Ford revitalised the dual cab ute market when it released its all new Ranger back in September 2011. The new Ranger and its sister Mazda BT50 introduced new levels of power and comfort to the Ute market.
Starting at around $23,000 RDAP for the single cab 2WD variant through to around $65,000 (approx) RDAP for the Wildtrak, the Ranger covers the full spectrum of Utes.
Ranger comes in three model variants, three cab styles and two body styles. In addition to the three transmission choices, a 5 speed manual and 6 speed manual and automatic there are three new engines.
Leading the way is Ranger’s new 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder diesel engine with a substantial 470 Nm of torque and power output of 147 kW. Fuel consumption is 9.6 L/100 km on the Wildtrak 4×4. The new 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110 kW and consumes as little as 7.6 L/100 km in a combined cycle. The 2.5-litre Duratec four-cylinder petrol engine now delivers 226 Nm of torque and power at 122 kW. The two-wheel drive model consumes just 9.8 L/100 km in a combined cycle.
Internally the Ranger is spacious, well laid out and efficient. There is adequate head and shoulder room and the rear passengers will not be cramped.
The new Ranger comes with smart technologies including Bluetooth®1, USB and iPod2 integration and voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, and mobile phone are now standard on all models. Similarly, cruise control is standard fitment across the entire range. Dual-zone climate control is fitted to all XLT and Wildtrak models and the range-leading Wildtrak 4×4 will come with a five-inch colour screen with satellite navigation and a rear parking camera.
The Ford Ranger was amongst the first dual cab utes in the segment to achieve a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. Ranger is equipped with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard on all models. DSC includes Hill Descent Control, Hill Launch Assist, Trailer Sway Control, Adaptive Load Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Emergency Brake Light and Roll-Over Mitigation.
Ranger also offers new passive safety technologies, with standard across all cab styles – side curtain airbags, newly designed side thorax airbags which deploy from the driver and front passenger seat bucket seats only and all new frontal impact airbags are available for the driver and passenger, along with seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters.
The Ranger can tow up to 3,500kg with a towball rating of 350kg. However it doesn’t feel like you are towing anything at all. Water wading capability is 800mm and a payload up to 1528Kg. Ground clearance is up to 237mm.
The Ford Ranger certainly set the benchmarks by which other Utes are now measured. It is an excellent towing vehicle, comfortable both on and off road and the powerful diesel engine mated with the 6 speed automatic is a gem. It is the choice for serious off road drivers and for towing.
What is Good
• On Road Handling
• internal space
• Towing capacity
What is Not so Good
• High sides on tub
• MFD button
• Foam visible around windscreen
Model Ford Ranger XLT
Model Price $60,034 RDAP
Engine 3.2L TDCI 5 Cylinder
Drivetrain 6sp Auto
Power 147 Kw @ 3,000 rpm
Torque 470 Nm @ 1,500 rpm
Safety 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions g/km 246
Green Vehicle Rating 2.5 Star
Fuel (ADR comb) 9.2 L/100Km
Tow Capacity – Max 3500 kg
Tow Ball Rating 350 kg
Warranty 3yr/ 100,000 km with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 89/100
Behind the Wheel 8
Ride & Handling 8
Fit for Purpose 8
Towing Ability 10
Off Road Ability 8
Value for Money 7
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