Ford has launched the Double Cab versions of its smartest, most versatile and most capable Ranger yet, with the rest of the 24-strong model range – including the workhorse Single Cab and practical Rap Cab models – scheduled to be released in early 2023. The highly-anticipated Next-Generation Ranger is set to establish new benchmarks for the extremely competitive bakkie segment while creating a vehicle and ownership experience that owners can rely on for their businesses, family lives and adventure.
“The previous-generation Ford Ranger was one of South Africa’s most popular and trusted vehicles for small and medium business owners, farmers, families, adventurers, commercial fleets and so many more. Our Next-Gen Ranger builds on this success with a vehicle that delivers so much more, from performance to capability, technology, safety and the entire driving and ownership experience,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa.
“Ford designed the Next-Gen Ranger to inspire owners to do more of what they love to do, with features that encourage them to explore new horizons,” Mashinini says. “This is all part of ‘Living the Ranger Life’, ensuring that our customers’ experience enables and enhances their lifestyles.”
The Next-Gen Ranger is proudly produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, which benefitted from a R15.8-billion investment to modernise the facility and install latest-generation tooling at supplier companies. A further R600-million was invested in Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in Gqeberha to introduce the new 3.0L V6 Diesel engine and upgrade the current assembly line for the proven 2.0L Single Turbo and 2.0L Bi-Turbo engines.
Ford’s Product Development Centre in Australia led the Next-Gen Ranger project, with an international team of dedicated designers and engineers working with teams around the globe to not only incorporate the very latest in Ford technology, capability and safety, but to also engineer and test the Ranger to Ford’s toughest standards.
“Our goal was to make this Ranger the toughest and most capable we’ve ever created,” Mashinini says. “It was put through one of the most exhaustive global testing schedules we’ve ever developed to ensure that it was truly Built Ford Tough.”
New look, new capabilities
Customer input was key to developing the Next-Generation Ranger’s rugged new look. Ford spent a lot of time with owners around the globe, conducting more than 5 000 interviews and dozens of customer workshops to understand how customers used their bakkies and what they wanted and expected in the new Ranger.
Visually, the Next-Generation Ranger is bold and confident, with a purposeful exterior that shares Ford’s global truck design DNA. The design features a defined new grille, and signature C-clamp headlight treatment at the front while a subtle shoulder line down the sides incorporates bolder wheel-arches that give Ranger a sure-footed stance. At the back, the tail lights are designed in harmony with the signature graphics on the front.
Inside, the car-like cabin steps up, using premium soft-touch materials, and a prominent portrait-style centre touchscreen with Ford’s signature SYNC® 4A connectivity and entertainment system.
“Customers told us the Ranger needs to look tough and needs to inspire confidence. They were very clear in what Ranger should be, both in the way it looks, and the way it makes them feel, and we are confident that it delivers on both fronts,” Mashinini says.
Beneath the new bodywork is an upgraded chassis riding on a wheelbase 50mm longer and a track 50mm wider than the prior Ranger. A hydro-formed front-end structure creates more space in the engine bay for the new V6 engine. It also opens up the front of the bakkie to allow more airflow to the radiator, which helps keep running temperatures low when towing or carrying heavy loads.
New powertrain choices
Customers wanted a choice of more power and torque for towing heavy loads and extreme off-roading, so the team added Ford’s proven 3.0L V6 turbodiesel and developed it for the Ranger.
“The 3.0L turbodiesel V6 delivers seemingly endless power and torque matched to exceptional refinement, which is exactly what our customers wanted,” Mashinini says. The 3.0L V6 Diesel is exclusively offered in range-topping Wildtrak specification, and produces an impressive 184kW of power matched to a substantial 600Nm of torque. This is optimally delivered to the road via Ford’s responsive 10-speed automatic transmission and a permanent all-wheel drive system.
The Next-Gen Ranger will also come with a choice of updated versions of the proven 2.0-litre Single Turbo and Bi-Turbo in-line four-cylinder diesel engines. In the Base, XL and XLT Double Cab variants, the 2.0L Single Turbo unit produces 125kW and 405Nm, and is mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.
The 2.0L Bi-Turbo engine is a more sophisticated, performance variant for customers who want more power matched to good fuel economy, thanks in part to the advanced 10-speed automatic transmission, which has been further updated and refined. It is available in two XLT Double Cab derivatives and two Wildtrak Double Cab models – both with a choice of 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrains.
