I first purchased my 2016 XLT Ranger second hand early last year. It was my second Ranger in as many years, the first one being a PX1 manual, which I regretted from the day I got it. This time I was determined to do it properly; PX2 in auto and modify it to my liking. Compared to the PX1, the PX2 is largely the same. The driveline, engine and drivability are the same, aside from the electronically-assisted steering in the later model PX2.
The upgraded infotainment in the PX2 is a welcome change. The colour touchscreen makes life a lot easier, and the LCD screens flanking the speedo on the dash make displaying information a breeze.
There are, however, some issues that remained from the earlier PX1 that were never addressed. The splitting intercooler pipes remains an inherent problem with the Puma 3.2 motors and when matched with the automatic gearbox, they have a bad habit of blowing rear main seals (my own included). I found the manual in my PX1 to be more responsive and consistent with travelling up hills on the freeway, something which my auto PX2 struggles to do without going back several gears.
The auto gearbox problems don’t stop there either. The changes at low speed can sometimes be clunky and will jolt the car when there is no acceleration. It can also be somewhat unrefined when changing from drive to reverse and seems to take what feels like an eternity to engage the selected gear. Other owners have also reported ongoing DPF issues and regular problems, albeit minor, with air conditioning fan/actuator noise – however these have been mostly covered under warranty.
Forgoing all the minor gripes, the 3.2 Puma motor is astoundingly smooth and has plenty of torque at lower speeds. On the highway it’s quiet and effortless, getting reasonable fuel economy (12.3L/100km on average) with 33-inch tyres and ARB bull bar. At times I would have liked a little more power in the middle rev range as it noticeably dies off over 3500rpm, but being a turbo diesel, this is to be expected.
Overall, despite some issues (rear mail seal and crank seal – both covered under warranty) the car has performed as I have needed it to. It has capably gone off road, done multiple interstate road trips and done odd jobs on weekends.
Having driven the PX3 and Raptor models, I think the 3.2-litre option will remain the most popular. I would consider upgrading to the PX3 with the 3.2-litre option and 5-year warranty that Ford now offers.