Ford Ranger 3.2 TDCi XLT 6 speed auto 4×4
The king of bakkies.
It’s a hell of a thing to say, but I really do think the Ranger 3.2 automatic 4×4 double cab is the king in South Africa.
Nothing matches it.
The Nissan Navarra and VW Amarok are not very far behind, but they just don’t quite make the grade.
The Toyota Land Cruiser probably has more rock climbing ability and desert crossing grunt, but it is a truck, like a Land Rover Defender. As a plain lekka bakkie, Ranger 3.2 is king. Simply put, the competition lags behind. No wonder the HiLux has been trumped in the sales charts for the first time in literally decades.
The only negative I can think of is the size or bulk. On the open road you do not feel the size. It is only when parking, in town or in an average garage. This Ranger is long and wide. It is 5.27m long and 2.16m wide. Your garage door has to be 1.9m high or you won’t get in.
In spite of the bulk, fuel consumption is around 11 litres/100km provided you aren’t speeding or driving through sand. Then all bets are off.
The electronic stability control system is the best practical system on any bakkie and possibly 4×4 and includes roll over mitigation, adaptive load control as well as hill launch and descent control. It allows one more confidence and gives a better ride on tar and on gravel than any of its competition.
The Ranger is fun to drive in any conditions and on any surface. Easy too. It is the first bakkie to get a EuroCAP five star safety rating.
My wife drove the Ranger up the Boesmanskloof pass near McGregor in the rain, and down again without breaking into a sweat. Nuff said.
This bakkie handles well, accelerates well and stops… quickly.
Off-road the Ranger is as good as any other double cab and better than most, most of the time. You can’t really go wrong with it.
There are a number of little (clever) details in the Ranger that give it just that little extra boost, for example the external tie hooks for the load area, the smaller front doors to allow bigger doors at the back, and so on. Small touches that all add up. Clever design.
What’s not to like in this bakie? Not much.
I think the automatic version is even better than the manual and recommend it.
Price as tested R497 200. The 3.2 double cab range starts at R340 000 and tops out at R541 900.
In this size of bakkie also look at the (new) Isuzu KB, Nissan Navarra, Mazda BT, GWM Steed 6 and VW Amarok.
The Ranger comes with a four year or 120 000km warranty and 5 year or 90 000km service plan.