Ford Ranger

If it’s oomph you’re after

Interest in double-cab pickup trucks shows no sign of tailing off, and Ford has been playing catch-up after Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan recently brought new models to market. Still badged Ranger, Ford’s pickup gains a new interior for extra comfort and a redesigned exterior look. It keeps the 2.5l engine and five-speed manual transmission, but gains more oomph – power is up from 109hp to 143hp with the help of common-rail injection, while 330Nm of torque is available at 1800rpm. The Ranger also gets a 3t towing capacity.

FW CitroenXTR

Mud and snow tyres for off-roading

Keen to avoid the costly engineering of a four-wheel drive system, Citroen has opted to enhance traction on its Berlingo van with a limited slip differential. Called XTR+, the front-wheel-drive 90hp van gets more grip from a multi-plate, friction-locking differential that requires no input from the driver. In keeping with the enhanced traction theme and the likelihood that the van could stray off-road, Citroen has fitted the XTR+ with larger diameter 380mm (15in) mud and snow tyres that replace the 360mm (14in) standard items, underbody skid plates and 40mm of extra ground clearance. Berlingo XTR+ costs £1500 more than the standard van.

Nissan Monster

Monster has all the tricks

Nissan’s Navara Monster is based on the US-built Frontier pickup that uses a 265hp 4l, V6 petrol engine taken from the Pathfinder 4×4. The trick-truck features a custom-made grille guard with winch mount and skidplate, heavily revised body and a custom-built suspension system. Riding on 900mm (36in) BF Goodrich Baja TA race tyres, the Navara Monster still has room in the rear for tools and a few bags of milk powder.

Hilux

More power for your money – soon

More power could soon be under the bonnet of Toyota’s overhauled Hilux pickup. The standard 102hp D4-D engine carried over from the previous model is to get an intercooler raising its output to about 130hp, and there’s talk of a 3l engine packing a livelier 170hp. The 130hp engine upgrade is likely to be available towards the end of the year.

FW-VWCrafter

Creature comforts from crafter

Crafter is the replacement for Volkswagen’s LT van and comes with four and five-cylinder engines rated from
88-163hp, combined with either six-speed manual or the firm’s automated manual gearbox, Shiftmatic. A dash-mounted gearlever frees up cabin space, while creature comforts include electric windows, generous storage areas for documents, drinks bottles and maps. Soft-touch, durable materials are used to trim the cabin, giving Crafter car-like levels of comfort and finish.

Astravan

Longer wheelbase

The Astravan, based on the company’s Astra car, offers 1.3l, 1.7l and 1.9l turbo diesel engines pumping out 90hp, 100hp and 120hp. The two smaller diesels get six-speed manual boxes, while the 1.9l gets the option of an auto box. The new model has a slightly longer wheelbase, with more cabin and load area space. And its payload has been raised to 650kgs.

Merc Sprinter

Multiple choice, high spec

There are a number of basic variants of Mercedes’ new Sprinter given the choices in length, roof height, body style and engines available. Euro 4 emissions-compliant diesel engines range from a 2.2l, 88hp four-cylinder up to a 184hp 3l V6 with 400Nm of torque. Specification is high – six-speed transmission, driver’s airbag, remote central locking, electric windows, wide-angle mirrors and adaptive electronic stability programme.

L200 Tipper

Packing in the power

Mitsubishi showed its prototype tipper concept, based on the single-cab L200 pickup truck. An electro-hydraulic power pack is used to raise and lower the 2.3m-long, 1.65m-wide steel tipper deck from its sub-frame – all of which are powder-coated. If successful, the single-cab L200 tipper could be joined by a club cab version, offering more in-cab space. Payload is yet to be confirmed, though the firm is confident it will exceed 1000kg.

Ford Transit

To boldly go

Ford’s sixth-generation transit  range brings many improvements: bold exterior styling, a revised dashboard and instrumentation, and plenty of storage solutions. Cab ergonomics see the gear lever moved to the dashboard – giving a clear floor and walk-through access from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s side. A new range of 2.2l and 2.4l Duratorq TDCi diesel engines complete the changes. Prices from £13,000.