Why are pick-up trucks so popular and the new Ford Ranger Raptor
Published on September 14th, 2022 | by Sophie West
The UK market used to be awash with American style pick-up trucks from the likes of Ford, VW, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and more; but this seems to have changed drastically with many manufacturers concentrating on other areas.
Why are pick-up trucks so popular?
The UK loves pick-up trucks, with around 53,000 being sold in 2019 alone. Not only do they look rugged and ready for any weather and terrain you throw at them, but they are also extremely practical with enough space to carry 5 people and loads of equipment in the flatbed at the back. So, they fit both customers who want one for work and lifestyle reasons.
Unlike a van or car, the open load space at the back is ideal for chucking in flatpack furniture, kayaks or even DIY supplies. If the motorways are closed on the way home, they can even take you off-road thanks to their 4×4 capability.
For those who drive for work, most even come under the same tax rules as vans, so they can offer some tax savings compared to regular cars.
What happened to the pick-up truck market?
According to the SMMT, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown, the entire pick-up truck market dropped by around 32% in 2020. Many manufacturers used up stock and never restarted production which saw the end of the Mercedes-Benz X Class, Isuzu D-Max and Mitsubishi L200 to name a few.
It’s not all doom and gloom for those pick-up vans as a couple of manufacturers, and luckily one of the popular ones, has made a comeback to the market.
What does the future hold?
It seems pretty positive! Mainly due to the collaboration of two big players – Ford and Volkswagen.
Both the recently revealed VW Amarok and Ford Ranger are being built at Ford’s factory in South Africa thanks to a global alliance in their commercial vehicle ranges. Although they are both built in the same factory with the same DNA, they both have their own brand appearances inside and out.
We briefly touched on the brand new VW Amarok back in July. With the popular pick-up being off the market for two years, it’s nice to see it back, and also continuing to concentrate on where the older model left off within the premium end of the market. The Amarok shares the centre section of the bodyshell with the Ford Ranger, from the base of the windscreen to the back of the passenger cab, but everything else is unique to VW.
Volkswagen say, ‘The Amarok’s premium character is underlined by features such as ambient lighting and a top-end sound system from Harman Kardon. As an outdoor companion, it stands out with improved off-road capability and optional V6 power. For those looking for a robust and reliable commercial vehicle, it’s broad variety of new features, such as the 3.5t trailer coupling for all automatic transmissions and other convenient details, are ready for any challenges. Whatever the requirements may be: The new Amarok meets them effortlessly.’
We aren’t sure about prices or overall specs at the moment, but we’re sure they will be released soon.
The UK’s most popular pick-up, with a 40% market share, is back with a brand-new look inside and out. Unlike the Amarok the Ford Ranger Raptor is available to order now with some stock available for delivery before the end of the year (2022).
The Ranger Raptor is available with a 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine and a Bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel. Inside the Ranger has had a complete overhaul. Ford claim the new seats are inspired by fighter jets. A 12.4-inch dash and 12-inch infotainment display, with Ford’s updated SYNC4, are standard with a 10-speaker B&O sound system.
The 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine gives you 284bhp and 362lb/ft of torque. Twinned with a 10-speed automatic gearbox and a four-wheel drive system it definitely gives you a ‘truckload’ of power.
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