2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak road test and review.
It’s no surprise that the Ford Ranger is one of the country’s best-selling utes. I got to see for myself after a week in the 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak.
The Ranger Wildtrak is a dual cab 4×4 pick-up with the Wildtrak designation making it the top of the range model.
Coming in at $60,090 it’s pricier than the run-of-the-mill Ford Ranger but you do get 18” alloy wheels, additional exterior highlights, heated folding mirrors with puddle lamps, a tow bar and slightly more ground clearance and a slightly longer body.
The coolest feature is the roller style shutter that covers the tray in place of a lid or traditional tarp. It keeps the area enclosed, provides a solid and water proof covering and easily slides back into its housing when it’s time to load up.
One design flaw is that the shutter can only be opened once the tailgate is down and requires you to unlock from underneath by pulling a strap. The shutter can’t be opened from the outside and the button does nothing even when unlocked with the key.
Overall the Ranger Wildtrak is an attractive beast, and while it does come in four other basic colours the Pride Orange which I had is the sharpest and most striking.
This colour combo extends to the interior with orange stitching around the cabin, dash and wheel as well as on the seats lined with tough, durable, orange and black material mixed in with a leather trim.
Extras are fitted on the inside too with dual zone climate control, heated seats, 8-way powered driver seat, auto wipers, auto dimming mirror, tyre pressure monitor, leather steering wheel and gear knob, and Wildtrak logo floor mats.
The dash of the Wildtrak is more akin to that of a sedan and less utilitarian, boasting finer materials and highlights.
An 8” touch screen is the focal point installed with Sync 2 and it’s quadrant layout found in other Ford’s, sat nav and digital radio (DAB).
Dual colour info screens frame the either side of the speedometer in the instrument cluster creating a more sophisticated feel along with the ambient lighting.
The Ford Ranger Wildtrak has the interior comforts of a non-commercial vehicle but also has the drive dynamics of an SUV.
Of course pick up isn’t so immediate as an SUV but with an empty load, I found it to be more responsive than the similar Ford Everest.
Manoeuvrability and handling are amazingly car-like made all the more easier by the not-too-light and precise steering.
Powering it is a 3.2L turbo diesel engine producing a sizeable 470Nm of torque meaning plenty of grunt, coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox and possesses a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.
This ranger is a 4WD and of course comes with a diff lock and low range gears for those tight spots or heavy loads.
The upper spec model also comes with the Wildtrak tech pack which includes a range of safety technology such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision, a driver impairment monitor, lane keep assist and lane departure.
The lane assists and adaptive cruise control are displayed in the same area on the instrument panel keeping you tracking on the straight and narrow along with the collision warning system that projects a line of red lights onto the windscreen in front of the driver if you’re too close to the object in front.
The 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak is a quality ute offering that possesses the great drive and power of the range with the comforts of a sedan or SUV.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak
Engine: 3.2L turbo diesel producing 147kW and 470Nm
Transmission: Six-speed sports automatic 4WD
Warranty: 3 Year/100,000 km
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $60,090