Long-term test (Introduction): Ford Ranger DC 2,0 SiT XLT 4X4 10AT

It took less than a week after switching from the long-term Renault Duster to my new Ford Ranger double cab before I received my first irate glance from a fellow road user. Considering the sheer size of a modern double-cab bakkie, I can only assume they felt I was encroaching on their space. Judging by subsequent interactions with other motorists – including a newfound hesitation by taxi drivers to fill a gap – it’s obvious at least some of the appeal of double-cab ownership in our market has to do with the sense of presence these vehicles offer. 

Alongside the Hilux, currently the bestselling double cab in the local market and a reigning Top 12 Best Buys champ, the Ford Ranger line-up received a boost earlier this year in the form of a new 2,0-litre turbodiesel engine mated with a 10-speed automatic. Force- fed by bi-turbo technology in top- of-the-range Wildtrak and Raptor applications, XLT models make do with a single blower as a means to generate 132 kW and 420 N.m of torque from 1 750 r/min. 

Fresh from a narrow victory against the updated Mitsubishi Triton (see July 2019), one of the few gripes we had with the Ford’s new drivetrain was whether the inclusion of 10 forward ratios was perhaps overkill. Even on the open road, you’re ever aware of the transmission’s eagerness to find the optimal cog. However, I am looking forward to learning the intricacies of this automatic ‘box – including the somewhat clumsy ability to shift manually via a small transmission lever-mounted switch – to get closer to Ford’s claimed 7,5 L/100 km. 

Having run an Isuzu KB double cab as a 12-month long-termer a few years ago, I know one of the downsides to bakkie ownership is the lack of out-of-sight storage options, particularly for larger items. Even though the Ranger’s tailgate locks with the vehicle’s central locking, the tonneau cover offers little peace of mind; a canopy or lockable steel cover present arguably superior levels of security. 

The main advantages of double cabs are flexibility in hauling large loads and the comfort and convenience afforded to rear-seat passengers. Bettered only by the prospect of a large people mover, my small children love the size and shape of the Ranger. My colleagues have already formed an orderly queue next to my desk with planned trips to the garden centre and appliance shops. It’s a pity my Ranger’s load bay hasn’t been rubberised; scratches and scuffs to the paintwork in the next six months are unavoidable. 

After 1 month
Current Mileage: 
 
1 475 km
Average fuel consumption:
9,46 L/100 km
We like:
presence; Sync3 infotainment

We don't like: fussy workings of the tonneau cover

 

Long-term test (Update 1): Ford Ranger DC 2,0 SiT XLT 4X4 10AT

Prompted via an onscreen message, I successfully updated the software on my Ranger’s Sync3 infotainment system via my home Wi-Fi network. This latest update adds functionality in the form of access to new apps and up-to-date navigation maps, while further improving the overall workings of this touchscreen-based technology.

Interestingly, Ford has just announced its Sync4 system that’s set to introduce cloud-based connectivity, wireless smartphone pairing and machine-learning capability. Screen sizes are said to range between a 12-inch display and 15,5-inch vertical unit. 

After 2 months
Current Mileage: 
 
2 814 km
Average fuel consumption: 
9,52 L/100 km