THE SPECS

Ford Ranger Wild Trak

5 cylinder 3.2L diesel engine

Electric power-assisted steering

Third-generation Sync infotainment system

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3500kg towing capacity

Euro 5 emissions standards

$69,640

THE CAR

I'm trying to park this baby in an underground carpark with freakily low headroom and spaces designed for a hatchback - not The Boss of utes. A dude is sitting in his car, watching, and just as I'm thinking, "Gird your loins for mansplaining on 'How to Park a Ute'," he gets out of his car, comes over and says, "How are you liking it?" I explain I've only just taken possession, temporarily, of the truck, so I'm hardly qualified to say. "I love it," he says. "It's greaaaat for camping, just great. It's great for going fishing and for hunting." He's clearly smitten. Along with thousands of other New Zealanders. For reasons I will soon discover, this Ford ute is now the highest-selling vehicle in New Zealand. At the end of the day, I haul my bicycle into the spacious trailer, head for motorway and home.

THE DRIVE

I want to head for the hills; ford an epic river in this wild thing, but instead, we drive out west, to Kaitarakihi beach, near Cornwallis, for a fish. The gravel road is hardly testing its capabilities - V is for Versatile - but at least we got beyond the supermarket carpark. The Boss is packed with everything you'd need if you are camping/fishing/hunting: a 240 watt power inverter so you can have electricity in the middle of nowhere, a trailer big enough to carry a large tent, it can tow 3500kg, if you have that sort of hardware, and enough grunt to get there fast. It has a really attractive, spacious interior with fancy hand-stitching and partial leather finish on the comfy seats. It's a stylish, clean and very smooth ride. If I'm being picky, it's not ideal trying to park this puppy in tight spaces. Especially when people are watching. Cringe. You can't have everything, but this is as close to having everything as you'll get.

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