe and now, much like its larger US cousin, the F-150, it's getting a premium line with more luxurious specs.
When you think of pickup trucks here in the UK you envisage workman, heavy lifting, dirt and grease. But the pickup is a workhorse that appeals to a much wider audience these days. In the US, these trucks are often kitted out with all the latest tech and luxury and are more likely to see a ski chalet than a building site.
Following the launch of the new Ranger Raptor, which saw a pickup with more off-road power than a 4x4, this model excels in a different way. The new Ford Ranger Platinum has a higher spec than many luxury SUVs on the market and has the benefit of a flatbed on the back for extra storage. Inside you get a five-seater cabin, trimmed in leather and the very latest in Ford's driving technology.
The new Platinum model is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine and uses an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system and 10-speed automatic transmission. It will tow up to 3,500kg (so perfect for a boat) and and carry over a tonne (more than enough for that jet ski or quad bike).
The truck sits on 20-inch allows, with privacy glass, day-time LED headlights and a soft-close tailgate. Inside, there's leather trimming, 10-way power adjusting leather seats and maple wood details. The cockpit features dual 12-inch screens for the cluster behind the wheel and for the centre console, running Ford's Sync 4A infotainment system. There's also a Bang & Olufsen sound system to make it sound great too.
In terms of driving technology it brings Active Park Assist, Lane Changing warnings and a 360-degree camera view. There's also adaptive cruise control, driver alert, auto high beam and head up alerts.
All this will set you back anything from £44k (plus VAT), which is another £8k more than even a well-specced Ranger Wildtrak but is a different level in looks and comfort. If you want a luxury pickup truck in the UK right now, this is the model to go for.
I'm still hopeful we will see hybrid models coming to the Ranger line-up, as the US has seen with the Maverick. A Ranger all-electric would also be amazing, but I suspect that is still a few years off.