Ford Ranger 2019 Wildtrak road test review

An orange Ford Ranger 2019 Wildtrak parked on a beach next to two men on bicycles

Ernest Litera

Posted January 29, 2019


A 2019 update to Australia’s top-selling 4x4 ute.

The Ford Ranger line-up has received a makeover heading into 2019, plus an all-new driveline option in the popular XLT and Wildtrak models, revitalising Australia’s top-selling 4x4 ute.

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Optional bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel delivers more power and torque than the 3.2, with class-leading seating comfort and ride compliance plus tough 4x4 off-road capability.

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There’s no disguising its truck-based structure, with performance and handling designed for hauling loads, plus a long wheelbase and large turning circle causing car park difficulties.

 

Revisions appear subtle, but more high-end features now flow down through the range, improving value. The high-end XLT and Wildtrak models now offer the option of an all-new bi-turbo, 2.0-litre diesel engine mated to a 10-speed automatic for just an extra $1200.

While traditional 4x4 owners are typically sceptical of reducing engine capacity in favour of beefed-up turbocharging, power is up by 6.8 per cent to 157kW and torque increases by 6.4 per cent to 500Nm when compared to the familiar 3.2-litre, five-cylinder diesel. Critically, torque in both engines is produced from just 1750 rpm, so the 2.0-litre Ranger loses none of its desirable low-speed hauling capability.

Towing capacity remains a hefty 3500 kilograms, while payload increases because the four-cylinder engine is lighter. The new bi-turbo has silkier power delivery than the 3.2, while the 10-speed auto delivers seamless shifting on the open road. We did note a few jerks in slow-speed, stop-start traffic, but in general it’s more flexible than the standard six-speed auto.

 

Suspension and ride compliance are improved in the new model which, together with excellent seat support and cabin comfort for five adults, makes the dual-cab Ranger a good companion for long-distance touring. The lack of reach-adjustable steering and the need for a side-step up into the cabin remain obvious niggles, and the length will exceed many parking spots.

Beyond that, the Ranger is an easy truck to live with, thanks to good vision and car-like controls. This excellent comfort and ease-of-use in everyday situations tends to disguise Ranger’s tough commercial underpinnings and go-anywhere selectable high- and low-range 4x4, with rear diff lock. Ranger is also now covered by Ford’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

 


The verdict

Ford’s Ranger remains one of the leading dual-cab utilities, combining sedan-like comfort and practicality with the enduring ruggedness and load space of a go-anywhere 4x4.

 

Ford Ranger 2019 Wildtrak

Price

As tested: $63,990 + $5621 estimated on-road costs
Premium paint: $600

Drivetrain

Engine capacity: 1996 cc
Maximum power: 157kW@3750rpm
Maximum torque: 500Nm@1750rpm
Transmission/drive: 10-speed auto / 4x4 high-low range / rear diff lock
Tyres: 265/60 R18, full-size spare

Fuel

Diesel, 80-litre tank capacity. 7.4L/100km (gov test), 8.6L/100km (RACV test).

Standard safety

5-star ANCAP/6 airbags, pre-collision assist with autonomous emergency braking, emergency assistance call, adaptive cruise control, rear camera plus front and rear sensors, tyre-pressure monitoring.

Standard features

Active park-assist, keyless entry and start, sat-nav, Sync-3 audio system with voice control, auto high beam and wipers, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, eight-way powered driver's seat.

Warranty/services

60 months, unlimited kilometres.


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