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The Ford Ranger is one of Australia's best-selling utes and because of its popularity there are many accessories available for it – from the factory and aftermarket.
As with any add-ons, these accessories range from those with real-world adventure value (bullbar) through to those aimed at garnering more than just the occasional approving glance (fancy rims).
Of course, if improvements in your new vehicle's off-road capability are what you're after, tyres should be among the first things you buy but, for the purpose of this feature, we'll focus on model-specific accessories, such as snorkels, canopies, and the like.
For a comprehensive guide to Ford Ranger accessories, read on.
The extent to which your ute is accessorised depends on how much you can afford to spend because that will dictate which variant you can target with your hard-earned cash. The more costly a vehicle is, the higher is its specification, and so the more accessories will be included as standard.
The best accessories for the Ranger include, well, pretty much anything you could want to add to a ute. Let's say you're looking to buy an 2.0-litre diesel XLT dual-cab ute (4x4). Your Ranger may include a raft of accessories ranging from the less exciting (power adjustable wing mirrors, central locking, tool kit, tailgate liner, window tint) through to cool gear such as bullbar, canopy, drawers and more.
Among the most popular accessories for utes – not just for the Ford Ranger – are bullbar, snorkel, side steps, roof racks or baskets, ladder racks (which can be used to help carry canoes or kayaks), canopies, canopy carry bars, and underbody protection.
Most, if not all, worthwhile Ford Ranger accessories are available as genuine parts through a new car dealer – or already fitted to that used Ranger you've been eyeing off – or they are available from one of Australia's leading aftermarket companies, such as Ironman 4x4 or ARB.
A good general rule with regards to adventure-oriented accessories is to buy things such as a sports bar, floor mats and rims through the dealer and buy stuff like bullbar, snorkels, canopies, drawers and the like from a reputable aftermarket supplier.
Here are a stack of accessories that will help to get your Ford Ranger ready for off-road action.
Overview: Animal strike (a vehicle colliding with an animal, native or livestock) is a real problem in Australia and anything you can do to protect you and your family while driving our roads is well worth it. A bull bar, no matter what the material it's made of, affords a vehicle's occupants more protection than they would experience if the vehicle didn't have frontal protection.
Cost: Anywhere from $2000, depending on materials used (alloy, steel). A bullbar from a reputable company will be compatible with the subject vehicle and will not affect the functioning of a vehicle's lights, sensors or driver-assist tech, and will also not affect the vehicle's safety rating. Ironman 4x4's Commercial Deluxe Bullbar costs $2110, fitted.
Ford offers its Heavy Duty Bull Bar (steel with tech pack), for about $4037, which is "based on RRP for the accessory, standard labour time & recommended hourly labour rate", according to the company.
Overview: A canopy provides cover and security for whatever is in the tray of your ute, whether it be tools for work or camping gear for your weekend trip away.
Cost: Ford's double cab canopy, whose "Unique twin shell construction provides excellent strength and stability", costs from $3600, fitted.
ARB's Ascent canopy, "loaded with standard inclusions such as vehicle integrated central locking, electric push button window release and slam shut latches", costs from $4119 fitted.
Overview: A nudge bar's name gives a pretty indication as to its purpose: it's designed and engineered to take the sting out of a minor collision or ‘nudge', rather than provide the heavy-duty frontal protection of something like a bullbar. Fans of ‘touch-parking' love a good nudge bar.
Cost: A steel nudge bar from Ford will set you back from $1235, fitted.
Overview: A snorkel raises the point at which your vehicle's engine takes in air and so protects your engine from copping harmful dust (when you're driving dirt tracks) or water (when you're crossing creeks).
Cost: A Safari snorkel from ARB will cost from $837, fitted (V-spec model).
Overview: Sports bars generally cop a bad wrap but many ute lovers reckon these much-maligned bits of metal can be used to help cart wood, pipes or other long materials, or even be used as a mounting point for forward-facing lights* or a work-light that illuminates the tray. (*Before you position any lights on your sports bar, check your state laws too make sure that's legal.) Some people reckon a good sports bar looks cool too.
Cost: A genuine Ford polished alloy sports bar, with high-mounted stop-light, costs from $1993, fitted.
