Ford made sure its huge brute never ran out of power when the all-new T6 Ford Ranger was unveiled in 2011. The powerful 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder turbo-diesel was the top engine option at launch, producing 147kW/470Nm. A new 2.0-liter four-cylinder Bi-Turbo engine arrived soon after, ‘boosting’ power output to 157kW/500Nm.
Ford, however, had a superb 3.0 liter V6 turbo-diesel with record-breaking outputs of 184 kW/600 Nm in store for the most recent T6.2 or “Next Gen” Ranger. That amounts to a significant 25% gain in power and an even larger 28% increase in torque over the course of ten years.
We leaped at the chance to test the new V6 for a week in order to see how it performed in the dual roles of daily tradie workhorse and weekend escape machine given these significant increases.
Price and Features: Does it offer a decent price-to-value ratio? What characteristics does it have?
Our test car is an XLT model grade and is painted Absolute Black. The 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo four-cylinder diesel and 10-speed automatic are standard on the XLT, which is available in 4×2 or 4×4 and a variety of body designs. However, for an additional $3000, you can upgrade to the optional 3.0-liter V6 like the one in our sample, which has a retail price of $64,190 including ORCs with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The majority of the XLS’s features are included in the XLT, which also has a full-size steel spare tire stowed under the tail and special 17-inch wheels with 255/70 R17 all-season tires. Additionally, there are rain-sensing wipers, an electronic parking brake, four-wheel disc brakes, a black sports bar, load tub illumination, a full tub-liner with a convenient 12-volt plug, LED headlights with characteristic “C-Clamp” LED daytime running lights, and rain-sensing wipers.
The interior also receives an upgrade with smart keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone climate control with rear passenger vents, leather-wrapped gearshift and steering wheel, electrochromatic mirror, and an expanded multimedia system with voice assistant, sat-nav, and TMC (traffic message channel). Three USB ports and two 12-volt auxiliary connections are also included.
Is there anything intriguing about the way it was designed?
The more curvy previous generation now looks like, well, the previous generation thanks to the Next Gen’s style, which is so new and stylish. If Ford’s goal was to persuade customers to upgrade to the newest models, then its strategy was successful.
The XLT has historically been known as the “house of chrome,” but there has clearly been a change of heart as you hardly ever catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. Although the grille has a distinctive center chrome bar, the door mirrors and handles have been changed to body color, which, along with the ‘dark sparkle’ wheel finish, lessens the amount of USA-style bling that once distinguished this model grade.
We appreciate Ford’s new 10.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen, which acts as the “central command” for a variety of multimedia and climate control features. And we especially appreciate having the option to control the temperature and audio level using either the touchscreen or good ol’ mechanical dials.
In that regard, we would also urge Ford to abandon the new vertical “bar graph” style tachometer, which is more difficult to read and doesn’t fit in with a robust vehicle like this. Instead, Ford should go back to its previous digital round-faced model. Or at the very least allow owners to alternate between the two styles.