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Car reviews - Ford - Ranger - utility range

Launch Story

Ford logo12 May 2009

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

FORD’S workhorse Ranger has followed in the wheel tracks of its close cousin, the Mazda BT-50, and received a facelift in the form of the PK series.

The skin-deep facelift includes new headlight clusters (which look a lot like the new Mazda BT-50’s), a new three-bar grille, new front bumper, redesigned bonnet, new front guards with side repeater garnish, new tail-light clusters and new tailgate cladding.

Key among the interior changes are new amber-coloured illumination, new seat trim fabrics and the addition of an auxiliary input for iPod/MP3 players.

These changes come at a price for some models, adding between $400 and $2500 to the list price.

The biggest jump is for the entry-level 4x2 Single Cab Chassis, increased from $21,990 to $24,490. Other price increases include the 4x2 Single Cab Pick-up 2.5, which has gone up from $23,990 to $25,490, the 4x2 Super Cab Pick-Up 3.0, from $29,990 to $30,990, the 4x2 Crew Cab Pick-up, from $32,590 to $32,990.

Of the 4WD models, the Super Cab Pick-up has increased from $42,990 to $43,990 and XLT Crew Cab Pick-up has increased from $42,990 to $43,990.

The 2009 PK Ranger includes a new premium model based on the 4x4 Crew Cab Pick-up called the Wildtrak. The Wildtrak adds $3000 to the XLT price and is powered by the Ranger’s carry-over 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine fitted with either manual or automatic transmissions and linked to the part-time 4WD system.

The premium Wildtrak ute features several additional items over the XLT, including a rear roller shutter with integrated bed-liner and 12-volt power outlet, 18-inch alloy wheels, a Wildtrak sports roll bar, Wildtrak box rail, roof-rails, side mirrors with integrated indicators and puddle lamps, a front guard grille with Ranger nomenclature and Wildtrak door and tailgate decals.

Inside, the Wildtrak has Alcantara leather seats and trim, what Ford calls a ‘Multi-meter’ device (featuring inside and outside temperature displays, tilt angles and a compass), stainless-steel door scuff plates with Ford logos, Ranger-badged carpet floor mats, ‘premium’ lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift boot, silver-finish gearshift surround and a sliding tray with silver accent spear.

The PK Ranger will bring a total of five new variants to the range, making for 17 models in total. There are three new 4x2 models and two additional 4x4 variants.

New 4x2 variants are the XL Crew Cab Pick-up (2.5-litre auto), the XL Hi-Rider Crew Cab Chassis (3.0-litre auto) and the XLT Hi-Rider Crew Cab Pick-up (3.0-litre auto and manual).

The new 4x4 models are the Wildtrak and the auto-only XL Crew Cab Chassis, both powered by the 3.0-litre diesel engine.

Changes to specification include new foglight surrounds for the XLT and Wildtrak, new 16-inch alloy wheels for the XLT, new over-fender flares with integrated mudflaps for the 4x2 Hi-Rider and 4x4 variants and Ranger badging for the tailgate cladding on XLT and Wildtrak.

The existing Ranger’s diesel engines – the 105kW/330Nm 2.5-litre and 115kW/380Nm 3.0-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo – have not been changed for the new line-up.

The five-speed manual and five-speed auto, each linked to a part-time 4WD set-up, also continue unchanged, and as with its competitors, side curtain airbags and stability control have not been developed for the Ranger.

Colours available on the new range include Cool White, Titanium Grey, Silver Metallic, Highland Green, Red, Winning Blue, Desert Bronze and Black Mica.

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