The first thing you notice about any vehicle, is the exterior – if it looks good, it always leaves a good first impression.

That certainly goes on the positive side for those taking a gander at Ford’s new Ranger Wildtrak. It is a head turner, without any doubt.

It's painted front fender grill, takes away the work horse look and together with the roof rails, side steps, 18-inch machined alloy wheels and tinted privacy glass, it's as much a 'car' than a pick-up.

But, teamed with the new powerful 2-litre EcoBlue engine and the 10-speed automatic gearbox, it's appeal stretches far beyond that. So, for farmers, that means plenty of pulling power and practicality to do the job – but a quick wash out and you can take the family for weekends away.

Inside, it has a simple but comfortable cab and I decided to take it on journey which would test both its road handling long distance and its ability to switch to some arduous climbing and serious work.

The 2-litre engine which is now the mainstay of the range, can take it from 0-60 in under 10 seconds and with an fuel consumption average or around 36mpg making it amongst the best in class in this sector. With 210bhp and 500Nm of torque, it is an easy drive both on and off road and plenty of power for towing.

Ford has a great big lump of a 3.2-litre turbo diesel as one of the options in the Ranger – the other was a 2.2-litre turbo diesel – and the ability of that six-cylinder to pull like a train was pretty legendary. It was an ideal tow vehicle and so there was, understandably, a bit of scepticism on my part that a mere two-litre could cut the mustard, even though nominally it is about 10bhp more powerful.

Well it managed that in spades and a friend who has already had two Ranger and had just swapped his 3.2-litre version for the newbie, was also impressed. He rated its pulling power as pretty comparable and even ahead of the six cylinder because of the influence of the really excellent 10 (yes that's right, double digits) speed gearbox.

It drives like a car, with good acceleration when required and a smooth ride. As usual, it is worth remembering that you are driving a pick-up, as it easy to forget and it is still light in the back end, when cornering without a load.

The seats are supportive – even, ahem, for the more robust amongst us – and everything is at your fingertips. The sat nav is an easy to use system, while hooking up to the mobile phone is simple and straightforward.

There are two USB charging points, so no fighting with the kids and dual heating controls produce a similar solution for you and the passenger.

Wildtrak versions get partial leather seats and steering wheel, allow an easy wipe down after a wet mucky day and the sunglasses holder in the roof is one of these things, when you’ve had one before you realise just how handy it is – and not just for sunglasses.

It is fair to say that, generally speaking, pick-ups and cars are tailored more toward the male physique than the woman. But, for the many woman farmers looking for this type of vehicle there are several small but equally important points, which make this a comfortable drive for them too according to her indoors.

Firstly, the head rests point straight up, so you are able to relax your head back. Because they are not angled to touch your head constantly that causes no issues for any woman driving with their hair tied up, or a brimmed hat – both of which are compulsory during lambing time, apparently.

Unisex harmony is restored with plenty of adequate and well-designed coffee holders, together with a cool box in the centre console, all adding to the driving experience.

The cruise control is easy to set and use and rain sensitive windshield wipers and heated windscreens, allow for a quick get-away when it's colder.

It also has parking censors and rear-view camera for those of both sexes with limited spacial awareness! Like most new vehicles these days, it has that (annoying?) lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition and collision mitigation system all of which can be switched off if not required.

Faced with the less relaxing drive up a steep, rough, farm hill track, it felt like a good horse, which stopped for a moment, took a good look, then ploughed on regardless. Admittedly, it was not pulling a trailer at the time and I’m not convinced that this would have been quite so easy had that been the case, however the 18-inch tyres and pulling power available made an easy and smooth job of climbing a very steep gradient.

Together with a clear outlook, ABS, ESP and roll over mitigation included in the Wildtrak package, it felt like being in safe hands.

The off-road 'pack' is standard, which includes underbelly protection for the engine, transfer case and fuel lines to reduce the risk of damage on uneven ground. This also includes an electronic locking rear differential, to provide increased traction for when it really gets rough and tough.

The Ranger Wildtrak is definitely one of the best all rounders on the market, being pretty stylish and functional. It could work on the hill all day and then take you and the family out to the pub for dinner at night and be quite comfortable in both environments.