Ford Ranger 2.2 HP XL 6MT Duratec double cab
This new Ranger takes the fight for best bakkie straight to the likes of the VW Amarok, Toyota HiLux and Nissan Navarra. I have left the KB out, even though I am a big fan, because Isuzu is launching their new bakkie in six months.
I think Ford have got it right. Right size, right looks, right engines. They have what looks like a winning package. In the looks department the Ford wins hand down. No contest.
In the looks department the Ford wins hand down. No contest. It looks big and bold. Like a bakkie, built tough.
The interior is excellent too. The rear doors are large and shoulder and knee room is best in class. There is enough space to carry five adults in comfort. The interior has three power points, 20 storage spaces, including a large cubby hole and space under the rear seat. In the centre console six cooldrinks can be kept and cooled, in the top of the range models.
The bakkie comes with air-con, a good sound system with several connection types, power steering and windows.
Safety is good, with several airbags, ABS, EBD and in the top models hill descent control ESP and DSC.
The driving position is very good, with both adjustable steering wheel and seats.
Even the basic workhorse double cab is comprehensively equipped.
Because it is a little bigger than previous Ford bakkies it might not fit into your garage. And because it is a little bigger it uses a bit more fuel than we would like, but is still miserly compared to light trucks of yesteryear.
The fairer sex and people with short legs may find the hoist up into the cab quite a mission. But that is a small price to pay for a wading depth of 800mm.
I drove the 2.2 HP XL 6MT, double cab 6 speed manual and can assure you that it is more than up to the task. It is easy to drive with a very smooth gearbox and a responsive clutch. Road manners are excellent, even unladen. With 200kgs on the back it is awesome to drive on tar and gravel.
You will only need the 3.2 5 cylinder turbodiesel if you have to have 147kW of power and 470Nm of torque to pull a heavy boat or trailer or you are going to spend a lot of time in heavy sand.
Prices start from R188 450 for the 4×2 single cab 2.2 MP Base LR 5MT Diesel, to R282 560 for the base 4×4 doublecab 2.2 HP XL 6MT Diesel I tested. The top of the range 3.2 XLT 4×4 6AT Diesel costs R447 800.
The standard warranty is 4 yr/120 000km.