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
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
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
The four-litre Ranger is a typical Ford, strong on character,
lacking refinement in some areas, but overall, an honest
Ford Ranger 4000 XLE Double Cab
V6 Petrol, 4 009cc
154 kW @ 5 250 rpm
Nm @ 3 000 rpm
Five-speed manual, four-wheel-drive, low and high ratio
km/h: 11,4 seconds (Car Magazine estimate)
speed: 174 km/h (Car Magazine estimate)
consumption: 17,7 litres/100 km (Car Magazine estimate)