Menu

Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Ford Ranger 2020 review: Wildtrak


Daily driver score

4.4/5

Tradies score

4.2/5

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak has achieved icon status. It’s the ute people refer to as the one they want when you ask them… well, that or the Raptor. That station used to be the realm of the SR5 HiLux.

But it’s more than just a kooky variant name - it’s the fact the Wildtrak is based on a benchmark ute in the segment, the Ford Ranger - but with some flashy elements inside and out that separate it from the rest of the range. 

These vehicles are so versatile, so useful, and so popular. These vehicles are so versatile, so useful, and so popular.

Dual-cab utes like this one have become a solution to everyone’s problems. These vehicles are so versatile, so useful, and so popular that they’re becoming a default for people out there who just want a ute that can do anything for them.

So does the Wildtrak offer everything a ute buyer would want? And what’s it like when it comes to actual ute duties? We put some weight in the back to find out.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

There are some standout elements to the Wildtrak - it’s not limited to the model-specific paint work and the decals on the doors, as there is a unique dark grey finish on the grille, door handles, mirror caps, fog-light surrounds and rear step bumper. There’s also a silver bash plate on the front bumper, sturdy side steps with metallic elements, the rear-end has a sailplane sports bar and tub topper, and this grade also gets a roller top hard tonneau as standard issue.

The attractive, masculine appearance of the regular Ranger with some sporty elements. The attractive, masculine appearance of the regular Ranger with some sporty elements.

It takes the attractive, masculine appearance of the regular Ranger and adds some sporty elements, though it still lags behind some rivals as it doesn’t have LED headlights (HID) or tail-lights (halogen), though it does have LED daytime running lights. 

The interior has a number of model-specific design touches, many of which may fly in the face of a real tradie truck: part leather seats with Wildtrak embroidery, plus orange stitching throughout the cabin and a different leather steering wheel cover, too. The dark grey plastic look is mirrored in the cabin, with a dash insert also letting your passengers know they’re in the Wildtrak. 

Featuring Wildtrak embroidery and orange stitching. Featuring Wildtrak embroidery and orange stitching.

How practical is the space inside?

Not all dual-cab utes are created equal, but geez they’re close to one another when it comes to interior practicality.

All the bits you’d expect are covered off here, too, with big cup holders, door pockets in all four doors, rear map pockets, and loose item storage in front of the gear shifter as well as a decent centre console bin. However, the Ranger doesn’t get little extras you might appreciate like dash-mount cup holders or a dash-top storage caddy.

Not all dual-cab utes are created equal, but they’re close to one another when it comes to interior practicality. Not all dual-cab utes are created equal, but they’re close to one another when it comes to interior practicality.

In the back the seat base can be folded up to allow for additional secure (and dry) storage if you need it, and there are dual ISOFIX child seat anchor points for the outboard seats, and two top-tether points there, too - note: you can’t fit a baby seat to the middle of the Ranger’s back seat as there is no anchor point.

In the back the seat base can be folded up to allow for additional secure (and dry) storage. In the back the seat base can be folded up to allow for additional secure (and dry) storage.

As for the practicality of the tray? There’s good and bad elements to the Wildtrak.

The length at the floor of the tub is 1549mm, while it spans 1560mm wide and 1139mm between the wheel-arches, which means it’s too narrow for an Aussie pallet to fit (1165mm square). The depth of the tub is 511mm to the rail: but note, the roller cover housing halves that, impinging on the usable space if you actually plan to load up a lot of stuff.

The tray is too narrow for an Aussie pallet... The tray is too narrow for an Aussie pallet...

It’s great that you get the hard top roller cover, and that there’s a tub liner, too: but the positioning of the four tie-down hooks in the corners of the tub made it a little difficult to strap down our load (but again, many of the utes in the segment - especially high grade models - suffer this).

We’ll cover off more load specs in the tradie use section below.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak with the 2.0-litre bi-turbo engine has a list price of $64,790 before on-road costs. 

That’s pricey, but a lot of the stuff you’re paying for is excess to requirements if you’re considering the vehicle for work purposes. You could just as easily buy an XLT and save thousands. Or if you can deal with the five-cylinder engine, there are some more work-focused variants down the range that’d be considerably more suitable.

Having said that, I get it. You might be the foreman, or an agent, or have some other job that doesn’t actually require too much hard work. And the Wildtrak could be perfect for you.

It has plenty of gear to justify its cost: 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, HID headlights, all the Wildtrak body additions, an integrated tow bar and wiring harness, tub liner, 12-volt outlet in the tub, roller hard top and the model-specific interior with part-leather trim and a dark headlining.

Featuring 18-inch alloy wheels. Featuring 18-inch alloy wheels.

There’s also an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with sat nav, DAB digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player. There are two USB ports - one to connect to the screen, one for charging. There’s also a 12-volt charger in the back, and a 230-volt powerpoint, too. 

The front seats are heated and the driver’s seat has electric adjustment, there are digital displays in front of the driver showing navigation and driving data (including a digital speedometer, which many utes still miss out on), but sadly there is still no reach adjustment to the steering wheel.

The Wildtrak has a digital speedometer, which many utes still miss out on. The Wildtrak has a digital speedometer, which many utes still miss out on.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

There are two different flavours of Wildtrak - the version with the 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel, which can be had with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, or the version we have here.

It’s the Wildtrak with the 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder unit and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Yep, ten gears!

