By Shereen Shabnam
My school runs in Fiji almost always was in a pickup truck filled with construction equipment at the back as my dad worked on residential and commercials buildings along the coast and in the nearby town so driving the more powerful 2020 Ford Ranger years later packed with driver-assist technologies was certainly nostalgic but also fun and easier to drive both on and off-road.
The new under-the-skin upgrades, powerful and efficient engines plus a range of chassis and powertrain configurations certainly made the drive easier. The new stylish exterior and interior design cues still reflect the ‘tough truck’ image.
I drove it mainly Downtown and found that it blends in with city living effectively as it gives options for serious off-the-grid adventures for desert lovers. The new technologies boost the safety, convenience and comfort offering while the fuel efficiency stood out as one of the best amongst my recent test drives.
Interior look and feel
The Ranger XLS blends comfort and functionality with room for up to five people, their gear and accessories. We managed to have a full set of golf clubs on the back seat with a hard cover guitar case plus groceries on the floor.
It serves as a functional workhorse but equipped with enough comfort and technology for those who appreciate the finer things in life. The new Ranger comes packed with an 8-inch touch screen, the SYNC® 3 system, and an instrument cluster that displays real-time vehicle, navigation and audio information.
The XLS adds a SYNC1 entertainment system with six speakers, steering wheel audio control and four-way adjustable seats with lumbar support. A locking rear differential, auxiliary side step and trailer tow package adds functionality, while a rear-view camera, rear park assist, cruise control and steering wheel audio controls aid driver and occupant safety and convenience.
The overall design is tough. Ranger’s muscular body features a high beltline, while a raked grille and slanted windshield lend an athletic appearance – designed to aid aerodynamics, reduce wind noise and improve fuel economy. Short overhangs mean better approach and departure angles for off-road work, while a capacious cargo box is coupled with load securing features for work and play. With a class-leading payload of 1425kg and up to 3.5 tons towing capability – aided by Ford’s Electronic Stability Programme and Trailer Sway Mitigation, Ranger is a truly safe and dependable workhorse.
Engine & Capability
Ranger’s clamshell hood houses a choice of three engines designed to deliver the power and torque customers demand, while also using less fuel than ever before. Ford’s diesel engines create more power and, in most cases, far torque than their key rivals – making Ranger the perfect choice for work that demands uncompromising power.
I drove the 2.2-litre XLS which is available as a high-riding double cab pickup. The XLS is specced with a petrol engine and five speed manual transmission (4×4 only); or a 2.2-litre diesel engine with a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox (both 4×2 and 4×4).
Ranger builds on Ford’s more than 100-years of expertise in forging tough and capable trucks. The new Ranger is clearly designed and built for customers who have come to depend on its class-leading levels of reliability, durability and quality.