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Ford adds to local Ranger line-up

29.08.2016

The Ranger has been a massive success story for Ford in South Africa, notching up consistent monthly sales that rival the iconic Toyota Hilux. Ford has its eyes set on the prize in the bakkie segment and with that in mind; the brand has expanded its local Ranger line-up to now include six-speed automatic variants with the 2.2 litre turbodiesel motor. The addition of these models means that the Ranger contingent now comprises 36 derivatives. I travelled to George to sample the latest entrants to the range.

Which models come with the auto?

As somewhat of a new trend, Ford had released a single cab 2.2 TDCi with the Automatic and is also available as an XL 4x2 and XLS 4x4. As a more work-orientated vehicle, it is interesting to see the brand finding a spot for an automatic amongst business and fleet owners

In terms of the super cab variants, expect trim levels in the 2.2 litre auto to include the XL 4x2, or the XLS in either 4x2 or 4x4. In terms of the 2.2 litre double cab there are a few variants to choose from. These range from the base model XL with two or four-wheel drive as well as the XLS, which is only available in 4x4 guise while the XLT auto is only available with 4x2.

What does this all mean?

For me at least, the more complicated a range and variants of a particular car are, the more confused I seem to get. I did however manage to decipher this rather complex model range. Note that I have not listed all of the features but just those that differentiate the models.

The XL model is more of a workhorse, with fleet customers in mind. This model gets items such as colour-coded front bumper, a radio with Bluetooth/USB/AUX compatibility, electric windows all round, a multi-function steering wheel as well as ASB brakes with EBD and a traction control system.

The XLS Ranger models get body-coloured front and rear bumpers, front fog lamps as well as 16-inch alloy wheels. The super cab and double cab models come with a tow bar, front mud flaps and a high-mounted stop lamp. Inside these models is the SYNCinfotainment system and cruise control with speed limiter for example.

The XLT double cab has been one of the best sellers in the Ranger line-up. The model has more visual tweaks, with the liberal use of chrome on the exterior, dual electronic automatic climate control, full leather trim,  a 4.2-inch screen in the instrument cluster as well as an eight-inch SYNC 2 infotainment system.

What is the auto like?

We had an opportunity to drive various double cab 2.2 litre automatic models at launch on roads that went from smooth to gravel and even beach sand in the dunes. These 2.2 litre motors aren’t usually short on power with 118kW/385Nm at your disposal however I did feel that the car tends to struggle a bit, the momentum needs to be maintained or it sounds strained.  This meant that fuel consumption suffered with our variant registering 10.8 litres/100km for the day.

Verdict

The automatic certainly makes sense for those who are tired of that third pedal and Ford has to be commended for offering customers more variety. The market has spoken and the demand for automatic bakkies now exists, meaning Ford has stood itself in good stead with so many options available to consumers.

Warranty and service plan

All models are sold with a four-year/120 000km warranty and a five-year/100 000km service plan (optional on Base models).

Pricing

2.2 TDCi XL Single Cab 4x2 Auto                  R311 900

2.2 TDCi XLS Single Cab 4x4 Auto                R426 900

2.2 TDCi XL Super Cab 4x2 Auto                  R357 900

2.2 TDCi XLS Super Cab 4x2  Auto               R411 900

2.2 TDCi  XLS Super Cab 4x4 Auto               R472 900

2.2 TDCi  XL Double Cab 4x2 Auto              R384 900

2.2 TDCi  XL Double Cab 4x4 Auto              R426 900

2.2 TDCi  XLS Double Cab 4x4 Auto            R517 900

2.2 TDCi  XLT Double Cab 4x2 Auto            R482 900

Article written by Sean Nurse
29.08.2016
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