2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak road test and review.
It’s big and it carries a hefty price tag but there is something very enjoyable about the Ford Ranger Wildtrak.
Priced from $57,890 for the manual and $60,090 auto, the Wildtrak is powered by Ford’s 3.2 litre five-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 280kW and 470Nm. The towing capacity is a hefty 3,500kgs (braked) and the rear tray will happily take a load up to a tonne.
I had the auto version and was most pleased with the smooth transmission that goes about its business without fuss and without noticeable changes, even when the Ranger is being pushed hard.
Make no bones about it, this is a serious off-road vehicle, yet on the road it’s not an unpleasant drive. Responsive steering, grippy tyres and better than expected ride and handling are the highlights.
The brakes though were a bit disappointing with a lot of travel in the pedal before there was any real stopping performance.
Fuel economy is listed at just 9.0L/100km, but in most situations you can expect to use more than that, especially if a lot of stop-start driving is taking place. Still, given the size of the Ranger that isn’t too bad.
Inside the cabin is where a lot of potential Wildtrak buyers will be focussing their attentions and I’m pleased to say the recently upgraded Ford Ranger has an interior that is better than ever.
The seats are comfortable and supportive and the front row gets heating and electric adjustment (the only Ranger to do so), while there is a reasonable amount of legroom and shoulder room in the rear.
You will also find some rather interesting orange stitching used around the Wildtrak cabin.
There are a couple features missing from what I might expect for this amount of money, including: push-button ignition and rear air-conditioning vents. Also, given the funky feel of the Wildtrak, how is there not a sunroof?
While listing a couple of drawbacks I would say that the placement of the air-conditioning/heater controls are placed too low and this means you really have to take your eyes a long way off the windscreen to make an adjustment.
You do get a good-sized glove box though, as well as two 12V sockets in the front, one in the rear and a 230V socket as well. Digital radio, sat-nav, rear parking sensors and a rear view camera come as standard.
While there is also an optional $600 Teck Pack available, this adds things like adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert and blind spot alerts.
Safety is comprehensively covered by a five-star ANCAP safety score.
The diesel engine, transmission and steering are major positives and the Ranger Wildtrak has go-anywhere off-road credibility. The ride quality is fine but the brakes aren’t.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak
Engine: 3.2 litre turbo-diesel producing 147kW and 470Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic or six-speed manual
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $57,890