Skip navigation
39331 Visits Today

Ford Ranger 2012 review

  • By
  • News Community Newspapers
  • image

    We enjoyed the cab comforts, space and great visibility. Photo Gallery

Bill Buys road tests and reviews the new Ford Ranger at its international launch.

Seldom do Australian engineers and designers get the chance to build a new vehicle for the world market, but that's what happened with Ford's all-new Ranger.

Though classified as a compact pickup, the vehicle, which goes on sale from October 1, is a big bugger by local standards, 9/10ths the size of an F150. It's the culmination of four years work by nearly 500 engineers in Australia and around the Ford (and Mazda) world.

PRICES AND TECHNOLOGY

Prices start from $19,740 for the petrol 2.5-litre single cab/chassis 4x2 manual and peak at $59,390 for the double cab Wildtrak 3.2 diesel auto. A revelation in the ute world, the Ranger is almost certain to give Ford its long-awaited lift out of the doldrums. The Ranger, destined for more than 180 countries on five continents, will come in three cab styles: double, super and single and in cab chassis and pickup bodies.

Then there are 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, two ride heights, two transmissions and three engine choices: a new 110kW/375Nm 2.2-litre Duratorq turbodiesel four, a 3.2-litre Duratorq turbodiesel five cylinder with 147kW and 470Nm and a 2.5-litre Duratec petrol four with 122kW and 225Nm. The engines are designed to run on a variety of locally blended fuels with different octane ratings in the various markets.

It's choc-full of technology, with some models boasting innovations like trailer sway control, adaptive load control, a rear-view camera that's built into the blue oval badge on the back and rear park assist.

Another clever move is that the battery is charged on deceleration, freeing the engine of a fuel-robbing generator. There's also hill descent control, hill launch control and, for really rough patches, a diff' lock.

Official fuel consumption  figures for the 3.2-litre are 8.4 litres/100km for the 4x2 variant and 9.6 litres/100km on the 4x4. Safety gear includes stability control that includes four-wheel traction control, yaw control and roll-over mitigation.

They will be built in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina. The 3.2 will be the first model released in Australia, with the rest of the 20-model range arriving later in the year.

DESIGN

The hi-tech Ranger is longer, taller and wider than the earlier version, has a frame twice as stiff and the 3.2 model has a class-leading towing capacity of 3350kg and a payload of 1500kg. It also has the deepest cargo box, lined and able to hold 1.21 cubic metres.

Interior storage includes up to 20 pockets and nooks. There are bottle-shaped pockets in all four doors can easily fit water bottles and a deep centre console with cooling feature. Also, the glovebox can hold a laptop computer. There's also a hidden storage area for electronic items and small packages under the back seats.

Bluetooth, USB and iPod2 integration and voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, and mobile phone are standard on all models, likewise cruise control.

Dual-zone climate control is fitted to all XLT and Wildtrak models and the range-leading Wildtrak 4x4 will come with a five-inch colour screen with satellite navigation and rear parking camera.

DRIVING

We drove an XLT with six-speed auto shift on some of South Australia's toughest tracks in the Flinders Range region and enjoyed the cab comforts, space and great visibility.

The large glass-surrounded cab easily copes with five 2.0m tall adults and the quietness inside rivals that of a upspec' sedan. The easy-driving five has loads of grunt and switching between 2WD and 4WDH and L is via a rotary switch, and can be done on the fly.

FORD RANGER XL AND XLT DUAL-CAB 4WD

Price: from $46,390
Warranty: 3-years/100,000km
Service interval: 15,000km/12 months
Safety: N/A
Engine: 3.2-litre, 5-cylinder common-rail direct-injection turbodiesel, 147kW/470Nm
Body: 4-door utility
Weight: 1795-2159kg
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Thirst: 8.9-9.6l/100km, CO2 235-256g/km

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 44 comments

  • Has anyone had trouble with the roller door on the Ranger wildtrak mine keep opening

    David Soper of Mackay QLD Posted on 16 April 2013 4:15pm
  • i have had my Ranger since mid September, first 24 hours of having the vehicle my low bean went. Back down the hwy and through the city with high beam on. Thanks Ford! Once is acceptable, but in the last 6months my low beam has gone FIVE times. Each time returning it to the ford dealership and they assure me they have fixed it. Thanks ford! Great car mechanically, but it is very dangerous with no lights.

    Has anyone else heard of problems with the electrics in the ford rangers?

