Ford recorded their all-time best ever month for commercial vehicle sales in March and contributing to those 21,315 registrations, firmly in the top three in its segment, is the Ford Ranger pick-up truck.
Pick-up trucks are considered light-commercial vehicles in the UK â€“ which means they come with a host of benefit-in-kind and VAT benefits for canny business buyers, provided they can carry a payload of more than one tonne.
Ford Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab
Price: Â£33,404.64 (Â£37610.64 as tested)
Engine: 3.2-litre, five-cylinder, diesel
Top speed: 109mph
0-62mkph: 10.9 seconds
Economy: 33.6mpg combined
C02 emissions: 221g/km
But nobody wants to ferry the family around in something industrial, bare bones and more suited to a squad of labourers than the darling kids â€“ which is where blinged-up, luxe five-seaters like the Wildtrak Double Cab come in.
Our test model came with Fordâ€™s Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, rear-view camera, sat-nav, leather seats and steering wheel, a coolbox for your lunch and more ambient lighting than a Sigur Ros show.
Every bit as well equipped as most high-end mass-market saloons or SUVs, the Ranger adds a feeling of imperviousness it would be difficult to match without a MOD connection, a proper 4×4 system with selectable low-range gearbox and a flatbed big enough to shift a pool table.
To drive, the Ranger is surprisingly refined. Thereâ€™s a lot of wind noise, which youâ€™d expect from something with the aerodynamics of a three-bedroom semi, but beyond that the cabin was quiet, even at motorway speeds.
When a vehicle is almost six feet tall you expect it to wobble around a bit in the corners â€“ but the suspension is surprisingly stiff under normal driving conditions and itâ€™s more car-like to drive than youâ€™d expect. Despite the new electric power steering system, introduced for the first time on this generation of Ranger, you canâ€™t get away from the fact that it feels massive.
If youâ€™re tempted to take the plunge and opt for a Ranger as your daily driver donâ€™t expect it to handle like a Kuga or Ecosport in the city.
Our test car was equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox which has a pleasingly short shift compared with some manual pick-ups Iâ€™ve driven.
The 200 horsepower 3.2-litre diesel engine under our test carâ€™s massive bonnet powers the Ranger from nought to 62 in a shade under 11 seconds and, Ford say, will still give you a combined mpg figure of 33.6.
Over the course of my test I covered more than 600 miles and the demonstrator wasnâ€™t far off at 28.5. The bulk of those miles were on the motorway, however, and the stop-start of city driving was less forgiving.
It might be classed as a commercial vehicle on paper, but Iâ€™m not testing the Ranger as a work van, Iâ€™m testing it as a family car â€“ because thatâ€™s why trim levels like â€˜Wildtrakâ€™ exist.
Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s brilliant on the building site â€“ and itâ€™s a nice place to be and not at all bad to drive â€“ but the one significant drawback that would put me off buying a pick-up as opposed to a similarly specced large SUV is that the big load bay is absolutely useless for transporting anything small, like bags of shopping, school bags, buggies and laptop bags â€“ you know, all the stuff that you expect a family car to be able to handle.Even with the bed liner and assorted anchor points itâ€™s simply too big for a typical family boot load and we ended up with assorted shopping bags around our ankles in the cabin most of the time so our eggs didnâ€™t scramble before we got home.
And the other drawback would be the price. Iâ€™m not self employed and Iâ€™m not entitled to to a company car so were I to consider the Ranger Wildtrak Iâ€™d need to pay full whack which, for our test model was Â£37,610.64 including options.
There are much cheaper ways to scramble an egg.