Ford’s 2018 launch of its 2019 Ranger (or PX III) brought numerous upgrades and refinements, headlined by the availability of AEB and Ford’s new twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine with 10-speed auto being available as an option in the upper-shelf XLT and top-shelf Wildtrak variants.

This new engine and transmission made its Ranger debut in the Baja-inspired Raptor, which has earned widespread praise for its ‘desert racer’ chassis tuning and criticism of its underwhelming engine choice in equal measure.

However, to judge this new engine’s performance based purely on the Raptor is neither fair or accurate, as we discovered after testing the latest Ranger XLT. Fact is, with its much lighter weight and shorter gearing, the XLT offers punchier response and acceleration than the Raptor, along with higher payload and tow ratings.