Unlike most girls Ziporah Masethe likes the tough, smart and handsome guy. And the guys? Well, they just want to be that guy ... So it comes as no surprise that the new Ford Ranger had the girls swooning and the guys just green with envy when she drove it!
The recent launch of the upgraded Ranger was probably one of the most anticipated in South Africa.
We got to drive the 3.2 XLT Automatic, which, at a glance, resembles those “all-American” pickup trucks. It is quite large, as expected, with chunks of chrome all over the place. It is really good looking and rugged, with muscle in all the right places.
This monster can tow up to 3,5 t and has a 3,2 t gross vehicle mass – after all! It sits on 17-inch alloy wheels that also give the Ranger 237 mm ground clearance and 800 mm of water-wading capability.
The automatic gearbox makes it easy to forget that you are the captain of this beast. With a 3,2-litre turbodiesel engine that delivers 147 kW at 3 000 r/min, and exciting 470 Nm of torque from 1 500 to 2 750 r/min, you definitely need the electronic speed limiter to keep you on the right side of the law!
It rides exceptionally well and is sturdy and confident around the bends. Ford claims this engine’s fuel consumption has been improved by 18 percent.
There is plenty of space inside, both in the front and the back. The seats are very comfortable and finding a good driving position is easy.
The Ford Ranger is equipped with an eight-inch touch-screen Sync2 system, which offers a range of connectivity options, Bluetooth voice control and a reversing camera. However, disappointingly, it has no satellite navigation.
It comes with eight airbags, Electronic Stability Program, Emergency Brake Assist and anti-lock brakes. It also features numerous off-road driving aids.
The XLT 3.2 Auto retails at R566 900 and Ford offers a four-year/120 000 kilometre comprehensive warranty, five-year/100 000 km service, three-year/unlimited kilometre roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited kilometre corrosion warranty. All 4x4 versions include a free off-road training course as well.
The Ranger is the total package. It looks better than any bakkie on the market and has a big heart. It is dependable, techno savvy and darn tough! This one is a definite keeper!
Ziphorah Masethe is a third-year journalism student at the Tshwane University of Technology. Her passion for writing and interest in the motoring world landed her the opportunity as the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Bursar for 2016. As part of the programme, Ziphorah will be deployed throughout the year to various publications, agencies, and vehicle manufacturers serving the industry. She recently spent a month with FOCUS, where she was exposed to the commercial vehicle industry.
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