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Ford Ranger XLE Double Cab

Broadcast dates : 27th March 2005
31st March 2005

One thingís for sure. When people talk about the new four-litre version of the Ford Ranger, theyíre going to be talking about the power and performance, thanks to a lusty, feisty 154 kiloWatt V6 engine that hails from the heartland of America.

The Ford F150 is a classic American pick-up that has been top of the sales charts for the past few years. Ford, like General Motors, is creating a common international look for many of its vehicles. So its international pick-up, which in the past had more of a Japanese appearance, is now redneck Americana.

The Ford Ranger XLE Double-Cab four-litre is, like most vehicles in its class, a compromise vehicle.

Because itíll be spending some of its time in serious off-road conditions, it needs rugged construction. This the Ford has in a beefy ladder frame chassis, as well as torsion-bar suspension up front, and a live axle at the rear. Likewise with the engine has to deliver the best of both worlds.

The Ford Ranger XLE comes with a separate transfer case, which is selected electronically to engage four-wheel-drive and low range. The hubs are automatically locked up front and a diff lock is also fitted.

Apart from the street-orientated tyres, the off-road ability is top notch.

On the road is where the Ranger is most impressive. 323 Newton-Metres of torque backs up the 154 kiloWatt power peak.

This together with long-legged gearing results in fierce and sustained acceleration. 0-100 is in the eleven-second bracket, and top speed is a 170 kilometres-per-hour.

And the on-road ride is impressively plush for a pick-up.

It goes without saying that itís a practical vehicle too. The woven rubber mat is a nice touch in the loading bay, and various tie-down lugs and twelve-volt connections are incorporated in the load bay.

A 180 degree tailgate support enables easy loading .The load-box length is just over 1,6 metres, and the overall load rating is 1600 kilograms, including vehicle occupants.

Inside, the Ranger is workmanlike with a luxury overlay. The dash design is rather uninspired, and the seats, while covered in optional leather, have a rather hard, rawhide look to them.

But the luxury and safety checklist has many ticks on it. These include driver and passenger airbags, height-adjustable steering wheel, electric window lifts and door mirrors, air-con, and remote central locking.

Itís in serious off-roading that one appreciates all the low-end torque of the Yankee-sourced V6. With low-ratio and four-wheel-drive selected, the low-engine-speed torque is an enormous boon in chugging up steep trails.

Just one negative is that throttle response is perhaps too instant, making it difficult to keep a constant flow over bumpy terrain.

Perhaps Ford could have programmed in a more gradual throttle take-up that kicks in when low range is selected.

Being a naturally-aspirated petrol engine, it doesnít have the throttle lag right at the low end of the rev range that turbodiesels have.

The four-litre Ranger is a typical Ford, strong on character, lacking refinement in some areas, but overall, an honest workhorse.

Ford Ranger 4000 XLE Double Cab

  • Engine: V6 Petrol, 4 009cc

  • Power: 154 kW @ 5 250 rpm

  • Torque:323 Nm @ 3 000 rpm

  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, four-wheel-drive, low and high ratio

  • 0-100 km/h: 11,4 seconds (Car Magazine estimate)

  • Top speed: 174 km/h (Car Magazine estimate) 

  • Fuel consumption: 17,7 litres/100 km (Car Magazine estimate)

  • Price: R327 880

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