The Ford Ranger is a key vehicle in many markets and indeed globally. According to Ford, it is sold in more than 180 countries around the world. Ford has repeatedly tried to get across that they listened more and to more customers than ever before for this new truck, which will probably be truly appreciated. In doing this, they say they learned many things that helped them shape the incoming vehicle in a bold athletic way. Reveal models for this new Ranger include the XLT, the Sport and the Wildtrak.
Listening to customers was an eye-opener for them, they said. “The biggest surprise was that no matter what the market, customers were aligned on what they thought Ranger should be – in terms of the way it needs to look and the way it needs to make them feel” said Ranger and Everest Chief Designer Max Tran in an online interview. “This common ground was really a clarifying moment for us. And it meant that one truly global truck was possible.”
They highlight details such as high-tech features, smart connectivity, enhanced capability and versatility as the specific areas of focus for the latest vehicle, aimed at the whole spectrum of work, family and play in which people live nowadays.
Though many specifications such as engine choice and so on will be very market specific, Ford highlighted the fact that they will be offering more powertrain choices in general,. The 3 liter V6 turbodiesel will be available depending on market, as will the single turbo and the biturbo 2 liter inline four-cylinder diesels. These are meant to be able to address more precisely specific market realities and needs in the mix for power, performance, economy and such.
Other details will be across the board changes. The front wheels for example have been moved 50mm forward for a better approach angle and outboard for better road articulation. An increased bed size allows for more flexible loading and use for wider cargo.
Visually, the truck is bolder externally and more interesting and seemingly welcoming internally. It is meant to be more athletic on the outside, with bolder details and a tough, dominating front design. They designed it to stand out. This benefited from improved customer interaction, such as when they got the responses from women who wanted something tough, safe and stylish. The interior is more refined and more well thought out. Less truck-like in many ways and more crossover-like in some ways but still retaining utility nods. The needed center console screen is well-integrated into the dash for example, as opposed to just looking forced.
But it is in the little details that many will be interested and how they actually help the end-user. There are indented side-steps behind the rear wheels, for example, that will allow improved access to whatever is in the cargo bed. That should prove quite useful. Dual Recovery Hooks are meant to allow more accessibility if you need to winch the vehicle out of an interesting off-road adventure. A Cargo Management System gives more options to the end user. There is an available tailgate work service with a built-in ruler and its own cupholders. There are also clamp holders built into the tailgate so it really becomes a work surface not just for planning but also for cutting and the like. Some features we think are smart may be market-dependent though, including external zone lighting and an onboard inverter that offers power access in the box, very useful for long days that stretch into night whether at work or at play. A bedliner with functional divider locators could really help customize the load box for specific needs. There is even the space and ability to add a second battery.
Inside the completely redesigned cabin things are more about creature comforts and proper use of space and design. There are less utilitarian, More premium materials, more color choices and more storage. The rear seat folds flat if you need that much more space, and there’s a storage space behind the rear seats as well. The wireless charging pas is thoughtfully big enough for larger mobiles. The connection between man and machine is supposed to be improved, so it should be easier and more intuitive to do things like switch between the six drive modes (previously only on the Raptor). A 360 degree camera, something that should be standard on more vehicles at this point, is included as well.
Ford has said and shown a lot about the new Ford Ranger. They thankfully listened more than they ever have to their customers. Yes everyone says that now. But Chief Designer for the Ranger and Everest Max Tran said it wasn’t “customer focus” as what he called “customer obsession.” How this all translates into the actual vehicle, how it looks in real life, how it feels and interacts, how it really works and plays when you actually use it, that remains to be seen. What is clear though is that it seems to be a bold and much-appreciated and refreshing rethink for a world that demands more.