Improved ride and handling
To develop the ride and handling expected of a vehicle customers use for a wide range of work, family and play activities, engineers focused on the fundamentals.
“We have a really wide spectrum of customers, from small business owners using their Ranger as a workhorse, customers that have moved out of luxury vehicles or SUVs due to the versatility on offer but still demand comfort and refinement, and serious 4×4 enthusiasts who push their vehicles to the limit in the toughest terrain,” Mashinini says. “We developed the Next-Gen Ranger to meet the needs of every type of customer and every application, incorporating the capability, toughness and durability that Ford trucks are known for, along with the comfort and more car-like ride that Ranger is known for.”
Engineers moved the front wheels forward by 50mm for a better approach angle and outboard for better off-road articulation, both of which improve the off-roading experience. They also shifted the rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails to give drivers and passengers a better ride both on- and off-road, no matter if they’re carrying heavy cargo for work, or just taking the family out for dinner.
Customers have a choice of two four-wheel drive systems – an electronic shift-on-the-fly system on the 2.0-litre models, or an advanced full-time 4×4 system with a reassuring set-and-forget mode on the range-topping Wildtrak 3.0L V6 Diesel, designed for capability when and where customers need it. Off-road recovery is made easier with prominent dual recovery hooks in the front bumper.
Customer-focused interior features
Customers wanted a flexible, modern cockpit that caters to both work and family duties. So, Ranger needs to serve as both a workspace and a haven, providing smart and connected features with more comfort and storage options than ever before.
“We know our customers are looking for a smart and functional interior space that feels comfortable. So, we set about designing it with a high level of well-integrated technology, clever functional storage and visual cues so the environment feels comfortable and spacious,” Mashinini says.
The heart of the Next-Gen Ranger’s connected experience is the large touchscreen in the centre stack – 10.1-inch in the case of the Base, XL and XLT models, or a 12-inch version on the Wildtrak. It complements the fully digital instrument panel and is loaded with Ford’s latest SYNC® 4A system, which comes customer-ready with its voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems.
Additionally, there’s an embedded factory-fitted modem across the range, allowing connectivity on the go when linked with the FordPass™ App, so customers can stay connected to their world. FordPass enhances the ownership experience with features like remote start, vehicle status check and health alerts, digital owner’s manual and remote lock and unlock functions via your mobile device.
Many of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and centre console to their own dedicated display on the SYNC screen. With one button press, Wildtrak owners, for instance, can go to a dedicated screen for all off-road and drive modes where they can monitor the driveline, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles and other controls.
The screen also is linked to a 360-degree camera on the Wildtrak models to make parking a breeze in tight urban spaces or to assist when negotiating particularly tricky terrain while out exploring. In addition, Wildtrak V6 customers can control Ranger’s new exterior zone lighting system via the touchscreen or the FordPass App, which means they don’t have to work, camp or do anything in the dark.
“You’ll find the interior plush but with the dual purpose of work and play in mind. The new short-throw e-shifter on the Wildtrak is central to the layout and is another example of where customers really guided our decision making, enhancing the technology and intuitive use for Ranger owners,” Mashinini says.
The design team also created clever storage and useful features for owners. There are not only places to store your phone or charge it wirelessly (optional on XLT, standard on Wildtrak), but also a large centre console bin to stash things. In addition, the door pockets are designed to carry more, the wide dash conceals an upper glovebox and there are storage bins under and behind the rear seats.
The Next-Gen Ranger incorporates an exceptional range of new and enhanced active and passive safety features. All Double Cab models are equipped with Dynamic Stability Control incorporating ABS, Load Adaptive Control, Roll Over Mitigation, Traction Control and Trailer Sway Control.
Standard on Ranger Wildtrak and optional on XLT are Pre-Collision Assist, Post-Collision Braking, Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Coverage, Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Keeping System with Road Edge Detection. Additional features that are exclusive to the top-spec Wildtrak include Evasive Steer Assist, Reverse Brake Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering, as well as Active Park Assist 2.0.
Built to do more with better access, more functional space
“When our design team met with our customers and observed how they climbed up to the load box, they saw a big improvement opportunity,” Mashinini says. “This was the inspiration for creating an integrated side-step behind the rear wheels of the Next-Generation Ranger, to create a strong, more stable way for them to access the box.”
In addition, the Ranger team worked to ensure that a wider variety of cargo could fit and stay secure in the load box. Widening the vehicle by 50mm facilitated even greater load-hauling versatility, as the Next-Gen Ranger can carry a full-size pallet.
