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Ford's New 2016 Ranger Tested


A lot has been written about Ford's resurgence as a brand and much of this is down to its hugely popular Ranger bakkie.

It is truck month at County Ford Goodwood and the kind gentlemen there lent us a sparkly new Ford Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak TDCi 4x2 Double Cab for a day. Being a bakkie owner myself and having driven most of the models you’ve seen on the road I thought it was going to be like same old same old.

Boy was I wrong! The new 2016 Ranger in Wildtrak definitely is a brute of a bakkie. Pretty it is not, striking, menacing and muscular are words that come to mind when looking at the exterior. Those of you familiar with the American muscle truck F150 series will see the resemblance straight away. Other changes include a beefier looking bonnet and revised headlights all that flow towards and emphasize the new chrome trapezoid shaped grill.  Aluminium roof rails and 18” alloys wheels including an alloy spare wheel complete the look.

While the exterior is all muscle and brawn the interior comes what you would normally find in an executive sedan. Leather seats, soft touch leather dash all add a sense of style. Gone is are the usual ‘bakkie’ functional traits. It’s more a luxury SUV than a workhorse and that impression follows through with the inclusion of the dual TFT instrument cluster that displays all types of vehicle information. Ford's in-car connectivity system SYNC®2 allows you to control the bakkie’s phone, infotainment and climate controls using your voice. You can even choose between 7 different ambient interior light settings on some models. It is fully specced with some great features like Collision Warning Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Cooled centre console box and an 8-way power driver-seat adjuster complete with lumbar adjustment.

Where the Ranger beats all its rivals is on interior space. It remains one of the top performers in terms of shoulder, leg and head room especially in the rear. Safety is also high on the list with 7 airbags, including a knee airbag, lane departures warning, parking distance control front and back. While not specifically listed as safety features, we found the Hill Descent Control and Roll-over mitigation very useful when negotiating some very steep terrain in the Boland.

On the road the Wildtrak does not really live up to the name which isn’t a bad thing. It is quiet and very “car-like” to drive. Despite the size of this bakkie, its new electronic power assisted steering system, make manoeuvring and parking very easy.

The 3.2 litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder diesel engine which has been upgraded is more than enough power and allows for a towing capacity of 3500kgs. Speed tests gave us a figure of 0-100km/h in 11.7 seconds which isn’t bad considering its weight. Ford claim to have bettered the fuel economy by as much as 18%, thanks to new exhaust gas recirculation system.

For all the Wildtrak’ s looks and impressive off road capabilities it is firmly aimed at the growing bakkie leisure market. It is still in Ford words, “Built Tough.” So whether its bakkie or a car you want, the Ranger can tick both boxes quite comfortably and, believe me, with an astonishing range of 33 different models to choose from we are sure you will find a model to suit your needs. So head down to County Ford Goodwood to test drive one of these brutish bakkies.

Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak TDCi 4x2 Double Cab – From R519 900 when financed through Ford Credit.

Warranty Period   48 Months
Service Period  5 Years
Service Plan 100000 Km
Service Intervals 20000 Km

 Sponsored by: County Ford Goodwood

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