Ford has finally made public the full details of the Ranger’s much anticipated mid-life makeover some four and a half years after the Australian designed and developed ute first broke cover back in mid 2010.
The new Ranger was revealed in Thailand where it will be built for Asia-Pacific markets, Australia included. The Ranger is sold in 180 global markets with production also in South Africa (for Africa and Europe) and in Argentina (for South America). The Ranger is not sold in North America where Ford has a strong presence with its F-Series light trucks.
The Ranger’s mid-generation makeover starts with revised front-end styling and runs to a new interior highlighted by an all-new dashboard, and brings a host of new convenience, safety and fuel-saving technologies. Revised suspension tuning is also claimed to improve the ride comfort and handling of what is already a well-sorted ute.
The Ranger’s existing engines will be carried over but with several notable changes. The 3.2 five-cylinder diesel has been updated with a new exhaust-gas recirculation system and other changes, claiming fuel efficiency improvements of up to 18 percent.
Meanwhile, the optional 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel has been beefed up from 110kW to 118kW and will also be offered in a new extra fuel-efficient, low-power 96kW variant, although both 2.2 engines may not be available in Australia. The 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will be available in Ranger 4x2.
Diesel powertrains offer improved fuel efficiency thanks to ‘Start/Stop Technology’ that automatically cuts the engine once the vehicle is stopped at traffic lights and such, and then automatically restarts the engine once the driver is ready to move away.
Variable-assistance electric power steering also replaces the conventional hydraulic power steering used previously, doing away with the power-steering pump for improved fuel efficiency and lower noise levels. Improved steering feel too, according to Ford.
The Ranger will retain the existing part-time dual-range 4X4 system complete with a driver-switched rear locker, but an optional higher final-drive ratio, for highway-driving fuel savings, will be available. Ford has also reportedly addressed the poor shift quality of the 3.2’s manual box by ditching the rod-style actuation system for a cable-operated arrangement taken from the 2.2.
The interior changes are lead by a new dashboard courtesy of the up-coming Ford Everest 4x4 wagon, the key element of which is a 200mm multi-function touch-screen display for the sat nav, reversing camera, and information, entertainment and climate-control functions. There’s also a new digital instrument cluster.
The Ranger will also adopt Ford’s ‘Sync2 voice-control technology for phone connectivity and message reading, navigation, climate control and entertainment. As well as Bluetooth connectivity the Ranger will come with two USB ports and SD-card and auxiliary inputs, as well as a 240-volt power socket on the lower dash for running laptops and the like.
There’s also a range of new driver-assist technologies including radar-operated adaptive cruise control, forward-alert crash mitigation that warns the driver of a possible collision, and ‘Lane-Keeping Alert’ that will warn the driver via a vibration at the steering wheel if the vehicle is drifting out of its lane. The system can even gently steer the vehicle back on course if the driver doesn’t take action. The system can also detect if the driver is getting drowsy and driving erratically, and will warn of the same via an increasingly loud audio alarm.
The new Ranger will also come with a tyre-pressure monitoring system.
Click here to read the full range review of the Ford Ranger
Get the latest info on all things 4X4 Australia by signing up to our newsletter.