The ongoing race to score new buyers in the light commercial (bakkie) market at both the business and lifestyle ends of the spectrum keeps creeping up a notch, with the latest salvo coming from Ford with some no-cost additions to the Ranger.
Ford has introduced the Chrome Styling Pack on the XLS models. Slotting between the workhorse Base and XL models at the affordable end of the pricing spectrum, and the luxuriously-appointed XLT and feature-rich Wildtrak on the premium end of the scale, the Ranger XLS line represents the ideal middle ground for all manner of applications – from hard-working commercial use to family and lifestyle-oriented functionality.
“Where value-for-money and bang-for-the-buck are the primary purchasing considerations, the Ranger XLS is exceptionally hard to beat,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “It delivers all of the ‘Built Ford Tough’ capability that the Ranger is renowned for, but now incorporates a level of upmarket sophistication and eye-catching style normally reserved for the premium models in the range.
“The optional Chrome Styling Pack adds approximately R20 000 worth of styling and feature upgrades to the Ranger XLS line-up with no increase in the recommended purchase price. Add this to the comprehensive range of comfort, convenience and safety features that are standard on the Ranger and are either not available or come at extra cost on our key competitors and it positions this model in a unique white space in this crucial, price-sensitive segment of the pickup market.”
In place of the matt grey finishes previously used for the XLS models, the front boasts a bright chrome trapezoidal grille with twin horizontal bars that take pride of place in the centre.
A chrome finish also adorns the exterior mirror housings, door handles, practical rear step bumper and tailgate handle. Adding to the character of the Ranger is a standard stainless steel sports bar with integrated high-mount stop light.
Enabling a further level of personalization, the 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels used on the Ranger XLT are also now available as a no-cost option on the XLS in place of the standard model’s 16-inch rims. Customers are given the choice of traditional silver or bold gloss black finishes – again, with no price penalty.
The Ranger XLS specification is available in 10 models across three body styles: three Single Cabs, four SuperCab versions and two Double Cabs. Customers have the choice of both two and four-wheel drive options, as well as Ford’s six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
At the heart of the Ranger XLS is the Duratorq TDCi engine range, starting off with the 2,2-litre four-cylinder version, which produces 118 kW of power matched to 385 Nm of torque.
The Single Cab and SuperCab models can be specified with the 3,2-litre five-cylinder engine offering 147 kW of power and 470 Nm peak torque.
The standard features common to all XLS models includes cruise control operated via the multi-function steering wheel, daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlight activation, front and rear fog lamps, a rear-view camera with parking sensors and a high-grade Thatcham-specification security system.
The remote-operated central locking system incorporates tailgate lock operation for maximum convenience and added security.
Active driving safety features include anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Control, Hill Descent Control (on 4×4 models), Hill Launch Assist, Roll-over Mitigation, Adaptive Load Control and Trailer Sway Control. In the event of a collision, occupants are protected by means of dual front and side crash bags, as well as curtain crash bags on all SuperCab and Double Cab derivatives.
Multimedia and infotainment functionality is provided by Ford’s SYNC system with Bluetooth and Voice Activation, USB and Aux connections and a colour multi-function display.
Included in the standard purchase price is a four-year/120 000km warranty and service plan. With service intervals recommended every 15 000 km, this covers six scheduled services. Also included in the comprehensive Ford Protect customer care package is a five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty, and three-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance.