Ranger ‘born to be wild’

Ranger ‘born to be wild’

The Next Generation Ford Ranger has made a massive impact since it landed in Australia in 2022, with the utility named as Australia’s number one selling vehicle for 2023, marking a significant achievement in the manufacturer’s long-standing history.

At first glance the exterior of the Wildtrak is nothing short of impressive.

It boasts a wider track and longer wheel base over its predecessor, which when paired with the new C-Lamp front headlights and rugged yet stylish rear end make for an aggressive overall visual package.

The boxy body style and geometric body accents make sure it looks the business whether on or off road and the way the front grill ties the headlamps together is also a nice and well thought out touch.

Another handy addition is the built-in rear steps which – while handy – serve a real purpose to access the inside of the tub without compromising on the exterior styling.

The rear sail plane style roll bar has also carried over to the Next-Gen Ford Ranger Wildtrak – albeit with a few tweaks to modernise it’s overall look – and has received the power treatment with the roller shutter opening with a quick double press of the smart key remote.

While the outside of the Next-Gen Ranger is impressive, the real experience is when you jump inside the cabin and make yourself at home, which is precisely what it does.

No matter what vehicle you jump out of before stepping into the Ranger you get a sense of familiarity – everything is exactly where you would want it and works exactly how it should.

There is an abundance of tech packed into the utility which is controlled via the large integrated 12-inch centre LCD touch-screen display, with a smart climate control system tucked away underneath to take advantage of the new zone sensors and rear vents – a feature which has been welcomed by dealerships and owners of previous generation Ranger owners.

Wireless phone charging and an all-new digital instrument cluster also feature and elevate the driving experience by displaying all information and vehicle data in a clear and easy to read screen.

The manufacturer has also provided new Ranger owners with a connected experience with an embedded model packing the utility with smart functionality by voice or even your smartphone.

Ford has implemented a host of new feature concepts to things that would normally be a run-of-the-mill experience when driving any road-going vehicle – right down to the way you exit the utility.

The conventional door handle has been neatly hidden away inside the door trim panel and – while it may seem like a little detail – was actually a pretty impressive touch to modernise and enhance a task you would perform a number of times a day without giving it another thought – but the way the feature has been executed made an instant impression.

When firing up the 184kW 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine (which is also available in a 10speed automatic 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel option with part time 4×4 driveline) the first thing that sprung to mind was how it sounded for a diesel powerplant.

There was no loud, rattly diesel engine noise heard inside the cabin and was just as impressive when the bonnet was lifted.

The 10-speed automatic transmission also made for a pleasant driving experience when exiting the city in search of some more tricky terrain to put the Ranger Wildtrak through its paces.

Despite it’s wider stance and length over the previous generation Ranger, the utility feels planted on the road with no body roll commonly associated with large utility vehicle.

Even when taking the utility off the bitumen and onto the dirt there was a sense of comfort knowing the 360-degree top down view and reverse camera made light work of getting in and out of tight and tricky spaces.

The 4×4 system is also a treat for drivers and those wanting to tackle more treacherous off-road terrain.

Given the recent rainfall around the region there are a number of tracks that would normally pose a bit of a challenge, but the Ranger Wildtrak climbed its way up and down these paths with ease and without breaking a sweat.

Ford has truly thought of everything with the new Ranger and accommodated for all uses of the utility vehicle right down to customisation options for setting up the utility for touring or the workplace.

An optional auxiliary switch bank and engine-bay mounted dual battery kit make adding any accessories a breeze to maximise time exploring.

Recently, Ford announced the Ranger would soon be available as a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV).

Arriving in early 2025, it will be able to be driven in pure electric mode for more than 45km without using a drop of fuel or producing tailpipe emissions, helping customers save at the pump.

This means Ranger customers, more than half of whom travel 40km or less per day4, will be able to do their average daily commute on electric.

The Pro Power Onboard function will mean tradies can power their tools from their Ranger PHEV and enable camp sites to be lit when off road.

There is plenty of Ranger stock ready to go, so book a test drive to experience it for yourself or contact Barry Maney Ford on 8721 3400 or visit the dealership at 199 Jubilee Highway West, Mount Gambier to find out more information.

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