    Not-Happy of perth Posted on 10 March 2013 5:48pm
  • I received my new ranger on the 27 July and have done over 13000ks so far, gettin around 9.4 ks to 100 with nearly a ton on the tray.
    The best ute I have ever driven, dual cab with alloy tray, so much room in the cab I can get into it with a hard hat on & I’m 6ft4 & still have ample head room left, very comfortable with lumbar support, very quiet & smooth on the road, haven’t had it off road yet but looking forward to it.
    Highly recommend a test drive you won’t be disappointed.
    Very tough looking front end, heaps of power, excellent vision, great sound system, you just tell it what you want to do, brilliant.

    Darren Stevenson of Brisbane Posted on 04 December 2012 10:01pm
  • I just got my XL single cab 4x4 3.2 auto, it is great with tones of power, rides smooth and has all great feathers for a standard model. The only issue I had was the wait 8 months, but it is worth it I can tell you.

    Peter of Melb Posted on 18 October 2012 11:29pm
  • I have test driven all the new 4x4 trucks on the market, and quite simply the Ford Ranger is so far ahead of the rest, that it will take along time for the Lowlux, Amaflop and the rest to catch up. It is superior in every single quantifiable comparison. Bigger, faster, more load capaity, more towing, deeper water wading, more room inside, more storage spaces, more standard features, more power, more torque, better looking, better handling on and off road, better safety ... better, better ..better ... it just goes on and on .... Ford Ranger ... The best truck in this coountry by a long way !!

    The Truth of Anywhere & Everywhere Posted on 05 August 2012 12:39pm
  • Because 1) its made there, so you pay for shipping, and 2) We pay a whole bunch of government import duties and taxes plus state government stamp duty on top.

    Corey of Adelaide Posted on 04 August 2012 9:20pm
  • I’m with Jake & Reuben as well.
    I must say why are the people in the mines dumping the Lowluxes and get the new 3.2 turbo Diesel Rangerls? - Why, Because the new Ranger leaves all utes including the lowluxes in the bullshit - my mate wants 1 and he did atempt to consider the lowluxe but it wasn’t even worth comparing it to the Ranger & BT-50. The New 3.2 5cyl Duratorc Turbo Diesel Ranger is like a ‘‘Small F Truck.’’ Topshelf work Ford & Mazda

    The Man thats to Wise for his own Boots. of Timbucktwo Posted on 13 July 2012 12:36am
  • I’m with Jake, why do we pay double what it costs in Thailand? If they can get it for around $32k we should be able to get it for around $40 - $42K tops. Why are we paying $57K we are getting ripped off big time!

    Reub of Queensland Posted on 02 July 2012 2:42pm
  • Wildtrack 4x4 3.2L is half the price in Thailand (www.ford.co.th) Why do we have to pay double that?

    Jake of Perth Posted on 24 June 2012 9:32pm
  • have had my XLT dual cab auto for four weeks now, ordered it mid Dec 2011, previously had two diesel Prados one 2003 and one 2006 D4D, the Ranger absolutely leaves them both for dead in power, economy, silky smooth transmission,the standard features are brilliant, theres not enough room to write how good it is,

    Bill A of Richmond NSW of Richmond NSW Posted on 20 June 2012 5:49pm
  • Thanks Phil I now have a ruff date aug-sep but have been told a lot of dates so when I get I get good luck with yours I did re price my contrat with ford so a little win there you should do the same if you don’t get on time I must admit I can’t wait cheers Phil

    Rowan t of Melbourne Posted on 31 May 2012 9:58am
  • Rowan hang in there, I have had my black Wildtrak on order since November dark grey coming in July or wait till late 2012 for black. 
    Still I will take Grey now still happy philco.

    Phillip Alan cozens of qld Posted on 27 May 2012 3:29pm
  • Still no news on my super cab xlt order on the 9th Jan spoke to ford head office for 2 time got no help starting to make me very very angry then I was told they have a major major problem with the front bumper bars can any 1 help me with this.                  Never never never never again FORD old story if have a problem talk to your customers as I said never never again

    Rowan t of Melbourne Posted on 25 May 2012 10:26am
  • It’s stil a compact ‘truck’ bring back the F series.

