Driven - April 2019

New Ford Ranger in South Africa

We Drive the New Ford Ranger

We attend the national media launch of the new Ford Ranger in South Africa. 

Few vehicular segments in the history of vehicles have ever been as hotly contested as that of the Bakkie Segment in South Africa. Whether it’s for actual commercial use, going fishing on the weekend or just looking like a downright Boksburg badass riding high with not a scratch in your load bay, South Africans have a penchant for a good old bakkie, and while we really are spoilt for choice in our market, the kings of the segment are undoubtedly Toyota’s Hilux and Ford’s Ranger, each selling almost double the numbers of their nearest competitor every month. When launched in 2011, the Ranger found favour amongst buyer’s thanks to its “car-like” handling and impressive refinement levels, coupled with powerful motors and impressive technology, some of which is still not available on the likes of Toyota’s Hilux and other competitors.

For the first time ever, the T6 Ranger’s sales numbers actually surpassed those of the Hilux, something which has happened more than once since its launch. 2015 saw the Ranger receiving a facelift, however this was mostly a cosmetic upgrade, cleverly timed just before Toyota’s then all-new Hilux hit the streets/farms/pavements.

New Ford Ranger South Africa

And so, here we are in 2019, climbing up a mountain in a new Ford Ranger in the gem of a city that is George and it seems positively infallible. Crawling up the Old Voortrekker Pass at 5 km/h, the only smidgen of discomfort was the fact the I had passed up the opportunity to relieve myself at the bottom of the pass. The Ranger is hugely comfortable over this terrain and in the higher-spec models with Active Noise Control, NVH levels are impeccable. Having been given the opportunity to drive both single and BiTurbo variants up the pass, there really isn’t a noticeable difference between how the two get up the mountain – both are incredibly capable.

So what’s actually different with the new Ford Ranger? Well, quite a bit, actually. Visually, there’s a new bumper, new grille and new HID headlights. There are also a few spec changes with the XLT model now available with a new 17” wheel in either silver or black. On the XLS models, the exterior chrome pack is now standard as are rear parking sensors. An optional spray-in bed liner is now available, factory-fitted and is the same as what you’ll find in the American Ford F-150.

XL models upwards have an improved towing capacity of 3 500 kg and the rear tailgate now features a spring-loaded torsion bar which reduces initial lift force required to close the tailgate by 70%. Mechanically, there is big news – the previous motors still feature in the range, however the star players are the all-new 2.0-litre motors, mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox with skip shift and direct down shift. The 2.0-litre single turbo motor boasts 132 kW and 420 N.m (up from 118 kW and 385 N.m in the 2.2-litre motor) and features water-cooled turbo bearings to avoid overheating.  The motor is punchy and mated so well to the 10-speed box that shifts are nearly imperceptible.

New Ford Ranger Front

Featuring 157 kW and 500 N.m from its mere 2.0-litres, the BiTurbo motor which replaces the old flagship’s 3.2-litre 5-cylinder motor (147 kW and 480 N.m) might lose the 5-cylinder thrum, but it makes up for it in power gains and refinement. Also mated so perfectly to the new 10-speed box, it may not seem much punchier than the 3.2-litre motor, but it works so well with the gearbox both on and off-road.

Another change is that the front roll-bar has been moved back. What this does is prevent that wallowing sensation and improve lateral stability in the body.

On the inside, NVH levels are improved by 5% and along with an “ebony environment interior” which just swops out many of the elements from light beige to black, Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system is now improved and features both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. XLT models upwards feature keyless-entry and push-start. On the WildTrack models, Parallel Park assist is now available and the autonomous braking feature can now detect pedestrians too, while Lane Keep Assist and Adaptive Cruise control are carried over from the previous model.

New Ford Ranger in Movement

While the average motorist may struggle to differentiate between the previous and the new models, there certainly is an improvement across the range. The T6 Ford Ranger has always been a handsome vehicle and rather than changing the recipe drastically, it really has just been improved. Fierce competition from both existing and new models has forced Ford to rethink the range – there really is a Ranger for everyone, whether you’re in the market for a workhorse or a lifestyle vehicle.

All new Ford Ranger models feature a comprehensive 4 year/ 120 000 km warranty, 5 year/ unlimited km corrosion warranty, 3 year/ unlimited km roadside assistance and a 6 year 90 000 km service plan with service intervals of 15 000 km.

New Ford Ranger Price in South Africa

 

Single Cab

2.2 TDCi Base 5MT 4×2                                            R287 100
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×2                                                R359 800
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×2                                                 R372 300
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×4                                                R411 400
2.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2                                              R390 900
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4                                               R449 200
3.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2                                              R401 800
3.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4                                               R460 100

SuperCab
2.2 TDCi Base 5MT 4×2                                            R336 500
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×2                                                R381 400
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×2                                                 R393 800
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×4                                                R429 300
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×2                                               R426 400
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4                                               R472 400
3.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2                                              R424 900
3.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×4                                              R480 900
3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4×4                                               R568 600

Double Cab
2.2 TDCi Base 5MT 4×2                                             R350 000
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×2                                                 R409 400
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×2                                                   R428 800
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×4                                                  R455 300
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×4                                                   R474 700
2.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2                                                R455 100
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4                                                 R508 400
2.0 SiT XLT 10AT 4×2                                                  R514 300
2.0 SiT XLT 10AT 4×4                                                  R570 200
3.2 TDCi XLT 6MT 4×2                                               R542 600
3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4×2                                                  R571 400
3.2 TDCi XLT 6MT 4×4                                                 R604 800
3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4×4                                                  R617 300
3.2 TDCi Wildtrak 6AT 4×2                                        R609 800
2.0 BiT Wildtrak 10AT 4×2                                         R632 300
2.0 BiT Wildtrak 10AT 4×4                                         R678 200