KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) has launched the facelifted Ford Ranger at the end of last year.
Auto News Asia took the facelifted Ford Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4 for a test drive, and it is the most well equipped pickup truck available in Malaysia, raising the bars further for the segment.
The Ford Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4 is an amazing pickup truck that is suitable for both off-road and highway driving. It has a powerful engine to support up to 1,000kg maximum payload and up to 3,500kg of towing capacity.
This means that the Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4 has no issues of carrying a few motorcycles with its cargo bed.
The Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4 is powered by the new 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine, mated to the 10-speed automatic gearbox with SelectShift manual override. It generates 210 hp and 500 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 2,000 rpm.
It has plentiful of power to overcome any kind of traffic on the highway. The power was generated instantaneously, according to the throttle input, without any turbo lag.
The 10-speed transmission is rather smooth and quick, and it helps to consume less fuel during long distance driving. It can easily reach close to the highest speed the speedometer has to offer.
It sits tightly during corners, offering a lot of grip. It didn’t felt like we are in a high riding pickup truck. The tall positioned medium hard suspension setting tackles most potholes, bumps, and even damaged road conditions with ease. However, it is slightly too sensitive for wavy road conditions.
Measuring at 5,426mm in length, 1,860mm in width, 1,848mm in height and a wheelbase of 3,220mm. It has a ground clearance of 237mm and weighs 2,090 kg. It also has a 80 litres of fuel tank capacity and a cargo bed with a length of 1,549mm, a width of 1,560mm and a depth of 511mm.
There are ample spaces in the Ford Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4. It offers generous head, shoulder and legroom for all occupants. The writer was also amazed with the quietness of the Wildtrak 4×4 cabin. There were minimum engine noise, wind noise and tyre noise even during high speed driving.
Equipment list includes 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, easy lift tailgate, SYNC 3 infotainment system, 8-inch touchscreen, HID projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, LED foglamps, 230V AC power outlet, cargo LED lamp, ambient lights, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning system, keyless entry with push-start and Ford MyKey, Wildtrak styling kits, puddle lamps, 12V socket in the cargo bed, eight-way powered driver’s seat, a cooled console, auto dimming rear view mirror, multi-function steering wheel and two 4-inch screens in the instrument cluster.
The SYNC 3 infotainment system is straight forward to operate and the sound system plays basic quality tunes. The bass is lack of solidness and ohm, while the treble is short of sharpness and clarity.
With all the features and assistance technology available on board, it gives the driver a peace-of-mind driving the pickup truck. The adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping assists, helps to reduce the fatigue during long distance driving.
As for the safety aspects, it features six airbags, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera, semi-automatic parallel parking, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control, hill descent control, hill launch assist, e-locking rear differential, tailgate lock, rollover mitigation, trailer sway control and ISOFIX childseat mounting points.
The on the road price for the Ford Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4 is at RM144,888 excluding insurance. For customers who register their Ranger before January 31, 2019, it is covered with 2 years free maintenance or up to 40,000 km warranty.
The writer managed to clock close to 900km in the Ford Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4, covering mostly highway and cities driving. The odometer recorded 11.3 to 12.1 km per litre (km/l) after a mixture of city and highway driving. After a cruise on the highway below legal speed limit has achieved 13.6 to 16 km/l and a full throttle aggressive driving session has resulted to 8.9 to 10.1 km/l.
Overall, the Ford Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4 is truly a game changer, with the advance features and technologies, there’s no doubt that it is able to stay ahead of the pack for a while. Nonetheless, there are some areas that it could improve.
It would enhance the maneuverability if the pickup truck comes with the 360 camera. The adaptive cruise control of the Ford Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak 4×4 should also comes with stop and go function, where it will constantly adjusting the brakes and throttle down to a complete stop if necessary, as well as continue to follow the vehicle ahead when the vehicle starts to pull away.
The writer finds that the gear ratio for the 10-speed gearbox could be re-calibrated because it could only engage into the 10th speed, if the pickup truck is driven about 110 to 120 kph. Most of the time, it would be running on the 9th speed ratio.
It would be nicer if the ambient lighting system could cover more areas in the interior, instead of behind the door handles, foot wells and cup holders, which is not really visible.