If there is one pick-up truck to look out for, it is the new 2015 Ford Ranger, which Ford says would boast plenty of first-in-class features to tempt the market. That wait is over as Ford Malaysia has launched the new Ranger today, sporting a price tag ranging from the RM91,588 for the base 2.2L XL, to the RM132,188 range-topping 3.2L WildTrak Automatic.
And since we are on the topic of price here is a brief rundown on the West Malaysian prices (excluding insurance) for the facelift Ford Ranger:
- 2.2L XL: from RM91,588
- 2.2L XLT: from RM101,388
- 3.2L WildTrak: from RM132,188
Considering the prices of the pre-facelift Ranger, the new Ranger brings with it a significant price hike, which is influenced on one part by unfavourable exchange rates, and the other being the extent of engineering improvements and new features that it comes fitted with.
With that being said, let’s take a look at what the new 2015 Ford Ranger has to offer.
You won’t have to look hard to spot the difference as the faceliftwork is quite extensive. On the outside the Ranger comes with a commanding new front grille, topped with a new re-profiled bonnet, new side fenders with a new side air vent design, and new halogen project headlights with auto-levelling functionality. The WildTrak tops the specification sheet with a WildTrak colour scheme grille, side steps, and auto high beam functionality.
But describing the new 2015 Ford Ranger as a mere facelift doesn’t quite highlight the magnitude of improvements Ford has shoehorned into the Ranger. The headlining improvements that have been brought with the facelift area raft of new engineering changes, which range from the drivetrain to the steering system and safety features.
Engine and Transmission
The biggest change in the drivetrain department is to be found with the 2.2-litre variants, which now comes with an improved version of the 2.2-litre 4-cylinder DuraTorq engine. The engine now puts out 10hp and 10Nm more, bringing its total power output up to 160hp and 385Nm of torque.
While there are no power increases to be had in the 200hp/470Nm 3.2-litre variant, Ford says that its big DuraTorq engine features an updated exhaust gas recirculation system that is said to boost fuel efficiency by up to 12 per cent.
As for transmissions, both engines will be accompanied with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.
The Steering is now Electric Assisted
Though electric power steering systems are becoming commonplace on normal family cars, the Ranger is the first pick-up truck in the segment to adopt electric power steering, which is now fitted to the XLT and WildTrak variants.
According to Ford the Ranger’s new power steering system is said to be more managable at low-speed manoeuvring and offer precise steering as well as being quieter in operation and capable of delivering a three per cent improvement in fuel efficiency.
Class-Leading Safety Features
The whole Ranger range now comes with Forward Alert system that gives drivers a visual and audible warning if the vehicle in front gets too close. Ford says the Ranger is the only pick-up truck in Malaysia to offer both electronic stability control and ISOFIX child seat harness points across all variants, as well as being the only pick-up truck in Malaysia to include audible parking sensors in both the front and rear, and features a rear-view camera.
Besides that, the Ranger range comes complete with plenty of safety features such as two airbags, Hill Launch Assist, Hill Descent Control, Adaptive Load Control, and emergency brake assist.
The cream of the Ranger's advanced safety features are reserved for the top-spec 3.2L WildTrak variant which comes with additional side and curtain airbags, bringing its total airbag count up to six. On top of that, the WIldTrak boasts class-leading advanced safety features such as the Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keeping Aid that applies steering torque should the system detects you are straying out of the lane. There is also a radar-guided Adaptive Cruise Control with Speed Limiter that is able to regulate your cruising speed.
Ranger’s Interior Gets Classy
It isn’t just the outside that gets a big nose job. The new Ranger also features a new dashboard that looks more upmarket. Occupants in the XLT will have Microsoft's SYNC in-car connectivity system with a 4.2-inch multi-function colour display that is prepared with playback capabilities for all manners of media formats, MP3s, AUX input, and USB device support.
On the WildTrak variant, Ford had pulled no stops in tarting it up. The range-topper comes complete with a huge 8-inch touchscreen system that is hooked up to the new-generation Microsoft SYNC2 system that allows occupants to operate the multimedia system, climate control, and Bluetooth Connectivity. The WildTrak features a first-in-class 4.2-inch TFT LCD meter cluster, two USB ports and SD card slot, a 230V 3-pin power inverter in the back, and the Ford MyKey programmable keys that allow owners to set the maximum speed limit, maximum volume of the audio system, and seatbelt reminders.
Still Capable As Ever
Not losing sight of its role as a pick-up truck, Ford ensures that the Ranger pick-up truck continues to uphold its 'Built Tough' reputation to pull through adverse conditions. The Ranger boasts a class-leading wading ability of up to 800mm depth, 230mm ground clearance, and a 28-degree approach and 25-degree departure angle.
With an electronically controlled transfer case drivers can switch between 4x2 and 4x4 High on the fly via a knob on the centre console, with a 4x4 Low low-range gearing available for low-speed torque or additional downhill braking. Ford says the Ranger is capable of towing up to 3,500kg and has an exceptional payload capacity of up to 1,200kg.
Stepping into Tough Competition
With plenty of first-in-class features, the new Ranger is well-equipped to take on the pick-up truck market. Judging from the changes that are done to the WildTrak and XLT variants, it is clear that Ford is targeting the casual and urban pick-up truck user, a growing demographic of buyers in the segment. Even so, the Ranger is up to some stiff competition from a whole range of new-generation pick-up trucks.
As we have covered the topic on why manufacturers are updating their pick-up truck models almost simultaneously, the Ranger’s competitors are already busily incorporating passenger car features in their latest pick-up truck offerings. The latest generation of pick-up trucks, such as the 2015 Mitsubishi Triton and the upcoming Toyota Hilux, feature an increasing amount of on-board features and improved level of refinement that blurs the lines that once divided the pick-up truck and passenger car classes.
Previously the Ranger, with its refinement and on-board features, was as close one could get to passenger car qualities in a pick-up truck. With the competition catching onto the Ranger’s long held advantage, Ford is upping the Ranger’s game considerably with the facelift with more features and creature comforts to become one of the most well-equipped pick-up trucks in the market.
#The new 2015 Ford Ranger will be available for public viewing at the “Tough Done Smart Experiential Test Drive” event at Central Park Avenue, 1Utama Shopping Centre from tomorrow till Sunday (9th to 11th October 2015).