I have been asked by a few people to put a review out so here it is. These are my experiences only if you have more to contribute feel free to add to it.
I entered a nationwide competition called the “Ford Global Ranger Challenge” online in April 2011 outlining in “100 words or less” how I would test the all new Ford Ranger. Without much thought I typed my 100 words and forgot about it. Well the short story is I got shortlisted, tested and filmed, then got voted the winner and was supposed to receive my Brand New PX Ranger in October 2011. It is now the end of January 2012 and I’m still waiting due to a combination of Ford Australia
, Thailand floods, and a prize vehicle arriving from Thailand last week with over 2000 km on the clock. Thankfully Ford have provided me with a loan vehicle of the same model since just before Christmas and I have since done almost 5000km in a variety of conditions plus over 2000km offroad (some fairly rough stuff too) during my “challenge”.
As a daily driver it is quiet, comfortable and economical. I was driving a 120 series D4D Prado Auto for the last 5 years and it easily matches if not betters the bitumen duties. There is as much space inside and room in the backseats is vast compared to the competition. It has a whole stack of gadgets and safety features including 5 star ANCAP rating. Things like voice control of radio, CD, climate, phone etc are fancy but not used much by me. Reverse sensors are handy though. The seat
is height adjustable and has lumber support but I find the driving position a little low for my liking. I think with a bar on the front I’ll get a better feeling for where the front of the car is.
It is economical regularly return mid to high 8’s/100km. If you are a lead foot it is closer to 10l/100km. It is easy to be a lead foot with all the power available. Traction control regularly kicks in if you turn at an intersection and floor it. A quick chirp of the wheels then the computer ruins the fun. Traction control can be turned off though.
There are plenty of storage slots and 3 power outlets to keep all the gadgets charged as well. All up it is a nice place to sit for many hours or just down to the shop
I tow both an Aussie Swag camper trailer and boats up to 1.25 tonne regularly. It really doesn’t know they are there! Effortless is an understatement. The six speed auto shifts up and down smoothly and uses engine braking effectively without any driver input. I returns figures in the low 10’s towing on the highway including a few ranges to 800m plus. The towbar is solid and good for 3350kg of towing. Payload is over 1000kg as well. The towbar is an issue though. The design is poor as it hangs very low and the tow plug is slung below that. I have ripped 2 plugs off already and plan to move it the moment I get mine home. If you spend most of your time on the bitumen or formed dirt it probably won’t matter to you. It also has a sway control feature that detects trailers wobbling and brakes accordingly. I haven’t tested it but I’m sure a few caravanners would have liked this feature before they were involved in a roll over or near miss. Due to all these computer gismos a few people have had trouble wiring in their brake controllers. I wired my own in without any hassles but apparently a few people have had their Rangers stop due to the computer detecting voltage drop. I think a non-issue if you don’t tap into the wiring for your power source and go straight to the battery.
I really wasn’t convinced until Ford gave one to me and said “have fun” for my challenge. I crossed rivers, drove down major washouts, long grass, over logs up muddy slopes…all while towing my work boat which is over a tonne. Amazingly I hardly ever got stuck. Traction control saved my butt a few times, plus having a diff lock standard is awesome. Given I had a stock vehicle on stock tyres I was mightily impressed. The 4x4 control knob looks a bit dicky and should have been better integrated with the dash BUT it works well. Low range is nice and low, and down hill
descent works a treat. Some will say these will be the downfall when they all go into limp mode etc…well that might happen one day but I think they will probably save my bacon more times first. Range is only 800-900km with the standard 80 litre tank though long range tanks are now coming onto the market.
Wheel travel is good and it seems unfazed at speed on corrugations or uneven surfaces. The towbar again lets the vehicle down hooking up with regularity. I’m sure an aftermarket supplier is going to make a fortune fixing this. Ford assure me they are changing the design but it takes time to fix these things. Obviously the designer has never been in a 4x4! ARB now have canopies, bullbars, snorkels etc available as do Ford and some of the other 4x4 places
The biggest problem to date is supply. Many people have been waiting up to 3 months to get one. If you ever have bought a Toyota 4x4 this isn’t unusual.
I have missed many features and no doubt bits of vital information to some. If you want specs just go to the Ford website and have a look.
Problems I have had are few but include the fuel filler flap popping open (though it does lock when you lock the doors, trailer plug being ripped off, and scratching the trayback as the liner doesn’t cover the tops of the tub
Things I don’t like are the vents can’t be pointed towards the roof at all, the rear windows don’t go all the way down, power windows only have auto on the driver’s door, towbar and plug position, low seating position for driver, and the console opening feels flimsy.
Things I do like are the diesel motor and 6 speed auto, quiet cabin, dust sealing, room in the back seats and wide opening rear doors, depth of the ute tub, economy, 15,000km service intervals and the looks.
I have been a Toyota driver for 15 years with both Hilux’s and Prado’s at home and troopy’s and 100 series for work. I think Ford have got it right designing this thing in Australia
and taking the best of the competition and making it a bit better. I guess my only concerns are the longevity and reliability factors. It seems well built but only time will tell. Given I got one for free I can’t really complain!