Review : 2022 Ford Ranger

Published: Mar 8, 2022 11:55 AM

For years, Australia’s best-selling cars are not actually cars, but 4×4 Utes. The popularity of pickups over regular cars is not surprising. With advancements in design, materials and ergonomics, modern pickups are almost as comfortable as spacious as SUVs but significantly more capable, tough-looking and safer. They can tow, carry or cross deserts and people who like spending time outdoors or have small businesses depend on such vehicles. That is why in 2021, Ford Ranger was Australia’s second best selling vehicle with over 50,000 units sold and just a few cars behind the Toyota Hilux that came first. Such a unique position demands a closer look at this important model.

Even though the current generation Ranger was introduced back in 2011, several refreshes and constant improvements made this model relevant and popular. However, we can soon expect a completely new model.

The Ranger Range

The key to the popularity of any Ute or pickup is to offer as many variants and versions as possible. These vehicles are mainly work tools, and manufacturers primarily aim for the commercial market. That is why Ford has Ranger as Low and Hi-Rider and in all cab and drive train configurations. It means that you can a Ranger starting with a single cab and exposed chassis all the way to a fully-equipped and upscale double cab Wildtrack model. Ford also offers an even more exclusive and off-road capable Ranger Raptor, but it is regarded as a unique model, so that we will feature it in a separate article. For commercial purposes, Ranger is offered in 4×2 configuration (Low, Hi-Rider), and in higher grades, the 4×4 drive train is standard.

The Ranger range starts with the XL model, behaving in all cab and driving train versions. It comes with 16-inch steel wheels 8.0-inch touch screen on the centre console with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. This model is also equipped with Autonomous Emergency Braking and Dynamic Stability Control. However, the most critical thing on Ranger XL is heavy-duty suspension and optional locking rear differential, which clearly shows to whom this model is intended.

The Ranger XLS is a step up from XL, and it only comes in a double cab configuration with a 4×4 drivetrain. In the interior, buyers of this grade will find basically the same features as in XL, with the only difference being the dual-zone climate control (option).

The Ranger XLT is next in line, and it is offered in double or super cab configuration with chassis or pickup bed option. This model can be recognized by chrome roll bar behind the cab, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, chrome grille frame and chrome side mirrors. In the interior, Ranger XLT has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite navigation as standard, adaptive cruise control and XLT tech pack, which includes Active Park Assist system.

The top-of-the-line grade is Ranger Wildtrak which is easily noticeable for its unique exterior details, front bumper, roof rack and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Wildtrak comes with a power roller shutter over the pickup bed, privacy glass and LED headlights. Inside, you will find specific, power Wildtrak seats, leather inserts, ambient lightning, carpet instead of vinyl floor mats and much more.

The Engine and Drive Train

As expected, Ranger’s engine lineup includes only diesel engines, and all three units are very interesting. The first one is a well-known 2.2-litre four-cylinder with 118 kW and 385 Nm of torque. Although not very powerful, this dependable engine is standard on XL and represents a good choice for those who need durable units strictly for commercial purposes. The next engine on offer is a 3.2-litre five-cylinder with 147 kW and 470 Nm of torque if you want more power. This motor is ideal for people who use their Rangers for towing heavy trailers. However, the most interesting engine is a 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo four-cylinder available on XTL and Wildtrak grades. It is the most modern and technically advanced engine on offer. With 157 kW and 500 Nm of torque, it is also the most powerful and environmentally friendly. This unit is also standard on Range Raptor.

Ford also has three different transmission choices, and the baseline models get a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. However, if you choose the Bi-Turbo four-cylinder, you will get a modern 10-speed automatic as a part of the package, which will further enhance the performance and driving experience.

The Practicality

Since the Ranger is purchased by people who demand practicality and usability, we have to tell you more about this aspect. With an overall length of 5.13 meters and weight ranging from 1.7 to 2.1 tones (depending on the version and options), this is, by all means, a large vehicle with plenty of interior space. Since there are a few options for pickup bed, the capacity can vary, but all versions are capable of carrying 1.1 to 1.3 tones and tow 3,5 tones (with tow brakes). Those results are up to par or slightly better than the competitors, making this one of the reasons why the Ranger is so popular.

The Conclusion

Despite coming the close second in an all-out war with Toyota Hilux, Ranger is, in fact, offering more to its customers. With the base price starting at $29,190 and going all the way to a substantial $79,000 for Ranger Raptor, this is, for the most part, an affordable machine. However, just like Hilux, it had a long life on the market. It is starting to show its age, so the next model will be significantly improved and be better than still very competent and good Ranger T6.

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Mar 8, 2022 11:55 AM

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