Overview: A ladder rack gives you more packing flexibility, for work or play, as you can securely carry long items up and out of the way, freeing up valuable cargo space in your tray.
Cost: A genuine ladder rack kit from Ford, which is matched to the Ranger's factory-fitted sports bar, costs from $1509, fitted.
Where to Buy: Visit ford.com.au
Overview: A top-quality drawer system helps you to safely store your tools, camping gear, or other items, still leaving plenty of room on top of them for other equipment. Drawers slide in and out on rails and should be lockable.
Cost: Ironman 4x4 has a solid rep in the off-roading community, so if you're after stuff that's actually been tested and engineered to cop the punishment of bush and beach driving, consider their single drawer system – from $820, fitted (excludes wing kit and wing kit fitment) – or their twin drawer system – from $1260, fitted (excludes wing kit and wing kit fitment).
Overview: If the load space of your ute's tray doesn't have a ute liner then the surface is going to suffer a shedload of damage. A UV stable polyethylene ute liner will help protect your tray from wear and tear while you use it to carry camping gear, work tools and materials, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, anything. A Berliner (trayliner) is standard on XLTs and Wildtraks.
Cost: An ARB impact-resistant ute liner costs from $597, fitted.
Overview: Regardless of whether you have a preference for showiness or off-road suitability, the world of rims is a rather versatile one. Bear in mind that the bigger the wheel rim and the lower the tyre's profile, the less suitable a wheel-and-tyre combination is for off-roading.
Cost: Anywhere from about $2000 for a four-rim package. Note: 16-inch steel wheels are standard on XL Rangers; 17-inch alloys are standard on XLTs; 18-inch alloy wheels are available as factory-fitted options on XLTs. Discuss your options with a Ford dealer before you buy.
Overview: Protect your ute's original floor covering from workday wear and tear, and weekend sand and mud, with durable floor mats.
Cost: All weather mats from Ford cost from $155 for front (two mats) and rear (a big one-piece mat).
Where to Buy: Visit ford.com.au
Overview: Seat belt extenders, er, extend your seat belt, providing a bit more flexibility for driver and passengers. They should be ADR compliant and click into the existing seat belt, adding about 400mm to seat belt lengths.
Cost: From about $65 each.
Overview: A high-quality window tint spares driver and passengers from the full force of the sun's rays (via glare control and UV protection) as well as concealing your ute's occupants from prying eyes. Privacy glass is standard on XLT and Wildtrak Rangers.
Cost: A good automotive window film fitting for a whole vehicle, pretty labour-intensive, will set you back from $500, depending on the size of your ute (whether it's a single cab, super cab or dual cab). Do your research and find a decent mob that uses top-quality film. A lifetime warranty is a nice deal-sweetener too.
Where to Buy: Visit www.3m.com.au
Overview: Make sure you're familiar with your Ranger's tool kit (includes your jack etc) and its location. Check under the rear bench seat (if in a space cab), or behind the seats (front row, if in a single cab), back row (if in a double).
Cost: A genuine Ford replacement toolkit is $219.50 (includes GST).
Where to Buy: Visit ford.com.au
Overview: A lockable tool box fixed to your tray will provide ample security for your tools, work gear or other equipment. It should be lockable and have rubber seals and sturdy hinges. There are so many sizes and shapes there should be one to suit your specific needs.
Cost: Ironman 4x4 has myriad toolboxes from $1070, fitted (steel) / from $360 (undertray) from $590, fitted (alloy).
Where to Buy: Visit ironman4x4.com.au
Overview: If your Ranger's tailgate doesn't yet lock when you use your remote fob or it did and now it doesn't, then sort that out asap in order to secure any gear in the back. (Your tray will have a tonneau cover or canopy, of course.)
Cost: A tailgate central locking kit costs from $250, depending on the vehicle it's intended for, and you can fit it yourself or pay a professional to do it.
Overview: A power mirror helps a driver monitor the road or track to the rear of the vehicle with pinpoint precision. How much it costs to replace a damaged Ford Ranger, power adjustable mirror depends on whether the glass only has been damaged or the electric-adjustment motor inside has been damaged, of the whole unit has sustained damage. Power adjustable exterior mirrors are standard on Ford Ranger.
Cost: From $120 for a driver-side mirror (unit only, not fitted).
Where to Buy: Visit ebay.com.au