BORN TO BE WILD: Wildtrak brings out a different side of the Ford Ranger
It’s not often that a bakkie, or should that be truck, causes such a stir as the Ford Ranger has done. Even though this mini Ford F150 has been on the market for two years now, it still remains the most talked about vehicle in the bakkie segment with models leaving showroom floors quicker than the factory in Pretoria can build them.
Having driven the 2.2 TDCi XL in workhorse single cab guise last year and having come away impressed, it was only a matter time before a more leisure-orientated version came along. As it turned out, that model was to be the top range 4x2model, the Ranger 3.2 TDCi Double Cab Wildtrak.
Based on the normal XLT Double Cab, the Wildtrak adds a list of cosmetic upgrades such as 18 inch rims, blacked out grille, mirrors and bumper strip, satin silver running boards and roof rails, and a unique silver roll bar. Upgrades in place, the already smart and imposing Ranger, has now been transformed into a smart truck with absolute attitude.
The interior also got the Wildtrak treatment with orange stitching on the seats, steering wheel and glovebox, orange seat inserts and Wildtrak embroidered headrests, floor mats and metal door sills. Material quality feels more car-like than bakkie while rear legroom borders on excellent. With the driver’s seat in my driving position, I had more than enough space when sitting ‘behind myself’.
As to be expected, the Wildtrak is packed with standard kit such as Bluetooth, a four-speaker radio/CD/MP3 compatible radio with USB and aux jack, parking sensors with reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, rain sensing wipers, heated front seats, electric windows all around, cruise control, ABS with EBD, BAS and ESP, seven airbags and a class leadingfive-star Euro NCAP crash rating.
The Ranger’s trump card however, lies under the bonnet. Built at Ford’s Straundale plant, the 3.2 L five cylinder turbodiesel engine is an absolute gem. It produces 147 kW and a mammoth 470 N.m of torque, all of which make- cruising and towing an absolute breeze. Paired with a mechanical feeling six speed manual gearbox, the combo is a match made in heaven. A six speed automatic box is also available.
As a general rule, cosmetic upgrades can either break or make a vehicle. In standard form, little could already touch the Ford Ranger in any department, but in Wildtrak form, it has made the double cab market its own.
To book a test drive, visit Eastern Cape Motors in North End, Port Elizabeth, or contact them on 041 484 4326.
They say while some are destined to be great, others were born great; the latter certainly applies to the Toyota Hilux. From its humble beginnings as a small 1.5-litre pick-up, to its conquering of the South African market...
When it comes to cars - and specifically new and unfamiliar brands, South Africans can be a hard bunch to please. Changing to an unknown brand from an established one can either rank as a brave step and willing to take chances, or complete insanity combined with poor service and numerous trips to the workshop.
According to the folklores of the Inuit, the inhabitants of the Arctic regions surrounding Greenland, Canada and Alaska - more commonly known as Eskimos - any hunter, foolish enough to be hunting at night, would fall victim to a massive wolf-like creature known as an amaroq.
As one of the most important segments in the South African market, the premium hatchback segment has traditionally been a German affair with the Audi A3, Mercedes A-class and the BMW 1-series dominating sales charts. In recent times however, competition has increased as more and more manufactures embark on the quest to topple the teutonic trio.
In the last edition of Business Link Magazine, I had the opportunity to sample the facelifted Chevrolet Cruze, fitted with parent company General Motors’ now-familiar 1.4-litre turbocharged Ecotec engine which produces 103 kW and 200 N.m of torque.
When it was first unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motorshow, the pressure and expectations resting on the brand new Chevrolet Cruze could not have been greater as the full force of the economic meltdown was starting to take its toll on America’s Big Three automakers.
When it comes to offering the best of both worlds - work and play, there can be no doubt that a double cab bakkie strikes the perfect balance. On the one hand, you have a leisure orientated vehicle and on the other, a work vehicle with a decent sized rear load bay for your equipment.
I have always admired the Chevrolet Cruze with its unique stance and styling on the road. When General Motors recently launched a hatch version of this world-class vehicle, I wondered why they would want to fix a winning formula that definitely wasn’t broken.
When it comes to producing small city cars with a touch of style and something different from the norm, you can always count on the Italians to deliver. After all, city cars drive best in a country with crowded and congested cities. Fiat is then the ultimate symbol of these Italian city cars.
No doubt, South Africa is a ‘bakkie-mad’ country. We drive them to work and to everywhere else - they are part of our motoring culture. While the bakkie market, especially for double-cabs, is ever getting tougher, the competition still has a long way to go if they want to dethrone South Africa’s bestselling new vehicle, the all-conquering Toyota Hilux.
- Summerstrand man sends cops on wild goose chase after prostitute steals car
- VIDEO: Marchers descend on Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court for Pastor Tim Omotoso appearance
- East London woman scarred for life after horror abortion at illegal clinic
- Survey reveals who were behind anti-Zuma marches and why
- DA wants answers on Easter road death toll increase despite millions spent on campaigns