    Richard W of Sydney Posted on 14 May 2012 9:01pm
  • I order a 2012 ford ranger on the 9th of Jan and still have not got it yet. I have spoke to ford head office and they can’t tell so so so Watch out do your home work before you place order I have had 3 diff del date so for not good ford

    Rowan t of Melbourne Posted on 11 May 2012 3:28pm
  • Hi folks, I am new here. Just about to purchase a new 2012 ranger, I would like to get the 2.2 diesel, which has plenty of power for 95% of my use, but for 4 weeks a year I need it to tow a 1100 kg caravan up the coast. So the question is, will the 2.2 pull the van, will I damage the car/engine in any way?, or will it be OK just a more sluggish? Thanks. Tony

    tony of Mornington peninsulia Posted on 21 April 2012 8:49pm
  • Not much difference in 4x4 utes these days that I can see. They all have IFS to the front, and leaf springs to the rear. Years ago, you can say that Hilux was unbeatable, but today they are very beatable in price and design.

    Roger of Perth Posted on 20 April 2012 9:51am
  • No fail. ISO standard pallets have a width of 1100 or less. Only aus pallets are bigger but won’t be for much longer. Ranger is designed for the world

    mac man of Australia Posted on 15 April 2012 12:03am
  • Frugal one you talk like someone with bowel movement after eating an indian curry. You defend your hilux, so over rated and outdated. Good onya Ford for this one,,,,,,have one on order. Yes I drove a hilux, how gutless and boring.

    Andy K of adelaide Posted on 08 April 2012 6:37pm
  • hey ostridge, the Lolux will catch up one day. Lolux are still using technology that was around 15 yrs ago. Come on there are other contenders out there that can offer great utes at more realistic bang for your bucks money.

    Jason of Australia Posted on 06 March 2012 6:14pm
  • Hilux are just the best ute… honestly i know all your rangers, Amaroks and Mazda whosoever u want to call them all look flash and maybe a bit more powerful but at the end of the day you all know toyota sets the standard.  they set the standard a while back for you all to follow…... its not rocket science to figure out ...yeh okay Toyota have just stuck a few extra ping pong detail on their Antarticasr5 ....but at the end of the day its still the daddy .  Daddy never look the greatest or ever perform the greatest but at the end of the day he is still no1. Has obviously about to have a huge revamp that will once again rule. all other utes will be knocked down and yet again in 10 years time your ranger or mazda will make a come back…......probably with extra air bags or a bigger tray but at the end of the day still getting ideas from daddy.  just wait on new hilux ye plonkers, I cant believe ive just sat down and replied to all your rants of rantness xxx

    ostridge tenticle of uk Posted on 04 March 2012 11:03pm
  • I have a XLT Hi rider that I bought in December. Nice car but has an issue, when you brake just before you come to a complete stop it has a thud through the car feels like a loose gearbox mount, took it back to ford the day after I bought it they said everything is ok and that its normal…. its unbelievable they can build a car with that sort of fault. It’s that bad people in the car feel it and ask what the hell it is.. Not Happy.

    Tim Posted on 29 February 2012 9:01am
  • Today I test drove the Navara ST, Hilux and the new Ranger. I wouldn’t even consider the Hilux, totally gutless. The Navara and Ranger were tied except for one thing - I was not happy with the turbo lag on the Ranger, I could see getting in quite a pickle if you had to move in a hurry. You step on the peddle, it yawns at you and then breaks your neck! Other than that, it was really nice.

    Chick of Townsville Posted on 28 February 2012 9:50pm
  • I cant still believe that poeple are still sucked in by this over rated toyota rant. They are not the best nor most reliable nor have a great resale.
    You daydreamers must finally realise there are much better vehicles than over rated toyotas.

    andy of adelaide Posted on 25 February 2012 8:18pm
  • I am thinking of buying a Ford Ranger to tow a 3 ton fifth WHEELER (Travelhome 29’).  Is there anyone out there that has a ford and is doing just that?  On paper the Ford Ranger sounds great with towing capacity and pay load - what is comfort like.  I test drove the BT50 but gave a very bumpy ride.

    Josie Dawson of Carindale Qld Posted on 11 February 2012 1:54pm
  • 2012 Isuzu Dmax will end up no 1.

    d jones of Australia Posted on 04 November 2011 10:38pm
  • Test drove the 3.2l manual with my 3 ton horse float on the back, dropped my speed to 30km/h in 6th gear and it pulled away in 6th without hesitation.Just ordered my wife the 3.2l Wildtrack Auto, can’t wait for delivery.Test drove every Ute on the market and nothing matches this, even considering selling my 200 series landcruiser and buying a second one.

    Peter of Country Victoria Posted on 03 November 2011 10:28pm
  • Bugger the Hilux. Two motors and now a turbo at 200,000. I want a Ford.

    nigel schmidt of bundaberg Posted on 02 November 2011 9:14pm
  • Wildtrak or BT-50 will be on order in the next week but leaning towards the Wildtrak.

