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

The new Wildtrak offers the most tech you can find in a current bakkie, writes MARIUS BOTHA, who accompanied Gadget on the Ranger launch.

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 from Ford.

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

The inside has the smaller of the tablet-like touch screens and some hard smooth plastics in some places where I would have fitted textured plastic just to give it a more finished look. The downfall of textured interior plastics is that dirt loves to sit in those areas. The rest is what you would expect from top class cars costing more. The inside is not bigger than the current Ranger but with clever flat surfaces and straight lines, which gives the impression that it is bigger.

We took an offroad ride through the mountains and immediately I could feel the car was more stable. The approach and departure angles are better. The wheel travel is better, with the shocks and springs moved more to the outside. The shock mounting points are higher and not as vulnerable to damage as in our current Ranger.

Under the bonnet the 2.0 BiT looks really small in the engine bay. There is more than enough space to fit whatever you like in there. The air intake is very high up but not ideally placed, as it is in the front on top of the grill, and deep water crossings might be a problem. A Ford-approved snorkel available to fix that if you plan to do water crossings.

It is a 100% Ford engine produced  in South Africa. The kw is down from 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 auto. You are slightly longer in gears. The calibration of the engine 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, through clever calibration work and slightly faster throttle response.  I also think they upped the torque limiters in the 1st 3 gears. It all works way better than what the 2.0 owners are used to. The gear lever looks like the 6-speed box, and that also confused me and was a bit disappointing. I would have loved to see something different in the 10-speed.

Fuel consumption on the 2.0 I used was 10.25l per 100km offroad and on the open road. I used full power wherever I could. The acceleration is brisk, at about 9 seconds to 100kmh on my cell phone app. In-gear acceleration is well above average. Some 2.8 engines are barely comparable to this 2.0.

We were then given the keys to the much-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 tech you can find in a current bakkie.  This is a premium product with all the bragging rights you can get.

On initial pull off on full throttle (that is how I test and evaluate cars), the progress was not 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 tar with full throttle pull-aways. From 2nd, the acceleration is second to none. From 0-100kmh comes up in about 8 seconds. I thought that was impressive until I started to overtake cars: the in-gear acceleration makes this a safe and very impressive powertrain. This engine pulls like a train when you overtake or go uphill. The engine gives off 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 all-wheel drive in the rain and 2wd in the dry. The suspension feels more planted than the 2.0. The damping and rebound rates feel different. It is more luxury SUV-like.

In general, 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 do not tow heavy and I can spec the car to almost Wildtrak spec and, with my limited budget, insurance and fuel consumption is important. Power is what you normally expect in way bigger bakkies. The 10-speed gearbox helps to keep things where you want it.

The 3.0 V6 is for somebody who wants all the tech you can get in a bakkie, with a lot of pulling power and the bragging rights of the best bakkie money can buy. I wil give Ford all my fishing equipment to own one. This is the big boss, if you can afford it.

Pricing (All prices include VAT):

The Next-Generation Ford Ranger series 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


  • 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.

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