Ford Ranger XLT 2023 review: snapshot
The Ranger is actually a story about two types of truck.
Imagining a Venn diagram, the left circle is the XL and XLS for fleet orders and the right circle contains Sport, Wildtrak and Raptor for private buyers. And, right in the overlap in between, lives the XLT.
The XLT is the least-expensive T6.2 Ranger with the series' now-signature C-clamp LED headlights, and can also be identified via its chrome grille bar, pick-up tub bed-liner with illumination, a sports bar and 17-inch alloys.
Explore the 2023 Ford Ranger range
Inside the XLT includes keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, fancier interior trimmings, a leather-sheathed steering wheel and gear knob, intelligent adaptive cruise control with full stop/go functionality, traffic-sign recognition and lane-centring tech.
Additional safety items include rain-sensing wipers, and a reverse camera kit on Cab chassis models.
Of course, the items found in XL and XLS also make it to XLT, such as 10.1-inch touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 4A multimedia system, digital instrument cluster, USB-A and -C ports, cloth seats and power windows.
Naturally, like all Rangers, XLT also scores 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.
The rear cargo area in pick-up models also come with a black sports bar, rear box illumination and a bedliner with a 12-volt socket. These are above the standard securing points, box capping with integrated fixing points for added bodywork protection, integrated load box step for easy side access and Ford's 'lift assist' tailgate.
A built-in trailer wiring set-up is also included, as well as the tow bar itself for XLT.
The XLT is available in all body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 grades and with two engine choices.
The previous 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel has been dumped 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 XLT is also the entry point in Ranger for the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel that's distantly related to that found in Australia's Ford Territory.
Also available in the Sport and Wildtrak, it 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. The six driving modes are: 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.