It feels like everything is about bakkies at the moment. And why shouldn’t it be? We are a bakkie-loving country and the Ford Ranger is right at the top of the popular list. Ford sells more Rangers than Toyota does Hilux’s when it comes to double cabs. That is a huge feat.
“The current Ranger has been a fantastic success story for Ford in South Africa where it remains one of the country’s top-selling vehicles, and the leading LCV export to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
The enhanced Ford Ranger was recently launched up the Garden Route in the Western Cape which is home to some of the most beautiful mountain passes this country has to offer. It was the perfect place to put this new Ranger through its paces. And I am happy to report that, like the roads, it did not disappoint.
What is new on this ‘new’ Ranger then? From a styling point of view, not that much. There are a few tweaks to the grille and headlights. Inside has also seen a few subtle updates, one being that Ford has darkened the cabin. There are a host of new safety features which include pre-collision assist, active park assist, and keyless entry. There are a few tech features such as Sync3 with Satellite Navigation systems which have made it to the standard list of the XLTs.
But by far the biggest change comes in the form of new engines. Ford will now offer a 2.0-litre turbodiesel or a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine in its double-cab line-up. The turbodiesel sees outputs of 132 kW and 420 Nm of torque whereas the bi-turbo produces 157 kW and 500 Nm.
As much as the 2.0-litre turbodiesel is an impressive engine, the Ranger feels a little too heavy for it and so gives the drive a rather lethargic feel. You will be happy with the extra power and torque in the bi-turbo, especially if you plan on towing anything.
But where the Ranger continues to excel is off-road. Nothing much has changed here then. We took this Ranger on a private mountain pass which at times was rather harrowing, not because the car wasn’t capable, but because the cliffs were far too steep for my liking. But the Ranger had a whale of a time and didn’t slip up once. It was only I who was gripping on for dear life.
With the new Triton having just arrived, the Ranger’s updates have come at a really good time. Although, I can’t say that the Ranger needed any improvement. It is an excellent product that will certainly continue its success story.
FORD RANGER LINE-UP AND PRICINGSingle Cab:
Ford Ranger 2,2 TDCi Base 5MT 4×2 LR: R287 100
Ford Ranger 2,2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×2: R359 800