November 08, 2022 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4

The Adopter Special

Much has been said and celebrated already about the new Ford Ranger model family series designed by model Chief Designer Max Tran, based in Melbourne, Australia, especially with the ferocious upcoming gasoline-fueled 392 bhp / 430 lb-ft twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 Raptor. If that rabid model is too much for you then the next rung 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbodiesel Wildtrak producing 247 bhp / 442 lb-ft of torque should surely light your fire. However, our market won’t receive either for quite a bit longer. Realistically, we estimate that the new Ranger Raptor will be released domestically by the 3rd quarter of 2023 at the earliest while the V6 turbodiesel may first be applied to the new Everest before the pickup about the same time as the release of the hugely desirable Sport Truck.

How ironic that the most capable off-road mid-size pickup truck in our Philippine market, the almost all-new 4th generation Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4, that also has the most commodious and versatile rear bed, will appeal most to new buyers who would spend the least amount of time off-road nor fully optimize the fabulous rear bed.

The handsome and purposeful aesthetics and features of the new Ford Ranger, both inside and out, are certainly very compelling and stand out in what is already a frenzy of great pickups available in the market. Yet as it stands, locally outfitted/packaged, the current top-spec Wildtrak 4×4 with the 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo, our test unit seen here in model-specific Sedona Orange (the exclusive color is also available in the Sport model), ranked a close third to the Isuzu D-Max / Mazda BT-50 twins in the 18th C! Awards.

The Isuzu D-Max was able to secure its triumphant place primarily because of its marginally more complete practical packaging and its deeper bench of eight (8) variants beginning with the top-spec 3.0 4X4 LS-E 6-speed AT priced at ₱1,835,000.00 to the commercial Single-Cab RZ4E 4X2 6-speed MT at ₱862,000.00. The 4th generation Ford Ranger, despite its handsome purposeful looks, mildly retuned engines and transmissions (for better efficiency and smoothness but loses 4 bhp in the process yet retains the same 369 lb-ft @ 1750 to 2000 rpm of torque with the same 10-speed gear ratios but with revised shift points), significantly stronger and larger front brakes with rear vented disc brakes instead of drums on the Wildtrak Bi-Turbo model, 50 mm longer wheelbase, 50 mm wider track, bigger infotainment screens, new packaging, excellent rear bed configuration with sidesteps, and more was a very close third-placer. The Ford Ranger also has eight (8) variants beginning with the Ranger 2.0L Bi-Turbo Wildtrak 4×4 AT priced at ₱1,875,000.00 to the Ranger 2.0L Turbo XL 4×4 MT priced at ₱1,198,000.00.

The new Ford Ranger model series are great and they now finally have rear climate control vents but if you get past the very attractive 12-inch portrait SYNC®4A infotainment screen, 8-inch digital instrument cluster, and Cyber Orange interior stitching on the new interiors, the Isuzu/Mazda twins still have more refined straightforward interior cabins, especially with the top-spec brown leather seats and 8-speaker audio systems that create a more car-like ambiance. The new electronic brake is great but I prefer using the conventional mechanical emergency brake found in the Isuzu twins. I also prefer the tastefully executed analog instruments on the Isuzu twins (each with their own unique designs) supported by a very thorough central 4.2-inch multi-information TFT screen instead of the 8-inch fully digital screen of the Ford. The driving and off-road data on the Ford are great but how the information is displayed is distracting not because it is overwhelming but rather because of its uninspired and elementary presentation, especially when compared to the multitude of new vehicles available today that use fully digital instrumentation.

The new Ford Rangers have certainly grown in size, compliance, and ability building on the robust T6 chassis supported with new suspension (with more spring/damper articulation for improved ride and handling on and off-road) and brakes hence why the updated chassis is described as version “T6.2” but you also feel the more pronounced weight increase of over 200 kilos since the 245 bhp / 442 lb-ft of torque 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel is currently not offered in our market along with the 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen™ audio system, 9-airbags (two more than what we get now), 12.4-inch instrument gauge, and more kit.

The off-road ability of the Ford is best-in-class where it feels peerlessly planted, effortless, and confident. The wealth of new gadgetry combined with focused engineering makes the Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 the most accomplished in its class off-road. The 2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 weighs over 400 pounds heavier than a Mazda BT-50 4×4 though it has a more potent engine and more gear ratios compared to its former partner. The Ranger Wildtrak is more planted and rides with astoundingly more refinement than ever before while the electric steering is more precise and effortless. The active safety measures can take a bit of control away from the driver though, so you either adapt to it or disable independent features that you find too eager to please.

The new cabin has the most soft-surfaces and contrasting finishes in its class which will definitely attract new buyers especially those who are purchasing their first mid-size truck. The new cabin is the most sophisticated and most comfortable for the model series ever with abundant charging points that include secure wireless smartphone charging and a wealth of cup/drink holders. The front seat belts lost their height adjustment which is odd as it literally helps improve driver and front passenger comfort. Cabin volume remains essentially the same though as the extra dimensions were focused on improving rear bed capacity (a Euro pallet can now fit between the rear arches) and multi-surface dynamic handling. I wish the rear bench had a bit more recline angle though. It is better than before but not as comfortable as the competition. There are two extra hidden storage compartments found beneath the rear bench, one larger and deeper using plastic protection for potential “wet” items while the other is longer but shallower with exposed sheet metal for “dry” items next to the properly protected toolkit. The jack is securely mounted behind the rear seat back which you can easily access and fold flat.

