The new Ford Ranger has just gone on sale and many of you have been asking what's actually new? Well, here are 5 key changes.
The new Ford Ranger bakkie is available in single-, crew- and double-cab configurations. It's been on the market for some time in South Africa and has been a finalist in the #CarsAwards – powered by WesBank numerous times. The Ford Ranger is sold in 149 countries and a substantial number of those vehicles are assembled right here in Pretoria, South Africa.
The latest generation of bakkies have really begun to move into the leisure and premium markets, so Ford has had to raise its game in the segment. The 2019 Ford Ranger has been subjected to an in-depth overhaul and while changes on the outside appear minimal, we can assure you there is a lot of new goodness under its sheet metal.
Ford's new 2.0-litre bi-turbo unit is fitted to a 10-speed gearbox.
There are 2 new engines offered in the Ford Ranger, although the outgoing engines are still for sale. The new-gen 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engines are available in 2 flavours; single turbo and bi-turbo, and both are assembled in South Africa at Ford's plant in Port Elizabeth. The single turbo option offers up 132 kW and 430 Nm, with the bigger bi-turbo setup delivering 157 kW and 500 Nm. The latter engine is available only in the Wildtrak and the soon-to-be-launched Ranger Raptor. We have experienced both powerplants at the vehicle's local launch and have come away impressed with the power delivery and refinement. Both engines are also surprisingly quiet and fuel efficient.
The new Ford Ranger 10-speed automatic gearbox, with 10 low-range gears as well in 4x4 offerings.
Joining the new engines is an all-new 10-speed automatic gearbox. This 10-speed transmission will also be available in the soon-to-be-launched updated Ford Mustang and it currently does duty overseas in the popular Ford F-150 pickup. You'd think a 10-speed automatic gearbox would battle to correctly find the right ratio, but amazingly the software and what Ford calls 'real-time adaptive shift-scheduling' ensures the Ranger is always in the most appropriate gear for performance and efficiency. Another benefit of having the additional ratios is the engine doesn't have to work as hard, resulting in a slight improvement in fuel economy.
With a tweak to the suspension, the Ford Ranger is claimed to ride better
One of the annoying features of bakkie ownership is the ride quality. Typically, body-on-frame assembly doesn't make for the smoothest ride and unless you're willing to put some weight on the rear axle, the ride quality will always be a bit jiggly. Ford claims to have solved some of the ride issues by tweaking the suspension. The front anti-roll bar has been repositioned aft of the axle which improves roll control and in turn decreases the front spring rates. Does it work? Yes, to an extent, as the ride feels a bit more poised and less wallowing. Ford has also changed the damper rates and the standard tyre pressure has changed from 2.4 bar to 2.1 bar.
The Ford Ranger is one of the better-equipped bakkies on the market when it comes to safety features.
Ford has never been one to skimp on safety features and we'd go as far to say that the Ranger is one of the better-equipped bakkies out there when it comes to safety tech. Making its debut in the Ford Ranger is the semi-automatic parallel park assist, which joins adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert, lane-keeping alert, lane-keeping assist, electronic stability control (ESC) system with traction control (TC), trailer sway control (TSC), hill start assist (HSA), hill descent control (HDC), adaptive load control (ALC) and roll over mitigation (ROM) and auto high beam on Wildtrak specification.
The new Ford Ranger tailgate has a torsion rod, meaning its effortless and easy to lift it up.
There have been many complaints about how easy it is to steal a Ranger and Ford has introduced Category 1 Thatcham-specification alarm, which is now standard on all Ranger XL, XLS, XLT and Wildtrak models. According to the Thatcham Alarm Scale, the Category 1 alarm features ignition detection, perimeter detection and the alarm will go off if a window is broken or the vehicle is tilted. The alarm also has its own battery supply, so if criminals manage to disconnect the car's battery, the alarm will continue to sound. Ford has also added a push button start, so the key can remain in your pocket. Finally, Ford has added a torsion rod to the tailgate, meaning its no longer a mission to lift the heavy tailgate and you can effortlessly open and close it.