This Wildtrak has a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder unit and a 10-speed automatic transmission. This Wildtrak has a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder unit and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The beauty of this powertrain is that it is the gruntiest you can get in the Ranger, despite its smaller displacement engine. It has 157kW of power (at 3750rpm) and 500Nm of torque (from 1750-2000rpm).

It has selectable four-wheel drive, and a towing capacity of 750kg for an unbraked trailer, and put o 3500kg for a braked trailer.

How much fuel does it consume?

The catch cry of the downsized engine is downsized fuel use, and that’s exactly the case here, too.

Ford claims official combined cycle fuel use of 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres, which is among the best in the dual cab 4x4 ute class.

Our testing resulted in a fuel use figure of 9.1L/100km over about 330km of driving including loaded testing, on road driving around town and on the highway, and a few traffic snarls thrown in for good measure.

The fuel tank capacity is 80 litres, and there’s no long range fuel tank option available. Even so, that should be enough for about 900km based on our figures. 

What's it like as a daily driver?

There is good reason people choose this as a dual-purpose vehicle, because it manages to be an SUV-like drive experience with the added usability of a dual-cab ute.

Its steering is considerably lighter than most of its rivals, makes it super easy to park - or you can just use the auto-parking function, which worked a treat during my time with it. It does have a pretty large 12.7m turning circle, but it doesn’t feel that big to drive, nor to manoeuvre. 

The steering is considerably lighter than most of its rivals. The steering is considerably lighter than most of its rivals.

The 2.0L engine is refined, punchy and efficient in equal measure. It’s not as noisy as the 3.2L, either, which is good, and the 10-speed auto does a tremendous job at choosing the right gear at the right time. You might find there’s a touch of lag to contend with on the odd occasion, but it’s mostly very smooth sailing. 

And the Wildtrak’s overall compliance is also a highlight, due to its nicely tuned suspension. It has independent front suspension and a leaf sprung rear end, though it rides better without a load in the tray than many, if not all, of its rivals.

We didn’t go off-road for this test, but there is a multi drive mode system that works in conjunction with the 4x4 hardware (2H high range, 4H high range, 4L low range, eLocking electronic locking rear diff).

In our previous testing we’ve found the Ford Ranger to be a great performer in the rough stuff, and this is no doubt thanks to its dimensional strengths: approach angle - 29 degrees; departure angle - 21 degrees (because it has a tow bar); break-over angle - 25 degrees; wading depth - 800mm; ground clearance - 237mm.

What’s it like for tradie use?

The payload capacity for the Wildtrak 2.0-litre model is 954 kilograms, which is 32kg more than the auto version of the 3.2L. That’s because the engine in the other car is so much heavier.

For this test we loaded in 560kg of horse feed thanks to our mates at Agriwest Rural CRT Bomaderry, on the NSW south coast. We were limited by the space in the tray (without a roller tray we could have fit another 60kg), but we wanted to ensure we were operating under the limit anyway. Remember - your payload includes passengers.

For this test we loaded in 560kg of horse feed. For this test we loaded in 560kg of horse feed.

And with the horse feed and two adults plus a bunch of additional gear in the back seat, you wouldn’t have known there was any big difference based on the available grunt.

The engine is superbly responsive and has excellent torque on demand, with the automatic transmission operating very smartly to keep things progressing without any noticeable fuss at all. Be it at urban speeds or highway pace, the acceleration is excellent.

There is some shudder the transmission when you’re taking off from a standstill, though it’s never enough to be concerning, and the engine’s bi-turbo setup allows you good pulling power when taking off from intersections, too. 

The steering is light, agile and dependable, not to mention easy to predict at all speeds. And the handling is superb, with the suspension dealing with bumpy sections of road without much fuss. You will notice that when laden the rear suspension takes two compressions and rebounds to settle instead of one (when unladen), though this is only really noticeable when you encounter speed-humps.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak - as with the rest of the Ranger line-up - is now among the best you can get in the ute segment for safety gear.

The 19.75MY update saw the brand introduce auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection across the entire range, as well as lane keeping assist, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition and automated high-beam lights.

The AEB system works at city and highway speeds, and has adaptive cruise control as part of the mix, too. You won’t find blind-spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert, though.

It has a five-star ANCAP crash test rating (from 2015, when the standards were considerably more lax), though it does have six airbags (dual front, front side and full-length curtain), plus there’s a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and semi-autonomous parking system, which remains unique to the segment.

The Wildtrak has a five-star ANCAP crash test rating. The Wildtrak has a five-star ANCAP crash test rating.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

The Ford Ranger is backed by a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan, so it’s as good as most of the utes out there in that regard, but doesn’t set any benchmarks. 

The brand offers capped price servicing for its Ranger ute range, with intervals set every 12 months/15,000km. The duration of the service plan is for the life of the vehicle - that’s right, you can go online and see how much your 180,000km service will cost.

For the purposes of this review, though, we did the maths for the first five years/75,000km and figured out the average cost, which is $477 before additional consumables. Not exactly cheap, but not as pricey as Euro rivals.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak is a terrific ute, one that offers the practicality and technology that plenty of buyers are after, with the sporty design elements that plenty also desire.

If you can do without some of those ‘look at me’ extras, you could feasibly choose the XLT model and save yourself about five grand. Either way, you’d be getting into one of the most polished and impressive dual-cab pick-ups on the market today

Thanks again to our friends at Agriwest CRT Rural Bomaderry for helping us out with the load. 

$64,790

Based on new car retail price

Daily driver score

4.4/5

Tradies score

4.2/5
Price Guide

$64,790

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data