Car review

Ford has, over the years, established itself as one of the best when it comes to off-road vehicles with its Ranger UTE. It has continued to provide model updates and special editions, and in 2020, it added the Ford Ranger FX4 to the mix. This one comes with a black-pack aesthetic and is sold for $59,140.

This car is different from the XLR in that its exterior is blacked out. Its unique grille, sports bar, door handles, and 18-inch wheels are all darkened, and so is the bi-LED headlights.

The interior also has its own tweaks in terms of appearance, as many of its surfaces are adorned with FX4 logos and red stitching. It also has FX4 carpet mats. Apart from these, it is the same with XLT, and just like it, its instrument binnacle features a dual display; it has an 8.0-inch SYNC 3 infotainment display, manual seat adjustment, etc.

In terms of safety, it comes with top of a class safety kit which includes lane-keep assist, driver alert, lane-departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection, automatic high beam, and traffic sign recognition. You can also improve safety with the optional Tech Pack, which costs $800 and will provide semi-automatic parallel parking and adaptive cruise control.

The drivetrain also offers many options, with the cheapest being the five-cylinder engine with a 3.2-litre capacity and a six-speed manual gearbox. For $2200, you will get a five-cylinder engine with a 3.2-litre capacity and a six-speed automatic gearbox.  For $3700, you will get the twin-turbo diesel with 2.0-litre capacity and the 10-speed automatic gearbox.

The five-cylinder turbo diesel engine with a 3.2-litre capacity provides 147kW at 3000rpm and has a towing capacity of 3500kg and Operating the manual geared Ranger is quite easy.

With the twin-turbo diesel with 2.0-litre capacity and the 10-speed automatic gearbox, you will get a much better, smoother, gustier, and flexible performance. But this doesn’t mean the 3.2-litre engine is bad at all.

The peak torque of the Ranger does not reduce when you choose the manual transmission, unlike what you find in many competitors. This means the torque delivery will match the gearbox effectively. The gearshift might feel notchy at first, but once you’re familiar with it, changing gears is quite easy.

The Ranger FX4 is designed for optimal performance off-road with its ground clearance excellent. The traction systems are well-tuned, and this can mitigate the wheel spin, it’s bonnet is quite bulked up, which can be tricky when you’re trying to get the right wheel placement.

In terms of fuel consumption, the manufacturer claims it consumes 8.4 litres per 100km, but the test reveals it is in the mid 9s. However, this is still pretty good.

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