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Ford Ranger 2024 review: Sport V6

The Ford Ranger remains the top-selling model in Australia’s ute market.

The mid-spec Sport variant offers an appealing value-for-money pick in a busy Ranger line-up, but should you opt for the 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel or the more expensive 3.0-litre V6?

I’ve driven Ranger and Everest variants with those engines and they’ve consistently impressed on- and off-road, so your choice will hinge on a few pertinent factors.

Read on.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 8/10

The V6 Sport is available only as a dual-cab with a 10-speed automatic transmission and 4x4. The Sport is smack-bang in the middle of a Ranger line-up which consists of XL, XLS, XLT, Sport, Wildtrak, Platinum, and Raptor.

Pricing on our test vehicle starts at $70,090 (excluding on-road costs). Pricing for the Sport with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo-diesel starts at $65,890 (excluding on-road costs).

Standard features include a 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system. Standard features include a 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system.

Standard features include a 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system (with sat nav, Apple CarPlay (wireless or wired) and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charger, dual-zone climate control, as well as LED headlights, a sports bar and more.

Machine-face 18-inch alloy wheels. Machine-face 18-inch alloy wheels.

Sport-specific gear includes a black grille, machine-face 18-inch alloy wheels, and an Ebony interior finish.

Exterior paint choices include the no-cost Arctic White or a prestige paint colour – Shadow Black, Aluminium, Blue Lightning, or Meteor Grey – which will set you back $700 for the privilege.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 7/10

The Ranger Sport is the same look (inoffensive) and size (big) as other dual-cab variants in the line-up but it has those few aforementioned styling differences – black grille, machined alloy wheels etc – to set it apart from its stablemates.

  • 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Design 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Design
  • 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Design 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Design

Lower-spec Rangers look good, and the Sport is essentially a mildly jazzed-up version of a standard Ranger – not quite reaching the stylistic levels of Wildtrak, Platinum, or the Raptor – and so its appearance lands it squarely on the correct side of inoffensive.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 8/10

The Ranger cabin does pretty well in terms of practicality and comfort – for the ute segment anyway.

The multimedia system is easy enough to navigate and operate and that screen is big enough and crisp enough so even my old bloke eyes could cope with it.

Driver and front passenger have easy access to plenty of storage options – centre console, cupholders, big door pockets, a pocket-dump shelf etc – and charging points – wireless charger, USB and USB-C sockets – in this ute’s control room.

There’s also plenty of space inside for the driver and the passengers, front and back. The seats are supportive and comfortable upfront and only marginally less so in the back row. There’s enough room back there for a three-person party – I sat behind my driving position and had loads of space.

Second-row passengers get a fold-down centre arm-rest, door pockets, and map pockets as well as air-con vents and controls.

  • 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Seats 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Seats
  • 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Seats 2024 Ford Ranger Sport V6 I Seats

The business end of this ute, the tub, has a sturdy-looking liner, four tie-down points, a 12-volt outlet, and LED lighting.

But beyond all that it has a handy built-in step at the rear right-hand side of the vehicle. I can attest to the usefulness of something like this because a few years ago while loading a ute – not a Ranger – I injured myself trying to get into the tub by standing on top of one of the tyres. It was raining at the time, the tyre was wet, and the soles of my old boots unfortunately didn’t provide the requisite amount of traction required to prevent me from slipping. I sustained a deep haematoma to my upper right thigh, which calcified and still troubles me to this day. Boo-hoo, I hear you say. Well, my point is this: well done, Ford, because that step is a worthwhile addition, not at all a novelty.

For measurement nerds, such as myself, the tub measures 1464mm long (at the floor; a pallet-swallowing 1217mm between the wheel-arches), 1520mm wide and 525mm deep. Opening width at the tailgate is 1393mm.

The tub measures 1464mm long (at the floor; a pallet-swallowing 1217mm between the wheel-arches). The tub measures 1464mm long (at the floor; a pallet-swallowing 1217mm between the wheel-arches).

If you’re keen to build your Ranger as an adventure vehicle then you’re in luck. When you order a new Ranger you can order an ARB ‘Build’ to suit your lifestyle. That chosen build will be fitted to your Ranger prior to you taking delivery of it. 

There are three builds – Family Adventurer, Tourer, and Serious Off-roader – and each one includes a specific set of aftermarket accessories (covering protection, suspension, lighting and more) and, when you’ve specified which build you want at Ranger-ordering time, those will have already been fitted to it when it comes time for you to collect it. The builds are covered by Ford’s five-year/unlimited km warranty. 

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission? 8/10

Our test vehicle has the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine, producing 184kW at 3250rpm and 600Nm at 1750-2250rpm.

Our test vehicle has the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine. Our test vehicle has the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine.

It has a 10-speed automatic transmission and a 4WD system with selectable two-wheel drive (2H), four-wheel drive high-range (4H), four-wheel drive low-range (4L) and four-wheel drive automatic (4A = 4Auto) that sends drive to the front and rear axles as needed, and which can be used on high-traction surfaces.

It has a variety of selectable drive modes – including Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Mud/Ruts, and Sand – and a locking rear diff.

Driving – What's it like to drive? 8/10

I've driven a lot of variants of the Ford Ranger on all sorts of terrain and I've always been impressed with how well they've performed.

The Ranger is nice to drive on-road – quiet inside, refined, comfortable and that engine and transmission are a clever and relaxed combination – and it’s very capable off-road but one or two niggles prevent this ute from being a great all-round daily driver.

Let’s get a few of those negatives out of the way first.

This ute is hampered by its own physical dimensions when it comes to four-wheel driving. The Ranger's extended wheelbase especially impacts its ability to traverse steep rock steps without experiencing bumps to the underbody or scuffs to the side-steps.

