Ford Ranger 2.2L 6AT – The real deal

Posted on: June 28th, 2012


IT is normal for car companies to give publications vehicles before the actual launch, and we are supposed to hold the story until after the launch.

Usually, I have no issues with that, but the new T6 Ranger by Ford is so good, I practically had to leave the pictures I took in my desktop at home for fear that if it is in my Macbook, I would be itchy enough to post up one picture in the Facebook.

Yes, this truck is so good, even the missus who generally hates riding in a pickup truck gives her thumbs-up. “I really don’t mind if you want to buy this truck,” she said, quoted verbatim.

Now forget about car-like comfort explanation we use to see in truck reviews previously because this new Ranger blows that away. Part of the reason is because of its longer wheelbase – 3,220 mm, that is 220 mm longer than the old one. In fact, the new Ranger has the longest wheelbase in its category.

Thanks to that, the ride is a lot better than any other pickup trucks I have driven. I actually took my family back to Tangkak, Johor and the wife and daughter were happily snoring in the back seat. Before this, they would be complaining non-stop why didn’t I request for a car for the trip, or an SUV, or a wheelbarrow, or anything else but a truck.

Another reason why the family loves this truck is the space it offers. Having the longest wheelbase also means class leading cabin space. Now I am not sure whether the T6 Ranger has the biggest cab in this category, but I can sit cross legged at the back of the driver’s seat, which is adjusted for my 6 feet tall body.

The rear seat also features a slight recline, and passengers do not have to sit upright like in the old Ranger.

You can even pop-open the rear bench and get access to two storage areas, good for emergency kit, or that pack of ciggy you are hiding from the wife.

The dashboard follows Ford’s new design language, and if you are familiar with the Fiesta, you will feel at home.

The Nokia-handphone panel is there, providing access to various functions, and it even comes with voice control. Oh yes folks, I could call up the radio station and this truck will find the station for me.

There is also a Bluetooth function for handphone and media player, and the audio quality is the BEST in any pickup trucks I have driven. Really, I am not joking, I can really live with this Ranger.

There are audio control buttons on the steering wheel, and LCD screens on the dashboard and in the instrument binnacle – the latter looks sportier than the binnacles in the Mondeo.

Another point that I would like to highlight is how quite this truck is. Doing 110 km/h, you hardly hear the engine. Perhaps that is why the audio sounds good but well, I have to say, this Ford Ranger truck is quieter than Proton’s new sedan, and feels more refined than any Perodua cars.

In terms of driving dynamics, the Ranger gets a new steering system which is again, one of the best in its class. It feels more direct, and more car-like.

The suspension too offers a composed ride. It feels solid on tarmac, but it absorbs potholes like a proper Continental sedan.

The unit that I got has a 2.2L Duratorq VGT TDCi engine with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The engine dishes out 150PS and 375Nm, that is sufficient for proper road use and off-roading.

To be frank, I believe the Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi Triton feel more powerful, but Ford told me my unit is still new (less than 5,000km on the odo) and the engine is still tight. I agree, but I am happy with the performance because a truck is not designed for racing or accelerating hard. Do that and it won’t be long before you get a hefty bill on your gearbox and engine. Even worse, you end up in a ditch with the roof down.

For the price, (2.2XLT 4X4 6-AT – RM95,888), I think this is one heck of a deal.

Big, comfortable, good looking and priced well, there is no reason why the new Ford Ranger cannot be the new pickup king.

- Hezeri Samsuri

*The other variants available are the 2.2XLT 4X4 6-MT- RM89,888 and the Wildtrak 4X4 6-AT- RM116,888

*For more pictures, visit our Facebook.

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