Published on December 16th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Ford Ranger 2WD Auto Makes The Best Sense Ever
Until this new Ranger truck arrived a few months ago, you could not buy a 2-wheel drive (2WD) pickup truck with an automatic gearbox in Malaysia. Yes, this is a fact. A few years ago we researched all the known pickup truck brands in Malaysia and not a single brand had a 2WD Auto on sale. Why we asked? They all answered the same, no given market demand. But then we said…..what about housewife’s, men who have boring office jobs, working mothers and small city run business owners who just want a pickup truck to run in heavy city traffic…..without the need to go off-road at all?
What about pickup truck lovers who just want the ‘garang’ looks for city commuting and the occasional ‘balik kampong’ where the roads can accommodate a passenger car with ease? This is an untapped segment. These people do not need to have an expensive 4×4 system which they will probably never use at all and yet have the 4×4 ‘look’ which they want. Less fuel sipped, less maintenance, lower tyre costs and a lighter vehicle which translates to a more spirited driving. All these questions have now been answered with this FIRST ever 2WD Auto driven Ranger and with Wildtrak features (top of the line in cabin features).
The urban legend of a workhorse has been spruced up to provide a new level of drive comfort and everyday usability.
Now we have an all-new Ranger and it is still a pickup in the classic mould, and looks the part of what the rest of the world calls a ‘truck’, however the macho image of driving a pickup has superseded its real working need. Make no mistake here as there is no doubt that this new Ranger Wildtrak is able to do the work as well as any other pickup from the brand, but it also has the capacity to act as a surprisingly comfortable car for anyone wanting to carry the family rather than the construction work crew to the job site. Drivers of various sizes and shapes will be happy behind the tilt-adjustable steering wheel, with enough room to stretch out without crushing the legs of rear-seat passengers. The driving position is natural and relaxed, ensuring an enduringly comfortable position that doesn’t lead to backache on long hauls, with good forward visibility and decent mirrors to tell you what’s going on behind. Rear seat passengers are reasonably well catered for, with oddment space rating about average and more legroom and better rear back incline.
New Smart Technologies
Equipped with an array of smart technologies, the Ranger Wildtrak’s intuitive features make any task a breeze. The cabin now features SYNC 3, the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity system that boasts an 8-inch colour touchscreen to operate phone & entertainment controls using a simple voice command system.
With Ford’s advanced hands-free technology, drivers are able to safely observe the rules of the road while staying connected.
A host of other convenient features have been designed with the driver in mind. This new Ranger is the only pickup in Malaysia to include audible parking sensors in both the front and rear. It also features Front and Rear Park Assist and a rear-view camera, which gives a clear view behind the vehicle.
Another convenient feature which is found in the rear passenger space is a 230-volt power socket that can be used to power a laptop computer anywhere, from a work site to a family road trip. Both handy features are exclusive to the Ford Ranger range only and not available in the whole pickup segment.
Lighter From The Lights
Under the bonnet sits a frugal 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel, which has come a long way in technology from equivalent units as it now delivers better fuel economy and in 2WD it accelerates even better than before. On the road, this new Ranger is easy to drive and even more reassuring it offers a solid presence, reasonably refined impressive power, a well-cushioned ride and surprising agility. The engine delivers a surplus grunt of top-end power that is not always associated to even most 2.5-liter diesel engines while still being tuned for extreme frugal usage of diesel fuel even when pushed. Shifts from the all new 10-speed automatic are super slick and timely. A supple ride is sometimes at the expense of handling balance, especially over imperfect surfaces, but this 2WD Ranger can be hustled along briskly with the steering responding faithfully and eagerly both on tarmac and dirt tracks. Inevitably it is the ride comfort that endears the Ranger to recreational buyers, although a stint on a light 4×4 trail also tells you that it is as simple to manoeuvre over obstacles as it is to park in a city lot.
The Urban Cowgirl
For a housewife, working mother or family man who is a city dweller or a company accountant looking to purchase a fleet of workhorses that will deliver usage with minimal cost incurred, this new Ranger 2WD auto with good safety features and car like cabin features should be taken into account with a Ford showroom visit and a detailed test drive.
Ford Ranger 2.0 Wildtrak High Rider Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder/16v Turbo Diesel
Power: 180bhp @ 3500rpm
Torque: 420Nm @ 1750-2500rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto with SelectShift
Top Speed: TBA
Price: From RM134,888.00 as tested