New Ford Ranger (2015) First Drive

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The new and improved Ford Ranger has arrived in South Africa, boasting fresh styling updates, new features, improved engine efficiency and higher levels of refinement. The new Ranger goes on sale at dealers nationwide from November 2015.

The much anticipated new Ford Ranger has launched in South Africa with the model range now consisting of 33 models with Single Cab, Super Cab, Double Cab and Wildtrak derivatives on offer. The new Ford Ranger was launched to the media in Cape Town this week and we were there to experience the changes and to give the new Ranger a first drive.

What Makes The New Ford Ranger Special?

Hardcore off-road and adventure enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the new Ford Ranger doesn’t just look pretty, it’s superbly equipped to tackle challenging terrain too. The new Ranger features an 800mm wading depth with a ground clearance of 230 mm and with an electronically controlled transfer case, 4x4 drivers are able to easily switch from 4x2 to 4x4 mode via a knob on the centre console. Drivers can also engage low-range when the going gets tough and the Ranger is fitted with an electronic locking rear differential which provides additional traction when needed. The suspension has also been reworked and fined-tuned to improve ride quality and handling. Maximum towing capacity is rated at 3 500 kg. New Ford Ranger Ford has done an excellent job to enhance the styling of the Ranger, and this new model is certainly right up there in the looks department. Key styling changes include a bold hood that leads into a new trapezoidal grille flanked by modern projector headlights, giving the Ranger a wide, imposing stance. The new look is further emphasised with a brush guard in the lower bumper that incorporates the recessed driving lamps, which makes a clear distinction from the outgoing model. Exterior colours remain much the same and the Wildtrak version gets a new ‘Pride Orange’ while each Ranger model line has its own distinguishing features with varying grilles, bumpers and side mirror combinations. The interior has been refined to look more sleek and modern as seen in the new ‘Beam’ style dashboard which is evident on all models except the Base and XL-Plus derivatives, which use the same dash as the outgoing model. The new Ranger also benefits from equipment upgrades including a new dual 4-inch TFT instrument cluster, giving the driver access to vehicle information, 4x4 data, entertainment, phone and climate control details via the multi-function steering wheel. This new interior layout is also found in the recently launched Ford Everest. The Wildtrak derivative also benefits from a handy 230V power socket which allows occupants to power a laptop or charge devices while out in the wild. DSC_1306 Ford’s SYNC 2 in-car connectivity system also makes its debut in the new Ranger and is available on all XLT and Wildtrak derivatives. Using an 8-inch touchscreen, the system provides access to functions such as phone, multimedia and climate control functions. An SD card slot and two USB ports are included too. The new Ford Ranger is also packed with driver assist systems which include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Forward Alert, Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid, front and rear Park Assist, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and a Driver Impairment Monitor. Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is standard on all models except the Base derivatives and includes Roll Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist, and Hill Descent Control. In terms of passive safety, the new Ranger is fitted with ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. A maximum of 7 airbags are fitted.

Engine Lineup

Topping the engine lineup is the 3.2-litre turbodiesel offering 147 kW and 470 Nm of torque. Ford claims that the efficiency of this engine has bee improved by up to 18%. There's also revised 2.2-litre turbodiesel which now offers 118 kW (110 kW previously) with 385 Nm of torque (375 Nm previously) as well as a mid-power 2.2-litre turbodiesel which provides 88 kW and 285 Nm of torque. For petrol lovers, there’s a 2.5-litre petrol engine carried over from the previous range which offers 122 kW and 226 Nm of torque. Depending on the derivative you choose, these engines are mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, while a 5-speed manual is used for the mid-power diesel engine and the petrol engine. Buyers have a total of six trim levels to choose from including Base, XL, XL-Plus, XLS, XLT and the range-topping Wildtrak.

How does the new Ranger drive?

