The updated Ford Ranger has arrived in Australia with a new look, new technology and higher prices.
It’s Australia’s second-biggest selling ute behind the Toyota HiLux, but does this new model have what it takes to topple the top-selling Toyota? Let’s take a closer look.
The 2016 Ford Ranger line-up consists of a staggering 37 variations to choose from, and the model you see here is the second-from-the-top version, the XLT.
As you can see there have been some big changes to the exterior of the Ranger, which now looks a little bit more like an F-Truck out of the US.
The XLT gets a few cosmetic differentiators compared to the rest of the range – there’s a chrome grille, door-handles and mirror caps, as well as distinctive alloy wheels.
At the business end the dual-cab Ranger’s tray remains one of the better offerings in the segment in terms of length and width, while the payload for XLT models is capped at about 970 kilos. Towing is rated at 3.5 tonnes, which is equal to best in class.
But it’s inside where the more important changes have been made.
Up-spec models get Ford’s SYNC 2 connectivity system with a WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and an 8.0-inch touchscreen that comes with new sat-nav mapping.
The cabin itself has seen a design makeover that makes it more car-like than before, and the XLT model has an updated instrument cluster with digital side screens for the nav instructions and lane-departure and radar cruise control systems, which are part of the optional tech pack.
In the back seat the Ranger remains one of the best for leg, head and shoulder room, and unlike rivals such as the Navara, there are ISOFIX child seat anchor points.
The Ranger Series II is an improvement over its predecessor – but we can’t wait to get one in the garage and put it up against its key rivals soon. Stay tuned for that.