Additional thoughtful, customer-focused touches include a new, tough plastic-moulded bedliner on the Wildtrak that helps protect the load bed from scratches, and a spray-in bedliner on the XLT series (optional on Base and XL models). Customers can also opt for extra cargo tie down points – on strong steel tube rails – that provide convenient points to secure loads. Durable, flexible load box caps around the sides of the box and across the tailgate conceal structural attachment points for canopies and other aftermarket accessories.
In addition, the Ranger Wildtrak offers a new cargo management system designed with dividers to hold various sized items – like timber or tool boxes. Owners also can create smaller compartments to store objects, which would otherwise have to go in the cab, using a system of ultra-strong spring-loaded cleats, available as an option on Wildtrak and XLT models, that clip into rails bolted to each side of the cargo box. The tailgate can also double as a mobile work bench with an integrated ruler and clamp pockets to measure, grip and cut building materials.
Extensive model range
The Next-Gen Ranger line-up of Double Cab models comprises three powertrain options, manual and automatic transmissions and the choice of two or four-wheel drive systems.
There are two Base models which use the 125kW 2.0L Single Turbo engine, with the option of 4×2 or 4×4 – both featuring a newly developed six-speed manual gearbox. The XL series includes four derivatives, all powered by the 125kW 2.0L SiT engine, and available in either 4×2 or 4×4 guise, and with the option of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
In the higher-specification XLT series there are four Double Cab models. Customers have the choice of the 125kW 2.0L Single Turbo engine and six-speed automatic, or the 154kW 2.0L Bi-Turbo with 10-speed automatic transmission – both of which are available in 4×2 and 4×4.
Two Wildtrak Double Cab models are available with the 2.0L Bi-Turbo engine, 10-speed automatic and the choice of two or four-wheel drive. At the pinnacle of the range is the exciting new 184kW 3.0L V6 Diesel, which is exclusively equipped with a permanent all-wheel drive system and 10-speed automatic transmission.
To allow customers to specify the vehicle according to their unique lifestyles and requirements, Ford has developed an extensive range of individual options as well as comprehensive option packs that include design, safety and convenience features relevant to each model series.
Improving the customer experience
Ford has invested heavily in enhancing customer experiences – both those that make shopping and researching new vehicles fun and easy, as well as those that make maintenance and repair effortless. “Just like the versatility of Ranger itself, we designed a more personalised ownership experience, giving customers convenience on their terms. This will complement not only the launch of the next-generation Ranger, but will also reach existing Ford customers,” Mashinini says. “We intend to be ‘always on’ for our customers, always there if they need us as part of our commitment to treating customers as a valued part of the Ford family.”
- Being “always on” – whether you have questions about the vehicle or need assistance. Ford has Ranger Experts to help guide customers through a number of new or existing channels, including live chat, telephone and video chat.
- FordPass makes the ownership experience easier by alerting owners of their vehicle’s health and informing them should it require professional attention.
- A learning hub, which can be accessed via the Ford website, allows both existing owners and new customers to discover everything that the Next-Gen Ranger is capable of, with information provided by means of supporting visuals and videos that the customer can access whenever they want.
- Buyers of 4×4 derivatives of the Next-gen Ranger also receive a complimentary hands-on practical 4×4 training course highlighting the respective off-road systems and capabilities in a controlled and safe environment.
- Stay connected to your world while in your Ranger – with Ford’s award-winning SYNC system
“These are but a few of the myriad of differentiated experiences that Ford will have available for customers as we continue to transform the customer experience to live up to our commitment to treat customers like family and make the experience of purchasing and owning a Ford easy, convenient and more personalised,” says Mashinini.
If customers need service or have an issue, Ford is there for them, with offerings like:
- A Ranger Concierge, who will be their point of contact the whole way till their need is resolved
- Convenient online service bookings – Ford dealers will also offer a customer a loan vehicle if the customer’s vehicle has to stay overnight, so they can continue with their business or family life.
Accessories to personalise your Ranger
Next-Gen Ranger enables customers to express their uniqueness by accessorising their vehicles with a wide range of accessories. With a growing list of over 200 factory-backed adventure, urban and commercial accessories, customers will be able to personalise their Rangers to suit their lifestyle.
Pricing (All prices include VAT)
- 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
- 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 000km or annually, whichever occurs first.
Customers have the option of purchasing service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 165 000km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200 000km, while the Roadside Assistance can be extended for an additional one or two years.