MACHO HORSE: New Ford Ranger makes working fun

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 24, 2014

The term workhorse is defined as a “person or machine that performs hard work”. The one ton commercial workhorse segment also happens to the most important in South Africa, and one which has seen the incredible rise in success of the new Ford Ranger.

Market demand has been so high that production lines are struggling to keep up and frankly, it’s easy to see why.

In profile, the Ranger looks huge, which is no coincidence as it was penned by the same man who designed the latest Ford F150. Even in workhorse single cab spec, the Ranger looks imposing with its macho face and a stance that the iconic F150 would be proud of.

Inside though, was where I got the biggest surprise. Turn the key and you are greeted with Ford’s signature blue backlighting, which gives the impression that you are in a much higher spec Ranger. Then there is the quality and feel of the facia plastics which are excellent for a vehicle of this type- not only do they feel soft but also solid and rugged which, given what most workhorses go through, is a big plus.

Standard spec in this XL model is also quite impressive with air conditioning, a two speaker radio/CD sound system, central locking, four cupholders, ABS with EBD, dual airbags and two 12v power sockets. The cloth seats are comfortable and to add further practicality, are laid out in a bench format with the handbrake lever nicely integrated between the inner passenger-and driver’s seat thus maximising interior space.

I was also left rather impressed with the engine. The Straundale built 2.2 TDCi Duratorq turbodiesel comes in two outputs- a low pressure unit with 88 kW and 285 N.m of torque and a high pressure version with 110 kW and 375 N.m. Our test unit came fitted with the former which surprised me with its willingness to rev and pulling power in top gear.

Power goes to the rear-wheels via a five speed gearbox. Fuel consumption is a claimed 9.0 l/ 100 km and payload at 1077 kg. The loadbay is particularly big and comes with tie down hooks located on the floor inside, and exterior panel mounted units.

When it comes to meeting business demands, a workhorse has to be tough, durable and reliable which is why Ford tested the Ranger in a variety conditions and weather for over one million kilometres and before putting it on sale. It really is as good as it looks.

For a test drive, phone Eastern Cape Motors North End on 041 484 4326.