Brave New Looks, Significantly Updated Underneath
Though the dominant new upright trapezoidal grille will split opinion, there is plenty of re-engineering works beneath the sheet metal, to mark it out as more than just a nip and tuck work. The facelift work brings to the Ranger improved sound insulation, retuned suspension for additional comfort and better handling, and a new electric power-assisted steering system, that provides a precise steering, as well as being quieter in operation and improves fuel efficiency by three per cent.
The interior too has been updated to offer a more comfortable and contemporary, car-like environment for the driver. The cabin gets a new central 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system, whereas the driver gets a new dual-TFT instrument cluster, similar to that used in the Ranger’s SUV-derivative, the new Ford Everest.
According to David Dewitt, head of Ford’s Asia Pacific Exterior design team, the new Ranger was designed to reflect the current trend of customers who use their pickup truck for both work and their lifestyle.
Premium Car-Like Features
Ford who are known to push the boundaries of the type of features they will fit to their new models, have once again raised the bar with the facelifted Ranger. Beneath its new cabin, the Ranger now boasts a whole host of features that is bound to entice car owners out of their cars. The array of features fitted to the facelift Ranger includes:
- Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid. Using a bank of forward-facing cameras, the system is able to detect if the driver is drifting unintentionally out of a lane when driving at high speeds. The Lane Keeping Alert warns the driver with a vibration in the steering wheel, and if no action is taken, the Lane Keeping Aid will apply steering torque to guide the vehicle back.
- Adaptive Cruise Control. The Ranger comes with radar sensors that can maintain both a preset speed as well as a preset distance from the vehicle ahead.
- Forward Alert. This system works with the Adaptive Cruise Control to give audio and visual warnings when it gets too close to a vehicle in front and charges the brakes to ensure optimum braking performance.
- Driver Impairment Monitor. Using the forward-facing cameras and on-board sensors, this feature can detect if the driver is drowsy. Should the system detect drowsiness, it will warn the driver with gradually louder signals.
- SYNC 2. The Ranger comes with the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity system, which is said to recognise more natural voice commands. And can change the car’s climate control settings, entertainment system, and navigation system.
- Front and Rear Parking Assist
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
- Electronic Stability Program
Aside from the new electric power steering system, Ford has also tweaked the Ranger to improve fuel efficiency. According to Ford the Ranger features a 20 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency across the range. The Ranger will be available with four engines, the range-topping 147kW/470Nm 3.2L five-cylinder Duratorq, a 118kW/385Nm 2.2L four-cylinder Duratorq with a ‘high-efficiency’ 96kW/330Nm variant, and a 122kW/225Nm 2.5L 4-cylinder Duratec petrol engine.
According to Ford, the 3.2L Duratorq engine features an updated exhaust gas recirculation system that helps boost fuel efficiency by up to 18 per cent. While the ‘high-efficiency’ 2.2L Duratorq engine is said to be 20 per cent more fuel efficiency than the standard 2.2: engine. All Rangers will also be fitted with the automatic start/stop systems, which Ford says is able to bump fuel efficiency up by 3.5 per cent, while a longer final drive ratio boosts fuel efficiency at highway speeds.
According to Sime Darby Auto Connexion, only the three diesel variants will be available when the facelift Ranger comes to Malaysia. For now it is too early to confirm the price and specifications of the Rangers bound for Malaysia.