1. It’s good to have power
It’s been a while, but the Ranger now comes with the latest 2-litre diesel Panther engines with VGT/single- and bi-turbo power. Yes, the previous 2.2-litre turbodiesels are also in service, but you’ll lose out on the performance and efficiency gains. It’s easy to see how – the old mill’s 160ps is easily beaten by the bi-turbo’s 213ps (and the 2.0 single turbo’s 180ps), and the torque advantage is even larger, 385Nm against 500Nm (or 420Nm for the VGT). Easy to see why the new engine goes into the middle and top variants, isn’t it?
2. SYNC3 gets you connected
No other truck allows you to integrate your smartphone with the vehicle as the Ranger can, specifically in the XLT Plus and Wildtrak variants. The SYNC3 system allows for seamless connection via Android Auto, AppLink, or Apple CarPlay – so drive further with more confidence using Waze or Google Maps turn-by-turn direction displayed on the 8-inch colour screen. Need to keep your hands free? Simply use voice commands as SYNC3 understands over 10,000 natural voice instructions. Simple! Especially when the user experience is made easier by adopting smartphone functionalities such as swipe and pinch-to-zoom. SYNC3 is only available in the 2.0 XLT Plus, 2.0 Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor variants. Big win for the Ranger, here.
3. It’s got (electronic) tricks
Most cars can’t even compare to what the Ranger has. Standard across all nine variants of the Ranger are a list of safety features that include Hill Descent Control, Hill Launch Assist, Rollover Mitigation, Adaptive Load Control, and Electronic Stability Control. The Wildtrak 2.0L bi-turbo variant on the other hand takes it further with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning & Assist, Semi-Automatic Parallel Parking, and Autonomous Emergency Braking with vehicle and pedestrian detection.
4. The tailgate is like none other
The XLT Plus, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor comes with Easy Lift Tailgate that makes accessing the flatbed so much easier. Anyone who has ever used a truck will know that the tailgate is deceptively heavy and takes way too much strength to open and close. Ford finally provided an elegant answer that is both simple and effective; a torsion beam takes away most of the effort to open the tailgate and uses the same tension to ease closing it. Now you can literally open and close the tailgate using just a single finger.
5. Plenty of Firsts!
We’ve already listed so many (new engine, SYNC3, Easy Lift Tailgate, active/passive safety systems, etc.) but the latest Ford Ranger is still not done! Again, it’s the XLT Plus, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor that gets the best bits – automatic LED headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, 8-inch touchscreen, dual-zone air-conditioning, and in the case of the Wildtrak even a 230v AC outlet and Adaptive Cruise Control. One thing that people tend to talk about is the new 10-speed automatic gearbox – even cars don’t have this feature, all for efficiency and drivability.
6. It’s quieter
You’ll need to test drive one to really appreciate this but it’s immediately clear that the new Ranger’s cabin is a calmer place to be in than before. In fact, it’s Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) is probably the best in the segment thanks to the extra effort to keep the cabin isolated from tyre, road, and engine noise. This way you can appreciate the Ranger’s audio system or carry a conversation with passengers better. Another win for passengers here.
7. It’s comfortable
It’s also about the daily driving duties, which Ford knows very well. Which is why the suspension has been enhanced to improve ride quality, and the seats (wrapped in leather for the XLT Plus, while the Wildtrak gets an even more premium quality leather) were designed not just for your comfort, but allows for extra legroom. The double-cabs get bigger doors as well so you can get in and out easier.
8. It’s still hardcore
Make no mistake, the Ford Ranger is still built tough. The e-locking differential helps to maintain optimum traction whatever the surface condition; or when in need to cross a body of water, the truck’s 800mm wading capability gives you more confidence to just keep going. The Ranger can also change drive configuration as quickly as the conditions can – go from 2WD to 4WD High or 4WD Low with Shift-on-the-Fly with a simple twist of a knob. The ultra high-strength chassis can take a beating and won’t make a fuss with heavy loads. Stress it with up to 1,000kg of cargo, or tow 3,500kg, the Ranger can take it.
9. There’s one for everyone…
There are nine variants – including the Ranger Raptor for the ultimate in performance. Without a doubt you can find one that meets your needs, be it for heavy duty use or strictly daily driving duties or even a lot of both.
10. There’s one for you
The XL starts from RM90,888, the XLT from RM109,888, and the Wildtrak from RM134,888. But for the best balance between price and features, the XLT Plus is hard to beat. At RM124,888, you get the 2-litre engine with VGT and 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s powerful and efficient, with the gearbox quick to find the lowest engine speed; in fact, the final two ratios are strictly for cruising. The XLT Plus does not come with Lane Departure Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, or help you to park the truck (which is fine for accomplished drivers) but other key features are still available: SYNC3, LED headlamps, LED DRLs, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support, and dual zone air-cond.
There’re also the leather-wrapped seats, keyless entry, and of course, the Easy Lift Tailgate. Clearly, RangerWinLiao.