Its wheelbase is longer than in any previous iteration, great for giving the Ranger a settled stance on a road or track but not so helpful for traversing challenging terrain. Because that stretch has impacted ramp breakover angle which is now listed as 21 degrees, whereas the previous-gen Ranger offered 25 degrees.

For reference, approach and departure angles are 30 and 23 degrees respectively.

The Ranger’s tyres – Goodyear Wrangler Territory HT (255/65R18) – are not as off-road-suited as you might like, especially for anything beyond light-duty 4WDing. (As always, with most standard 4WDs, these kinds of problems – compromised off-road angles and less-than-ideal off-road tyres – can be addressed with a mild - two inch or so - aftermarket suspension lift and a good set of aggressive LT-construction all-terrain tyres.)

With a listed length of 5370mm (with a 3270mm wheelbase), a width of 2208mm, a height of 1886mm. With a listed length of 5370mm (with a 3270mm wheelbase), a width of 2208mm, a height of 1886mm.

I still think the driver-assist tech that has off-road applications – the track-view/360-degree camera and vehicle-info read-out (displaying driveline/diff lock indicators, and steering, pitch and roll angles etc) – are more novelty than necessity, but on this test I became more used to them than on previous trips.

The brake pedal feels spongy – taking a long time between initial foot pressure to actually ‘biting', and then the brakes – discs all round – quite abruptly clamp into action.

I’ve previously expressed annoyance at the auto transmission shifter – a kind of joystick on steroids – but it’s also another element in the Ranger to which I’m becoming accustomed.

Anyway, to the positives…

Off-road, the Ranger does well.

The driver-assist tech has off-road applications – (displaying driveline/diff lock indicators, steering, pitch and roll angles). The driver-assist tech has off-road applications – (displaying driveline/diff lock indicators, steering, pitch and roll angles).

With a listed length of 5370mm (with a 3270mm wheelbase), a width of 2208mm, a height of 1886mm and an official kerb weight of 2351kg, this is not a small ute. It has a turning circle of 12.9m, but never feels too unwieldy on bush tracks, no matter how tight they become.

The V6 engine is rarely stressed, offers plenty of torque across a decent spread of revs and it doesn't have to work hard to get you through most obstacles or challenges.

The 10-speed auto transmission is clever – scrambling between ratios has been minimised if not completely ironed out – and if you want to take over duties yourself you can do so via the manual shifter. The ‘e-Shifter’ in 4WD Rangers is mildly annoying but, as I mentioned earlier, I’m getting used to it.

Low-range gearing is adequate and the Ranger has an electronic rear diff lock for more traction-boosting control.

There’s plenty of driver-assist tech onboard and off-road driving modes include Mud/Ruts and Sand. These are no substitute for track-worthy 4WD mechanicals, but these modes do effectively adjust engine throttle, transmission, braking, traction and stability controls to suit the driving conditions.

The Ranger’s tyres – Goodyear Wrangler Territory HT (255/65R18) – are not as off-road-suited as you might like. The Ranger’s tyres – Goodyear Wrangler Territory HT (255/65R18) – are not as off-road-suited as you might like.

Hill descent control is effective, and held the Ranger to a controlled 3-4km/h while we crept down to the turn-around point on a set-piece hill.

Wading depth is 800mm and, while there had been recent rain in our 4WD proving ground prior to this test, I couldn’t find any mudholes deep enough to seriously challenge the Ranger’s water-crossing ability. 

Wheel travel – how far the axle can move up and down relative to the chassis – is not great, with the Ranger’s tyres sometimes left to dangle in space rather than stretching to the dirt.

If you’re planning to use your Ranger as a remote-area touring vehicle or even a weekend adventure machine, then take note of the payload and gross vehicle mass (GVM) figures, which are 929kg and 3280kg respectively. Remember: any aftermarket equipment (bullbar, roof rack etc), people, pets and camping gear must figure in your payload and GVM equations.

If you want to use the Ranger as a tow vehicle, it’s handy to know that its towing capacity is listed as 750kg (unbraked) and 3500kg (braked). Gross combined mass (GCM) is 6400kg.

The Ranger’s big physical dimensions, long wheelbase, and settled driving feel may seem like it’s a shoe-in as a tow vehicle of choice, but there have been rumblings in the general public about the 10-speed transmissions becoming unusually hot when the vehicle is under load for a sustained period of time, so keep an eye out for any reports on those kinds of issues.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range? 7/10

Official fuel consumption for the Sport V6 is 8.4L/100km on a combined cycle.

I recorded fuel consumption of 12.4L/100km on this test.

You could reasonably expect a driving range of about 645km from a full tank. You could reasonably expect a driving range of about 645km from a full tank.

The Ranger has a 80-litre tank, so, going by the above figures, you could reasonably expect a driving range of about 645km from a full tank.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 8/10

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 7/10

There’s a lot to like about the Ford Ranger Sport, especially with the V6 engine. It's nice to drive, comfortable and packed full of features and tech.

Sure, it’s better suited to towing and open-road/track recreational duties than being used as a rock-crawling 4WD, but that doesn’t matter one iota to the Ranger’s core market.

One thing though: the bi-turbo is just as good as the V6, I reckon. And it’s cheaper. 

However, if you plan on repeatedly towing large boats or horse floats over long distances, then perhaps the V6 is the better option, especially if you’re concerned about the smaller engine’s ability to withstand the stresses and strains of lugging loads over an extended period of time.

$70,090

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.8/5

Adventure score

3.8/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

Price Guide

$70,090

Based on new car retail price

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.