b' 4WD Road Test FORD RANGER XLTThrow in the latest safety upgrades and theRanger undoubtedly has to be a serious contenderfor anyone seeking a lifestyle/working 4x4 utilityAny way you looklook atat it,it, thethe FordFord RangerRanger On-road The 2019 Ranger retainsretains thethe provenprovenThe 2019 Rangeris an impressiveive vehicle.vehicle. SinceSince launchlaunch inin 147kw/470Nm 3.2-litre3.2-litre 5 cylindercylinder turboturboDrivinga quickquick 600kms600kms toto SouthSouth 147kw/470Nm2011 the Rangerger hashas earnedearned anan Driving diesel engineAustralia, youyou soonsoon appreciateappreciate thethe diesel engine thatthat hashas beenbeen thethe main-main-enviable reputationt tiin the ultra-competi- Australia, stay off thethmodeld l since launch. Recentlyi th lt ti improved suspension and on-road t i l h R tltive multi-tasking dual-cab utility market. dynamics. It delivers car-like Ford has introduced its new Bi-turboOur test vehicle was the volume selling attributes to what many would regard as 4-cylinder diesel that is mated to aXLT dual-cab, which sits in the Ranger a working ute. Handling is apleasure, 10-speed automatic transmission, withhierarchy just below the sporty Wildtrak steering well weighed and seating is improved 157kw power and impressivevariant. supportive and comfortable. Ride 500Nm of torque. This option isRanger looks the part, with rugged quality is also first class, and far available exclusively on the XLT andstyling suggestive of its truck-like superior to the choppy ride I previously Wildtrak models.origins in the States. Body lines are experienced on one of its main Drivetrainstrong and confident with a new cleaner competitors. Alighting from any vehicle For our drive, the 3.2-litre TDCI enginegrille and chiselled lower bumper, and after a 3 hour stint behind the wheel, was matched to a 6-speed manualdaylight running LED lights and HID you soon pick up on any issues, and transmission. Yes, there is still such aheadlights. Ford has introduced subtle there were few with the XLT. beast, and while the auto is a fine unit,styling changes across the line-up to The Ranger uses rear leaf springs, and having tested it on previous occasions,differentiatethe models. The XLT when pushed through corners body roll once you re-educate yourself to thefeatures bright chrome work and is limited, and power can be applied driving requirements of a manual, this isdifferent bumper treatments. quickly. This model has upgraded a very good unit. In many instances firstsuspension with improved geometry gear can be skipped, as it gets theaimed to improve the driving experience wheels moving before jumping into 2ndfully laden and towing. Other benefits and 3rd. There is generous leeway inare reduced body roll as well as more the gears, meaning that the driver doesprecise steering. not have to constantly reach for anotherPush a little too hard through a corner gear as speeds vary. and the Ranger is composed and well Featuressorted. The Ranger delivers a quiet, refinedcabin, with wind and road noiseimpressively suppressed. The cabin is modern and well laid outwith plenty of standard features,including 8-inch colour touch screenand reversing camera, standard Satnavigation, Apply Carplay, 2 USB ports,2 12-volt plugs, dual climate control,rain-sensing windscreen wipers andattractive instrument lighting. Otherstandard fare includes Bluetooth withphone, digital radio, and wheel mountedcontrols.TRACKWATCH DECEMBER 201923'