The 2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 variant may look the same and it costs P306,000.00 less however it loses a lot of essential standard equipment along with the 4×4 drivetrain (with its Terrain Management System) which includes the comprehensive safety suite (Advanced Driver Assist Technology), the stronger Adaptive Matrix LED Headlights (though the LED multi-reflector system is already better than its predecessor), the Electronic Locking Rear Differential, no front parking sonar, it uses a 6-speed automatic instead of the 10-speed, and it uses the single turbo version of the 2.0-liter engine that produces 168 bhp @ 3500 rpm and 299 lb-ft @ 1750-2500 rpm which is actually less fuel efficient at 8L/100km overall consumption.

The hydro-formed front-end structure not only accommodates multiple engine sizes but helps make the turbodiesel engine the quietest in its class. The huge 12-inch touchscreen is fabulous but I do wish that Ford did not commit too many basic functions into the center touchscreen. The cool new short-throw e-shifter that is also back-lit is only available with the two V6 engines, which is a pity. If you do want to learn about the vast number of features of the new truck, the entire manual is available through the infotainment screen.

The approach angle has been increased to 30 degrees (up from 28.5 degrees) and the rear departure angle improved to 23 degrees (up from 21 degrees). The trick new bed with rear box steps is 1564mm long, 1584mm wide, and 540mm tall with fender rails, a 12V power socket, a 230V power inverter (Wildtrak 4×4 only). The maximum braked towing capacity is up to 3500 kg in all but the Raptor (2500kg). The front camera system is further optimized beyond parking maneuvers, when the Mud/Ruts drive mode is engaged, the camera turns on and helps one guide the front wheels in the desired direction which is especially useful in steep inclines when your horizon is compromised or when powering through dark forest trails.

I wish the Philippine-spec Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 came with the 4A automatic mode that can be used on “high-traction surfaces” like paved roads for enhanced intelligent all-wheel traction. The extra mode comes standard on the V6 engines. For extra traction on 4L, the electronic rear differential lock can be activated but through the Sync4 infotainment touchscreen, I wish there was a dedicated physical toggle for this function though.

Ultimately, in the end, we are very certain that the new Ford Ranger family will be even more successful that its predecessor. I may be personally critical of a few standard functions and pine for more standard equipment that I feel would make the top-spec models even more desirable to more discerning buyers, but despite all that, I recognize the essential improvements and huge equipment upgrades.

Specification – 2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4

Engine: Inline-4

Location: Front, Longitudinal

Displacement: 1996 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Iron

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder

Fuel Injection: Direct Commonrail Fuel Injection, Intercooled Twin Sequential Turbodiesel

Max power: 207 bhp @ 3750 rpm

Max torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1750-2000 rpm

Transmission: 10-speed 10R80 automatic, primarily rear-wheel driven. Part-Time 4×4 System: 6-Selectable Drive Mode Terrain Management System. Electronic Locking Rear Differential.

Front suspension: Independent Double Wishbone with Coil Springs, gas-pressurized dampers, and solid stabilizer bar.

Rear suspension: Hotchkiss-type non-independent live, multi-leaf springs and inboard shock absorbers.

Fuel Capacity: 80 liters (21 gallons)

Ground Clearance: 235 mm

Wading Depth: 800 mm

Approach Angle: 30 degrees

Departure Angle: 23 degrees

Ramp-over angle: 21 degrees

L x W x H: 5370 mm x 1918 mm x 1884 mm

Wheelbase: 3170 mm

Brakes: Front 13-inch (330 mm) ventilated discs with 2-piston calipers / Rear 12.1-inch (307 mm) vented disc with single piston caliper, ABS, ESP, TCS, EBD, EPB, HDC, Advanced Driver Assist Technology: Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering, Auto High Beam, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, Pre-Collision Assist, Dynamic Brake Support, Distance Alert / Distance Indication, Forward Collision Warning System, Evasive Steer Assist, Post Impact Braking, Lane Departure Warning & Lane Keeping System, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert & Braking, 360 Degree Camera, Reverse Brake Assist, 7 SRS Air Bags, Hill Launch Assist & Roll Over Mitigation, Electric Brake Booster and Driver Alert System.

Wheels: 18” x 8J Multi-spoke Grey Finish Aluminum Alloys.

Tires: P255/65R18 111H Good Year Wrangler Territory HT

Weight: (kerb) 2341 kg. (5150 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.2 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 202 km/h (126 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 7.6 L/100km Overall

Price as tested: PhP 1,885,000.00 (Wildtrak 4×2 variant: PhP 1,579,000.00)

C! RATING 9.5/10

+Superior to its predecessor, excellent adaptive matrix full-LED headlights and rear signature LED lights with LED front fog lamps, strong LED puddle lights, overall most attractive mid-size pick-up in the market, quietest and most complete interior packaging, best off-road pickup ability, finally has rear passenger aircon vents, best rear bed features in the market, most comprehensive active safety equipment, best brakes in its class, largest infotainment screen at 12-inches in portrait form featuring SYNC®4A with Wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ Compatibility and wireless smartphone charger.

-The active safety measures can be way too aggressive, the standard 6-speaker system does the large screen an aural disservice, no optional 10-speaker Band & Olufsen audio, no 4A transmission mode, no Ambient Lighting, no 12.4-inch instrument screen option yet, limited 8-inch instrument screen configurations, no 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel option yet, no option for a powered retractable aluminum tonneau bed cover either like its predecessor.

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