Ford South Africa kindly treated my mom and myself for Mother’s Day this year and although the Ranger XL Sport might not be what the typical ladies who lunch expect as a Mother’s Day treat, in fact it was right up our alley.
We also opted not to Mother’s Day on actual Mother’s Day to avoid any Corona crowds because my mom could be considered a vulnerable person (don’t tell her that!) but chose to go out on Saturday for breakfast instead.
We opted to take out the grand dame in a grand dame to Johannesburg’s grand dame. My mother in a Ranger XL Sport to the Rand Club. She’d never been, because up until 1981-ish women weren’t permitted in the Rand Club but she did have a few stories about the place that my dad must’ve have told her.
Alas, you are not here for that, you’re here for the car and what a car it is… Ford recently introduced a selection of new options, including a Sport Pack, handy side steps, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which increases the appeal of the Ranger XL line-up.
I have to say, we loved it. For such a large vehicle the Ranger is surprisingly easy to drive, and the ride height and good all-round visibility makes it easy to park as well. My mother was initially concerned about being able to climb up into the Ranger, but the well positioned handles and side steps meant it wasn’t too bad, and, I must say her “dismount” on the way out was hilarious to watch!! Let me know if you want to see the video!
According to Ford, the Ranger XL is their value-oriented offering that “suits a wide variety of applications, from the hard-working Single Cab with its spacious loadbox, the practical SuperCab that provides additional storage capacity behind the front seats, to the comfortable Double Cab that is equally suited to business or family use.
A bakkie/truck/twincab taken to the Rand Club? Some of you might scratch your head and wonder why this chariot, but the Sport Pack option gives the Ranger XL a more upmarket flair and you really do experience that #RangerLife and day-to-day practicality.
Obviously, I have to talk about the tech – The Ranger XL can now be selected with Ford’s optional touchscreen infotainment system instead of the entry-level SYNC1 unit with a four-inch LCD display, which improves connectivity and in-car entertainment.
A huge eight-inch full-colour touchscreen display is included. Despite the lack of built-in speech recognition and navigation, it’s still a feature-rich package that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when coupled with compatible smartphones. This allows users to use their phone’s navigation functions as well as other approved apps like Waze.
It also enables phone calls from Bluetooth-enabled devices, text-to-speech messaging, and WiFi hotspot functionality. Additional multimedia connection options are provided by two USB slots.
The Sport pack
The Sport Pack distinguishes Ranger XL models with an eye-catching gloss black grille that replaces the basic black grille seen on regular models. The standard 16-inch silver alloy wheels have been changed to 17-inch Panther gloss black cast alloy rims with larger diameter 265/65 R17 tyres, continuing the exclusivity motif. A tubular sports bar in the rear load compartment, as well as a black rear bumper, add to the Sport Pack’s more dynamic appearance.
The XL Sport Pack adds R16,500 to the Ranger XL’s basic price, while the optional eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system and dealer-installed side steps cost R6,080 and R5,050, respectively. VAT is included in all pricing.
In addition to the expanded options, the Ranger XL is equipped with an impressive list of standard features. The safety package comprises ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Roll-over Mitigation, Adaptive Load Control and Trailer Sway Control. The four-wheel drive models gain Hill Descent Control (HDC), with a rear diff-lock fitted as standard on all 4×2 and 4×4 derivatives. All Ranger XL models are fitted with a tow bar as standard equipment.
Dual front airbags are fitted across the board, with ISOFIX child seat mounting points provided on the Double Cab models. Remote-controlled central locking is standard, along with an immobiliser and a Thatcham-specification alarm system with volumetric cabin sensors for added security.
Everything else you need to know
The Ranger XL is powered by Ford’s proven, economical 2.2-litre four-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine which produces 118kW of power, along with 385Nm of torque from 1 500 to 2 500 r/min.
The Single Cab and SuperCab models are available in two and four-wheel drive specification mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed automatic in the 4×2 derivative. The Ranger XL Double Cab can be specified in 4×2 or 4×4 versions, with both available in manual or automatic.
Ford Protect, which includes a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance, and a five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty, is standard on all new Ford Rangers. A six-year/90,000-kilometer service plan is included.