When I was looking for a replacement for my previous ute a little over a year ago, I was out to get the safest available at that time. The Ford Ranger was the top of the pile and therefore the search was closed with a slightly used 2017 3.2 XLT 4 × 4 car. My first car and maybe this is my last while. More about that later.
The thing that really impresses me with this Ranger is the amazing NVH suppression. It ensures an overall pleasant ride, especially on corrugated iron roads, even considering the leaf suspension. Our family has covered roughly 9000 km this year on gravel roads for camping / landing. The vehicle transports very well. Fuel consumption in the city is around 6.5 L / 100 km, which is great. Fully loaded for overland, I average around 9.2L / 100km, which is great again.
We have had no mechanical problems with this vehicle at all. However, we had a broken pre-filter (aftermarket) that had kept us in the middle of nowhere. Long story short (about how I found an element), I got hold of an old geyser element and cut off the thermostat tube (8 mm pipe) and bypassed the filter.
I have had some strange electrical phenomena after an extensive unpaved road trip. My rear parking sensor yelled that an object was close by for about two days, after which it disappeared spontaneously. I have also had the flashing lights on the inside of the car flash randomly (outside of all lights working and flashing at normal speeds), in combination with the display on the back that showed that I had a trailer (I have never had a trailer) trailer towed with this car). This problem solved itself within a week.
The power of the 3.2-liter diesel is nice, it is clearly not a V8 Cummins, but it’s up to me to get everything I need out of it. He drives well in beach sand; I just manually select the gear that I want, because sometimes too much torque is retained.
In the dunes, the car reacts quickly to manual downshifting if you no longer have a cloud and the top is so close … turning off the brake and traction control of the engine after every restart on sand sometimes gets a bit boring.
In my country, Android Auto is just annoying. No apps work with it, except of course Google Earth, but our mobile network is average and our data use expensive. So why would I want to plug my phone in and out every time I get in and out of the car? Updating the Sync 3 is also a problem … but I stray, this is more a third-world infrastructure that is trying to marry a first-world technology problem.
Another plus is all the aftermarket goodies that are available for the vehicle, making landing even more fun and safer.
So what do I think Ford can do better? Well, it is a very good vehicle for what it is, and I would recommend it to a specific audience. Small things; there is no light around the keyhole where you start the car; the steering wheel clearly blocks the inner skylight so that it is completely dark. You are then left to put your steering column in the dark as if someone is trying to repel an attacking leopard.
Tying hooks in the bath … there are not enough to do your shopping in the city or to secure your things when landing. It’s a safety issue, we need more low and high hooks, please Ford.
So after about 15,000 km this year, I have come to realize that the Ford is a great vehicle. The problem with that … I am. The car causes me to lose the ability to drive 4 × 4 tracks and dunes manually. It is like learning a new language and then deciding that I will never speak it again after you have mastered it.
The vehicle has too much electronics – they make life so easy – but it somehow creates a falsehood. The electric power steering has ensured that I ate through the standard front tires (Michelin CrossContact), which caused me to chunking because I spin the wheel (effortlessly) while standing still on a high traction surface to park in reverse (I do it everywhere).
When driving on gravel, there is no switch to switch between outside air flow and circulating air inside when someone is approaching at high speed and the dust looks like an A-bomb cloud behind him. You have to look down, somewhere between all the other buttons of niceties is that circulation button, where is the weather?
I can go on, but I hope you understand what I mean, and even see my utter foolishness. My foolishness reaches to the point where I am now and wishes there was a solid alternative to Ford’s front axle. I will sell this car, and I will buy from another brand, this vehicle is great, but it is too great for me.