The New Ford Ranger: The New Look of Tough

I recently got to test drive the New Ford Ranger for a week. Last weekend we drove it down to the sand dunes in Atlantis, with a couple of the Monster Energy guys, to test out it’s off road capabilities.

Although not particularly green by nature, being a gas guzzling 4×4 and all, the new diesel models have improved fuel efficiency so if you in the market for a new truck, the new Ford Ranger is definitely worth a look.

Things I love about the new Ford Ranger:

A place for every item

The new Ford Ranger Double Cab model has 23 stowage spaces in the cabin which can store a wide number and variety of objects. Perfect for the inpromptu roadtrip!

Door pockets can easily fit 1.5-litre bottles while the glove box is big enough for a 16-inch laptop computer. A separate driver’s glove box provides greater accessibility to items such as a soft drink can, sunglasses, a wallet or keys. Ample storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console and in areas within easy reach of the driver.

Other than being able to keep beverages cool, the 8.5-litre centre console bin in the new Ford Ranger – among the largest in the segment – is also big enough to hold CDs, 600-millilitre bottles and takeaway food containers. The console bin also has an upper tray to store a mobile phone, wallet and coins.

At the back, the rear seats fold up to reveal hidden storage bins for items such as tools, rope, 4×4 recovery straps. The seats also fold down to store items such as a jack, a tyre inflator, a one-litre oil bottle and a first aid kit. On selected models, the centre armrest in the rear seatback folds down and includes two cupholders.

“We intentionally went for the biggest spaces wherever we could. Where the competitors could fit only smaller bottles, we could fit larger ones,” said David Stanley, package supervisor, Product Development, Ford Ranger.

Stanley’s team chased down every spare millimetre in the cabin to deliver excellent stowage. Instead of succumbing to the easy solution of making something bigger whenever an engineering problem cropped up, they relentlessly squeezed out every millimetre to reduce wasted space.

“We are very passionate over every millimetre,” he added. “That’s the difference between a good car and a great car – lots of attention to every last millimetre.”

More muscle at greater fuel efficiency

The new Ford Ranger powertrains have been engineered to give customers a superior combination of power and torque and excellent fuel efficiency. Three new engines are available to suit every purpose and pocket.

Leading the way is the new Ford Ranger’s new 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder diesel engine with a substantial 470 Nm of torque and power rated at 147 kW. Its fuel consumption in a combined cycle is among the leaders in its class, ranging from 8.4 L/100 km on a 4×2 variant to 9.2 L/100 km on a full-option 4×4 model3.

For those who prefer an engine with a smaller displacement, the new 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110kW. When fitted to a 4×2 model, the 2.2-litre engine consumes as little as 7.6 L/100 km in a combined cycle3, making the new Ford Ranger one of the most fuel-efficient pickups in the segment.

The 2.5-litre Duratec four-cylinder petrol engine has been enhanced and delivers 226 Nm of torque and outstanding power at 122kW. Fuel economy with a two-wheel drive model achieves 9.8L/100 km in a combined cycle3.

These exceptional fuel consumption figures will give the new Ford Ranger – fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank – a range of more than 1000 km on selected models before filling up with fuel.

For the first time, selected new Ford Ranger diesel models will be available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission to provide reduced engine rpm and extend its range on long highway trips or in city traffic. This also makes the all-new Ranger the only pickup in its class to get a six-speed automatic transmission. Petrol models have a five-speed manual transmission.

“Our all-new engine family bears out our commitment to make the new Ford Ranger the clear choice for today’s pickup customer,” said Gary Boes, vehicle line director, Product Development, Ford APA. “We know they want more power, more torque, and we deliver all that – as well as increased fuel economy and reduced emissions.”

The new Ford Ranger will be manufactured in three continents with South Africa producing vehicles at its Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria for export to 140 markets around the world so you’re reducing your carbon footprint further by purchasing a truck made locally.

“In line with our move towards greater sustainability, the brake linings on the new Ford Ranger are constructed from the latest non-asbestos organic materials which not only meet global comfort requirements for noise and pad life but also fulfilling pickup truck thermal and fade requirements,” added Dr. Fountain.

Stocking up on creature comforts

Select models with the Bluetooth®1 Voice Control system allows drivers to operate their mobile phone, audio system, and climate control using voice-activated commands – all wirelessly. Very useful for when you need to multi-task while driving and safe!

The voice control buttons are located on the steering wheel and are conveniently accessed when driving, leaving the drivers free to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. Voice commands are detected by a microphone housed in the cab. Warning: if you have a thick “Seth Afriken” accent, she may struggle to understand you!

The driver can easily make or take phone calls and access the mobile’s phone book and calling history. The system can also record voice tags for favourite numbers. In the same way, the driver has effortless control over the radio, CD player, iPod® and other external devices via the USB port. It is also possible to stream audio from the mobile phone.

The new Ford Ranger’s integrated audio system is an integral and unique part of the centre dashboard, effectively deterring theft. The Human Machine Interface on the central control panel is inspired by the latest communication devices, with a joy stick as a central control element and a soft feel number pad to enter phone numbers.

Safety

Available on 4×4 models and activated via a switch on the instrument panel, the Hill Descent Control feature regulates the speed of the pickup when descending steep gradients. It automatically applies the brakes to slow the vehicle down to a set speed without the driver applying the brakes and without locking the brakes. Unlike in some competitors where the set speed cannot be adjusted, the all-new Ranger driver can increase or decrease the speed using the accelerator, brake, or cruise control buttons on the steering wheel.

When moving off up a slope either in forward or reverse gear, the Hill Launch Assist feature holds the brake pressure temporarily for two seconds, ensuring the pickup does not roll downhill. As the driver accelerates, the feature gradually reduces the brake pressure. It releases the brakes once the driving torque is enough to overcome the gradient, enabling the pickup to move up the slope smoothly. With this feature, a fully-laden Ranger, which weighs about 3200 kg, is able to stop and then pull away on a 60% gradient – not a feat easily achieved by all trucks.

For those who need to tow a trailer, the new Ford Ranger has a Trailer Sway Control feature that mitigates the problem of ‘snaking’, which can be caused by side winds, track ruts, sudden steering movements, or incorrectly laden trailer. When trailer sway occurs, the system detects the effect on the towing vehicle and operates to reduce the train speed by reducing engine torque and gradually increasing brake pressure on all wheels until the trailer sway stops.

All new frontal impact airbags are available for the driver and passenger, along with seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters. Together these form the key parts of a frontal impact restraint system that has been designed to minimise the force applied to the wearer in a crash. The pretensioner ensures the restraint system starts absorbing energy as early as possible in a crash, while the load limiters and airbags reduce loads on the occupant as the vehicle rapidly comes to a stop.

“The new Ford Ranger combines the safety and security systems of passenger cars with the ruggedness and dependability of a pickup truck,” said Dr. Fountain. “It creates a combination of features and performance that is unmatched in the market today.”

The new Ford Ranger comes with a 5 year / 90 000km Service Plan and a comprehensive 4 year/120 000km warranty with service intervals of 15 000kms. Customers will also benefit from  3 years of Roadside Assistance and a 5 year corrosion warranty as part of the Ford Ranger package. All new Ford Ranger 4×4 customers also receive free off-road driver training.

 

 

 

 

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