Following our in-depth 4×4 testing and extended on-road first impressions experience with the Ford Ranger FX-4 at its local launch last year at the Wild Coast, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa provided us with the bakkie for a week, to experience what it is like living with the vehicle for a week. Here follows our formulated opinions of the vehicle below:
While we could not match the fuel usage golden standard of 6.8 litres/100km over the 2 500km test route set during the 2019 WesBank Fuel Economy Tour by the XLT 4×2 derivative which made it unbeatable in the pickup segment, we did produce a highly respectable 7.7 litres per 100 km over the course of the week. This included trips to school, the mall for weekend and weekday shopping runs, Sunday mass, and ofcourse, the daily work commute from Pretoria East to Rosebank, three out of the five days in the week (two days working from home – blessing in the hybrid working era).
While the current Ranger is about to get replaced by the newly unveiled new model this year, the old model, well current more accurately, still gets some envious looks and attention from passers-by, other bakkie drivers, and petrol pump attendants. This is largely due to its black-out ever’thang approach with a blacked out grille, mags, mirriors and door handles, which are all nicely contrasted by the silver paint of our test model.
Inside the cabin remains classy and while it is showing, its still practical, can role with life’s challenges like kids eating in the car leading to you having to wipe down spilled ice-cream using baby wipes etc. as well as classy thanks to the leather and red stitching coupled with the embossed FX-4 logos in the front seats. It is a great family trip vehicle, in fact, my wife also commented that it is just as comfortable for her as her 2009 Audi Q5 over long trips thanks to the soft suspension and comfortable front and rear seats.
Our kids (two girls aged 6 and 7) also loved driving in it thanks to the comfort and space and high riding height with the nice view. The kids also loved riding in the back around our complex at a steady 15 km/h (with another adult joining them in the back ofcourse).
The tie-down hooks, 12 Volt outlet in the tub along with the LED lights at the back makes it a handy moving vehicle, camping truck, and support hauler of all of life’s stuff.
Using SYNC 3 remains easy and intuitive and one of the best current infotainment system’s around. We can’t wait to employ the new system on the larger tablet sized display of the upcoming Everest and Ranger.
Ultimately, we still really enjoyed our time with the double cab and whilst the new ones look a lot more impressive on the outside and inside and feel even more upmarket, they will have a lot to live up to in terms of comfort onroad and capability offroad and we can’t wait to see how they stack up during their local launch events later this year. Still worth a buy from our side unless you want the very latest and greatest in terms of design and tech, in which case you will have to delay your purchase of a new bakkie until the second half of 2022.