    Ritzy of Fraser Coast Posted on 31 October 2011 6:23pm
  • Hi Lux has been ok,(2006 model) but test drove New Ranger with manual and there is no comparison. This ute is by far ahead of everything else l test drove. Perfect for towing my 6.5m boat in comfort and l think the lock diff with the more power is going to be a winner.

    Dave of Melbourne Posted on 31 October 2011 8:12am
  • Hilux go for ever, you reckon! 28,000 km motor shot, had to fight for 10 weeks to get new bottom end.

    Glenn of Darwin. Posted on 27 October 2011 9:27am
  • And if you believe things never change you are a tool.

    Time's are a changin' of Gippsland Posted on 14 October 2011 2:49pm
  • Previously had problems with the HiLux auto towing approx 2200kg van. Looking at new Ranger, should I stick with auto or go manual?

    tony of melbourne Posted on 14 October 2011 12:48pm
  • The Hilux used to be good but the new ones have front ends and they fall to pieces. Toyota have people on mine sites looking at whats needed to fix them as the mines are not happy with them. We have stopped buying them and are only getting full size land cruiser utes. They cost more but in the end you save on repair costs over five years

    geoff of west australia Posted on 07 October 2011 8:15pm
  • Hilux will go for ever, sorry but I have watched many people buy the cheaper vehicle, and end up buying Toyota for one reason only: Toyota’s tough! It’s a work Ute not a sports car!

    King of the Road of Darwin Posted on 06 October 2011 1:11pm
  • I’ve often wondered why our local manufacturers haven’t had a go at designing a light truck type Ute, given that we import 1000’s of Mitoyosans designed overseas by those who think they know what we need. The new rig seems to have impressed the journo’s who are giving it plenty of accolades. Hopefully it will live up to expectations & lift the bar another notch or two for the better of all future Utes (no matter the manufacturer). Good on Ford (& Mazda) for having a go!

    Rob of Hunter Valley Posted on 03 October 2011 1:37pm
  • Test drove the Navara, new Hilux and new Ranger yesterday, and the Ranger came out on top by a mile! More power, better technology! New Ranger on order!

    Harry of South Australia Posted on 01 October 2011 12:53pm
  • I wasn’t going to comment, but that Rene one - LOL. Enough said.

    herbie of golden city Posted on 30 September 2011 8:46am
  • Mr Frugia, you sir, are a dribbler!

    Aulord of Qld Posted on 29 September 2011 11:18pm
  • No Key-less start on Wildtrak. No sun roof. 5” sat nav wow so big. Loose roof lining
    Press in ball joint on upper wish bone mmmm my Hilux are bolted in and bigger, I hope these aren’t like the territory’s (fail)..

    Rene Posted on 29 September 2011 11:05am
  • Maybe Toyota can have yet another recall on the Hilux. The current shape is weak,  not even close to the durability of the old torsion bar front end. If it was all that why hasn’t Toyota won the Dakar Rally?

    peter of melbourne Posted on 27 September 2011 9:08pm
  • Amazing how people can write off a vehicle as a fail without driving it and experiencing it for themselves. FrugalOne is evidently trying to defend Hilux. Most utes are better than it at the moment, at least in terms of features, towing and power.

    Bill Posted on 27 September 2011 12:03pm
  • No one uses a style side for carrying pallets, that’s what the steel and alloy drop tray is for. How do you load a pallet from the side of a style side? Answer - you can’t, so your immature rant is pointless.

    Alex Posted on 27 September 2011 10:24am
  • FAIL! “Team in Melbourne had the opportunity to design the perfect Ute”
    I CANNOT believe that Ford have stuffed this up! The e-brochure on the website shows that the double-cab ute-body has a distance of 1139mm between the wheelhouse/arches. A standard cheap blue pallet has a width of 1169mm, for the sake of 30mm a CHEAP industry std transport pallet will NOT fit between the wheel-arches! TOTAL FAIL FORD. Toyota will lose NO sleep over this; the HiLux will remain the #1 seller in the land 4×2/4×4 range selection bottom placement looks like an afterthought. The only thing that impresses me is the 800mm forwarding depth - that’s very impressive (never be needed, but anyway).

    FrugalOne of AUS Posted on 27 September 2011 8:32am
Read all 44 comments

Add your comment on this story

Indicates required

We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Please provide your full name. We also require a working email address - not for publication, but for verification. The location field is optional.