The launch of the new Ford Ranger took us some two hours out of Cape Town to the beautiful Matroosberg region where we had the chance to sample the mid-spec 2.2-litre turbodiesel 4x4 XLS model. Not only is this model comfortable to sit in and drive, but it’s superbly refined too. You really have to listen hard to hear the engine working under bonnet and the ride quality is as good as it gets in this category. Driving the new Ranger makes you question if you are driving a bakkie at all, because it feels so composed and well-mannered that it could easily be an upmarket SUV. It really is good. This model came fitted with a smooth-shifting 6-speed manual transmission and in-gear acceleration is excellent making highway driving a pleasure. New Ford Ranger After lunch, it was time to get down and dirty with the new Ranger and tackle some 4x4 obstacles. With low-range 'box engaged, the Ranger dominated the obstacles with ease. The small 4x4 course posed no threat to the new Ranger and so the launch party proceeded to try conquer a 4x4 trail up a nearby mountain. This 4x4 trail was steep with challenging terrain that would put the Ranger through its paces. Low-range did the job just fine and some tricky sections demanded intervention from the rear diff lock which worked well to restore shot nerves. The new Ranger scaled the tough 4x4 trail with relative ease and coming back down the mountain gave us the opportunity to test the Hill Descent Control, which made light work of the challenge. The new Ranger gives experienced and amateur 4x4 drivers the confidence they need to get the job done and the vehicle certainly impressed us with its composure in challenging situations. New Ford Ranger Back on level ground, we finally had the chance to test the range-topping Wildtrak derivative. The interior is impressive in design and detail and the new instrument cluster and 8-inch touchscreen is a pleasant addition to the Wildtrak. Performance in the Wildtrak is commendable too and like the models below it, the ride quality is exceptionally smooth and refined. This new Wildtrak makes driving on gravel feel like a smooth tar road and that 6-speed automatic transmission works seamlessly to get the most out of the engine. We also had the opportunity to test the Wildtrak’s Adaptive Cruise Control out on the road and it makes driving so effortless. The system is activated via the steering wheel controls and sensors detect traffic up ahead, and applies the brakes if necessary and accelerates again to the set speed once the road ahead is clear. The driver is only required to steer. With Adaptive Cruise Control activated, we managed to achieve an excellent fuel consumption figure of 8.6L/100km in the Wildtrak which was hugely impressive for a bakkie with a large 3.2-diesel engine. New Ford Ranger Overall, the new Ranger gets so much right in terms of styling, performance, capability and efficiency. The changes have certainly put the Ranger in a stronger position to face its most serious challenge - the arrival of the new Toyota Hilux early next year. In terms of pricing, Ford South Africa has been tight-lipped and with the new Ranger expected to reach dealerships in the next few weeks leading up to November 2015, definite pricing can be expected to be released soon. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised if pricing increases by between 3% and 4% across the range. We will keep you updated as soon as more pricing information is released and we will hopefully have the new Ranger on test soon too, so stay tuned!

Ford Ranger Price in South Africa

RANGER 2.5 PETROL

CHASSIS CAB

2.5 Base Chassis Cab 4x2 5MT Low Rider 4x2 (122kW) - R191 900

SINGLE CAB

2.5 Base 4x2 5MT Low Rider 4x2 (122kW) - R212 900

RANGER 2.2 DIESEL

CHASSIS CAB

2.2 TDCi Base Chassis Cab 4x2 5MT (88kW) - R202 900

SINGLE CAB

2.2 TDCi Base 4x2 5MT (88kW) - R224 900

2.2 TDCi XL 4x2 6MT (118kW) - R284 900

2.2 TDCi XL 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R341 900

2.2 TDCi XLS 4x2 6MT (118kW) - R342 900

2.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R399 900

SUPER CAB

2.2 TDCi Base 4x2 5MT (88kW) - R254 900

2.2 TDCi XL 4x2 6MT (118kW) - R335 900

2.2 TDCi XL 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R392 900

DOUBLE CAB

2.2 TDCi Base 4x2 5MT (88kW) - R284 900

2.2 TDCi XL 4x2 6MT (118kW) - R339 900

2.2 TDCi XL 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R396 900

2.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R485 900

2.2 TDCi XLS 4x2 6MT (118kW) - R428 900

2.2 TDCi XLT 4x2 6MT (118kW) - R458 900

RANGER 3.2 DIESEL

SINGLE CAB

3.2 TDCi XLS 4x2 6MT (147kW) - R379 900

3.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 6MT (147kW) - R436 900

SUPER CAB

3.2 TDCi XLS 4x2 6MT (147kW) - R399 900

3.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 6MT (147kW) - R456 900

3.2 TDCi XLT 4x4 6AT (147kW) - R499 900

DOUBLE CAB

3.2 TDCi XLT 4x2 6MT (147kW) - R497 900

3.2 TDCi XLT 4x2 6AT (147kW) - R509 900

3.2 TDCi XLT 4x4 6MT (147kW) - R554 900

3.2 TDCi XLT 4x4 6AT (147kW) - R566 900

3.2 TDCi Wildtrak 4x2 6MT (147kW) - R526 900

3.2 TDCi Wildtrak 4x2 6AT (147kW) - R537 900

3.2 TDCi Wildtrak 4x4 6AT (147kW) - R596 900

RANGER XL-PLUS

2.2 TDCi XL-Plus Chassis Cab 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R343 900

2.2 TDCi XL-Plus 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R365 900

2.2 TDCi XL-Plus Double Chassis Cab 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R396 900

2.2 TDCi XL-Plus Double Cab 4x4 6MT (118kW) - R419 900

OPTIONS

Metallic Paint - R750

Base Safety Pack including Dual Front Airbags, ABS with EBD, Beltminder (driver) - R6 210

Manual Air Conditioner - R8 000

16" Alloy Wheels - R6 540

XLS Pack including Chrome Steel Bumper, Rear-view Camera, Rear Parking Sensors, Auto Headlamps, Rain Sensing Wipers - R8 300

Spare Wheel Lock - R840

Electronic Locking Rear Differential -  R4 130

Vinyl Floor - R810

Steel Bullbar - R18 000

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