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Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2023 review: snapshot

The perennially popular Wildtrak is the top of the Ranger series.

The perennially popular Wildtrak is the top of the Ranger series if you exclude the off-road-ready, high-performance-orientated Raptor with its unique 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.

Diesel-powered only like the rest of the Ranger line-up, the Wildtrak comes with two engine options.

The previous 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel has been dropped for a revised version of the 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel (dubbed BiTurbo in Ford-speak). Mated to a completely overhauled 10-speed automatic, it delivers 3kW less power at 154kW at 3750rpm, but the 500Nm torque maximum (between just 1750-2000rpm) remains. The transmission includes up to six driving modes.

The 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel that's also available in the XLT and Sport only for now has few peers, with outputs of 184kW at 3250rpm and 600Nm at 1750-2250rpm.

The V6 sends drive through to a new electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive system, with full-time 4WD that varies drive to the front or rear wheels as required. It includes six driving modes: Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul and Slippery for on-road driving, and Mud/Ruts and Sand for use off-road. Each alter engine throttle, transmission, braking, traction and stability controls.

There’s also an electronic rear differential lock which can be activated via the SYNC 4A multimedia screen, for improved off-road traction.

Ranger 4x4s with either 2.0-litre engine stick with the standard part-time 4x4 set-up that offers 4x2 (rear-drive), 4x4 Low range and 4x4 High range.

As per the Sport and XLS, the Wildtrak is only available with the Double Cab pick-up body, and adds a series-signature front grille design, a unique front bumper and different body accents, for a more-aggressive appearance.

You'll also find an integrated brake controller, exterior mirror with puddle lights and zone lighting all-round, along with roof rails and aluminium load box tie down rails. Note these are now load bearing, so you can secure items to these.

A built-in trailer wiring set-up is also included, as well as the tow bar itself for Wildtrak.

That's not all though. The Wildtrak's rear cargo introduces load box illumination, a bedliner with a 12-volt socket, a unique sports bar style, all-terrain tyres for its redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels, a powered roller shutter for the tub and a cargo management system.

Like all Rangers, it also has securing points at the front of the load box, box capping with integrated fixing points for added sheetmetal protection, a rear load box step for easy side access and a lighter tailgate, thanks to Ford's 'easy lift assist' system.

Inside, the Wildtrak features a larger (now 12-inch) portrait touchscreen, pull out cupholders on both ends of the dashboard, ambient lighting, specific-design front seats with power activation and heating for both, a 360-degree camera and active park assist.

It shares the Sports specification's dual front tow hooks, skid plate, LED front fog lamps and all-season tyres, as well as leather upholstery, wireless charging, an Off-Road screen showing 4WD activation and other related settings, and floor mats.

Ford's SYNC 4A multimedia system, a digital instrument cluster, USB-A and -C ports, power windows, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-sheathed steering wheel and gear knob, intelligent adaptive cruise control with full stop/go functionality and traffic-sign recognition and lane-centring tech are also fitted.

As with all grades, the Wildtrak brings nine airbags, AEB autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert and lane keep assist and rear parking sensors, while all pick-ups have blind spot warning and cross-traffic alert tech to the table.

The Wildtrak is only available as a 4x4.

Byron Mathioudakis
Contributing Journalist


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