Ranger Wildtrak in the 4×4 Shed
July 7, 2021
Specced-out Ranger is in the 4×4 shed to prove once again why it’s so popular.
When Ford chucked me the keys to a Ranger Wildtrak 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel in December, I knew it was just the ticket to serve as 4X4 Australia’s resident tow tug for camper trailer reviews.
With heaps of grunt and an impressive 3.5-tonne towing capacity, the Wildtrak was born for the job. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was just how comfortable the Ranger would be as an everyday people mover.
Year after year the Ranger proves itself as one of the most popular 4x4s in Australia, and it wasn’t long before I got a glimpse of why. With power, comfort and functionality to spare, this vehicle would happily serve tradies, serious adventurers, weekend warriors, young parents and grey nomads alike.
Despite its smaller engine size than the stablemate Wildtrak 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder Bi-Turbo packs more of a punch when it comes to power down low. It’s got loads of torque at 500Nm at 1750 to 2000rpm, versus the 3.2-litre’s 470Nm at 1750 to 2500rpm. The 2.0-litre also enjoys a 10-speed automatic gearbox, providing the vehicle a smooth, quiet ride at low and highway speeds.
To my surprise and delight, the Ranger drives and handles more like an SUV than a hefty ute, a fact I appreciated greatly when using the vehicle for grocery runs, school drop-offs and arvo beach missions in my hometown of Wollongong.
Historically I’ve found driving 4×4 utes can make me feel like an 11-year-old who has stolen dad’s keys for a spin around the back paddock, which is to say, too small to do so comfortably. Not the case with the Ranger. Finding a comfortable seating position with the six-way electric seat controls is easy and visibility is excellent out every window. Steering is light and predictable at any speed and manoeuvring around tight carparks is simple.
Parking is aided by some handy technology, namely the autonomous reverse-parking feature which scans the street for a spot of a suitable size and backs the thing in for you.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enable the safe navigation of your phone’s call log, messages, music and podcasts while driving.
Combined with its exceptional driving comfort and ease of manoeuvrability around town, this vehicle would be an excellent option for anyone looking for a 4×4 that’s equally suited as a weekend workhorse and everyday family mover.