Wheels of the Week: Next-Gen Ford Ranger arrives in SA

Wheels of the Week: Next-Gen Ford Ranger arrives in SA

I was fortunate to be invited by Ford South Africa to attend the launch of the new Ford Ranger, to give my honest opinion to the 52 000+ followers on the Ford Ranger Africa Group on Facebook. The Group is completely independent of Ford.

On the first day they gave us 2.0 BiT XLT Rangers with various options fitted. You can specify different mag wheels, blacked-out grille leather, different painted bumpers, among other things. Very impressive to look at.

The interior has the smallest of the tablet-like touchscreens and some hard smooth plastic in some places where I would have applied textured plastic just to give it a more finished look. The downfall of textured interior plastics is that dirt likes to settle in those areas. The rest is what you would expect from top class cars that cost more. The interior is no bigger than the current Ranger but with smart flat surfaces and straight lines, giving the impression of being bigger.

We took an off-road trip through the mountains and immediately I could feel that the car was more stable. The approach and departure angles are better. The wheel travel is better, with the shocks and springs moving more outwards. The shock mounting points are higher and not as vulnerable to damage as in our current Ranger.

Under the hood, the 2.0 BiT looks very small in the engine bay. There is more than enough space to fit whatever you want. The air intake is very high, but not ideally placed as it is in front on top of the grill, and deep water crossings can be a problem. A Ford approved snorkel available to remedy this if you intend to do water crossings.

It is a 100% Ford engine manufactured in South Africa. The kw is lower than the original 2.0, but it actually feels stronger. The engine/10 speed gearbox calibration is so much better, that I originally thought it was a 6 speed motor. You are slightly longer in gears. The engine calibration gives you a wider spread of power and torque and you can feel it. The power is down to meet the strongest pollution controls in Europe and the rest of the world.

The car feels more powerful than the older one, thanks to clever calibration work and slightly quicker throttle response. I also think they increased the torque limiters in the 1st 3 gears. It all works much better than the 2.0 owners are used to. The gear lever looks like the 6-speed box, and that also confused me and a bit disappointing. I would like to see something different in the 10 speed.

Fuel consumption on the 2.0 I used was 10.25l per 100km off-road and on the open road. I used full power where I could. Acceleration is brisk, at around 9 seconds to 100kmh on my mobile app. In-gear acceleration is well above average. Some 2.8 engines are hardly comparable to this 2.0.

We were then given the keys to the long-awaited and only V6 diesel bakkie available in South Africa. Immediately you can see that the Wildtrak V6 is in a class of its own. This is the most technology you can find in a current van. It is a premium product with all the bragging rights you can get.

On initial pull-off at full throttle (this is how I test and evaluate cars), the progress was no better than the 2.0 BiT. I assume they have hard torque limiters in place in 1st and 2nd gear to keep the 600nm in check. You can still lose traction on tarmac pulling away at full throttle. From 2nd the acceleration is second to none. From 0-100kmh comes up in about 8 seconds. I thought it was impressive until I started overtaking cars: the acceleration in gear makes it a safe and very impressive power source. This engine pulls like a train when overtaking or going uphill. The engine gives a nice sound and is very refined.

Fuel consumption was 12l per 100km on this trip, through highway, town and on sand dunes. You get all the terrain response settings, and I used automatic four-wheel drive in the rain and 2wd in the dry. The suspension feels more planted than the 2.0. The damping and recoil rate feel different. It is more luxury SUV-like.

Overall, what I could make of these two cars in this very short and limited time with them, both are super nice and well built.

I would choose the 2.0 BiT for myself. I don’t tow heavily and I can spec the car to almost Wildtrak spec and, on my limited budget, insurance and fuel economy are important. Power is what you would normally expect in much larger vans. The 10-speed transmission helps keep things where you want them.

The 3.0 V6 is for someone who wants all the technology you can find in a pickup, with lots of pulling power and the bragging rights of the best pickup money can buy. I would give Ford all my fishing gear to own one. It’s the big boss, if you can afford it.

Prices (All prices include VAT):

The next generation Ford Ranger range is available in South Africa from December 2022 at the following recommended prices:


  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab 4×2 6MT R486,000
  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab 4×4 6MT R528 600


  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab XL 4×2 6MT R529 900
  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab XL 4×2 6AT R544 400
  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab XL 4×4 6MT R607 300
  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab XL 4×4 6AT R621 900


  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab XLT 4×2 6AT R592 700
  • 2.0L SiT Double Cab XLT 4×4 6AT R669 800
  • 2.0L BiT Double Cab XLT 4×2 10AT R702 300
  • 2.0L BiT Double Cab XLT 4×4 10AT R782 100

Wild track

  • 2.0L BiT Double Cab Wildtrak 4×2 10AT R778 300
  • 2.0L BiT Double Cab Wildtrak 4×4 10AT R867 700
  • 3.0L V6 Double Cab Wildtrak 4WD 10AT R953 500

Included as standard is a four-year/120,000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. The recommended service interval is 15,000 km or annually, whichever comes first.

Customers have the option to purchase service or maintenance plans for up to eight years or 165,000 km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200,000 km, while the Roadside Assistance can be extended for an additional one or two years.

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