The new Ranger is as fresh and modern as the old one was looking old and tired; it's a massive change.
That said, the general architecture and dimensions remain the same – the windscreen position, the door apertures, the glasshouse. This is not an all-new truck, but a thorough overhaul of the previous design from 2011.
Yet there are real big-ticket differences, kicking off with an all-new dashboard, door cards, seats and trim. Now you'll finally find a reach as well as height-adjustable steering column.
The touchscreen choices really dominate the cabin – measuring in at 10.1 inches in all but the Wildtrak, which jumps up to a 12-inch item. It also operates the latest SYNC 4A system, and that's a first for an Aussie Ford.
The new Ranger also gains a number of new items, such as full digital instrumentation across the range, both USB-A and USB-C ports, as well as a wireless charger from certain grades upwards and a storage shelf above the glovebox (that's lidded in Wildtrak).
Moving on to the rear seats, you will find face-level air vents for the first time in some grades, the seats have been redesigned for added comfort and support, as well as the usual amenities like overhead grab handles, map pockets and centre armrest with cupholders in higher grades.
Downsides? For some people, using touchscreens for functionality can be confusing; at least Ford has has made essentials like volume and climate controls as hard buttons and knobs, so you’re not so distracted using these. The 12-inch screen's extra depth makes accessing the USB ports directly underneath awkward. The pull-out cupholders struggle with broader cup bases as their clamps are too narrow. And we experienced a glitch with connecting the phone and climate control system in separate cars.
Breaking down the model walk, there are key differences between each model to help you make up your mind.
The XL, for instance, is a workhorse. Minimum frills, hard-wearing cloth, vinyl floor, a manual handbrake, easy-access dash storage – that sort of thing.
The XLS is more of the same, but with side steps, carpet and livelier trim.
Moving up to the XLT, it adds keyless entry/push-button start, leather wheel, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav and electric park brake up front, as well as rear-seat air vents and centre armrest with cupholders out back.
The Sport ushers in leather, a powered driver’s seat, ‘off-road screen’ and wireless charging, while the Wildtrak ups the ante with the larger touchscreen, 360º view camera, ambient lighting, pull-out cupholders, a powered front passenger seat and front seat heaters.