The recent 2013 International Pick-Up Awards saw Ford’s relatively new Ranger model come out on top, beating off strong competition from the likes of the Isuzu D-Max and the Volkswagen Amarok, which took second and third respectively.
The awards, hosted by Fleet Transport Magazine at the EXPO 12 event in Dublin, were the culmination of several rounds of extensive testing. Much of this was performed at the infamously tough Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, one of Europe’s leading locations for vehicle development.
Praise for the eventual winner was lavish, with the consensus among journalists being that the Ranger exhibited the “perfect blend of on-road comfort and stability with off-road capability”, as described by Irish judge Jarlath Sweeney.
Ford has worked hard to ensure that their new vehicle is worthy of its award with the Ranger now delivering increased payload and towing capability, as well as a whole host of innovative features designed to increase comfort and driver assistance.
The second-placed Isuzu D-Max also compared favourably to other offerings with journalists praising its “balanced, consistent and robust” build quality and off-road capability. Like Ford’s Ranger, Isuzu has also been busy ensuring that its entry into this crowded marketplace is as competitive as possible, choosing to concentrate on aspects like off-road performance as well as fuel economy and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Events such as the International Pick-Up Awards serve to highlight the increasing quality and reliability of the modern pick-up. With competition these days so fierce, it’s a credit to manufacturers such as Ford, Isuzu and Volkswagen that they are willing to invest so much effort in creating vehicles that are built to endure the huge variety of tasks they are faced with.
Gone are the days when one could rely purely on brand loyalty alone. The awards were a reminder that to be a success in this field requires constant innovation and an eye for detail, which makes the top-performing vehicles stand out from the crowd.