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On-road and off the new Ranger proves far more refined than the outgoing model

29 Sep 2022

IT HAS barely been on the market for a month, but already the new-generation Ranger is making its presence known in the light commercial ute segment. And rightly so… in the eyes of this review, the new Ranger is the most refined, capable and technologically advanced dual-cab on the market, and in Sport grade tested, offers value for money that is pretty hard to beat.


And while that might sound like an odd thing to say about a body-on-frame ‘pick-up truck’ that retails from $63,690 plus on-road costs, it is, with respect to its competitors, a thoroughly modern and well-rounded vehicle that combines the road feel and performance of a family SUV with the hard-working smarts of a thoroughbred workhorse. But more on that in a moment…


The 2022 Ford Ranger line-up now begins with the XL 4x2 single-cab 2.0-litre SiT (single-turbo diesel) High Rider from $35,930 plus ORCs, replacing the previous XL 4x2 single-cab 2.2-litre turbo-diesel as the entry point into the range. Compared to the equivalent outgoing model, the XL entry variant is just $1040 dearer.


The XL range is offered with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine matched to a six-speed automatic, or a twin-turbocharged version of the same unit hooked up to a 10-speed auto.


Ranger XLS double-cab variants (from $46,730) are offered exclusively with the twin-turbo 2.0-litre and 10AT combination, while XLT (from $53,990) and Wildtrak models (from $67,190) are offered with both the four-cylinder twin-turbo and 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, both with the 10-speed automatic as standard.


The 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel gives the Ranger 184kW of power at 3250rpm and 600Nm of torque from 1750-2250rpm. The twin-turbo ‘four’ makes 154kW at 3750rpm and 500Nm from a narrow 1750-2000rpm, while the single-turbo diesel will offer 125kW at 3500rpm and 405Nm between 1750-2500rpm.


On test, the Ranger Sport Bi-Turbo managed a fuel consumption average of 9.4 litres per 100km, which in our experience lags rivals including the Isuzu D-Max/Mazda BT-50, but very few others. 


Inside, the Ranger now provides better oddment storage and additional space behind the rear seats. New door pockets provide additional carrying capacity, as do a dash-top storage box and rear under-seat drawers.


Ford said it was conscious that the Ranger’s cabin met work and family duties in equal measure, offering SYNC4A-equipped infotainment systems with 10.1- or 12.0-inch touchscreens to complement the fully digital instrument panel and embedded factory-fitted mobile internet connectivity.


Many of the centre stack’s hard buttons have been removed, with functions incorporated into the touchscreen, a dedicated off-road mode now providing driveline, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles and other controls for four-wheel drive enthusiasts.


The Ranger is also available with a 360-degree camera (standard in the Sport variant tested), and the ability to allow owners to start their vehicle, check various functions, and lock and unlock from their mobile phone via the FordPass Connect app.

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