LONG TERM FLEET
Ford Ranger Wildtrak X is geared for adventure
The adventure-focused double cab promises the ultimate hybrid of work and leisure applications
After six months of running a Ford Everest 3.0 V6 Platinum long-term tester we have exchanged it for the newly minted Ford Ranger Wildtrak X.
Few people can argue with the versatility offered by lifestyle double cabs, including us, and we have previously opted to live with a number of these hulks including previous generations of the VW Amarok 3.0 V6, Ford Ranger Raptor and the current Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD LSE.
With a price of R1,013,000 the new Wildtrak X is R88,000 dearer than the standard Wildtrak 2.0 4x4 model and R13,400 cheaper than the 3.0 V6 Wildtrak variant. It has unique features including looks toughened up by a 30mm wider stance, a front grille with black surrounds and auxiliary LEDs.
It has Wildtrak X lettering inside and out, and “Ranger” on the tip of the bonnet. It also benefits from black wheel arch vents, door handles and mirror caps, and aluminium side steps as standard differentiators. The test car is also fitted with an optional powered roller shutter for keeping items safe and locked from prying eyes.
However, the trending feature is the optional Flexible Rack System (FRS). The rear cowling that is also found on other Wildtraks is now functional, and is able to slide back with five lockable positions along the length of the load bed for easy and aerodynamic lugging of longer work or lifestyle paraphernalia, such as long ply wood or kayaks.
The Wildtrak X is available strictly in 2.0l biturbo guise. It has the same motor used in the regular Wildtrak model, and the 154kW and 500Nm torque it develops has been sufficient for use in urban settings and achieving a 9.4l/100km fuel average.
It is a motor that feels sufficient for off-road conditions, too, paired with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. It rides on 17-inch alloy wheels shod with knobbly General Grabber AT3 rubber, and its bundu-bashing prowess has also been enhanced by having 26mm extra ground clearance than its cousins.
Behind the stylish alloys are specially tuned Bilstein position-sensitive dampers. These ensure that the Wildtrak X remains exceptionally comfortable on the roads while it is ready to hit the off-road trails. It’s also equipped with 4H and 4L modes and a trail turn assist system.
This latter feature is shared with the Ranger Raptor and applies brake pressure to the inside rear wheel, reducing the turning radius by up to 25%. It’s aimed mainly for loose surfaces at speeds below 19km/h, and can be engaged in 4H or 4L mode when the rear differential is unlocked, and there are also trail control and rock crawl modes.
In terms of amenities it has a lot of impressive technologies. The infotainment main display screen, the big wonder point for spectators, has digitisation and brilliant graphics, and USB ports front and back so family charging feuds will be avoided.
Even Level 2 driving autonomy is integrated. With the correct buttons engaged on the meaty and multifunctional steering wheel, the Wildtrak X can automatically follow and brake in response to a lead car, and provided you keep your hands on the steering wheel it can also keep itself within the lanes. The standard suite of driver assistance and safety systems includes active park assist, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and a 360-degree camera as standard.
There is a heap of appeal about lifestyle bakkies, with the idea of the perfect double cab being the one that looks good, has a cushy ride quality, is family friendly with unquestionable off-road capability and the all-important low fuel consumption factor. Our new Wildtrak X long-term car looks to already subscribe to some these requirements three weeks into its stay.
We will be running regular updates over the next six months.
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