Tested: Ford Ranger Wildtrak

By: Matt Wood, Photography by: Matt Wood

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When it comes to bells and whistles, utes don’t come much more loaded than the Ford Ranger Wildtrak. Matt Wood writes.

Tested: Ford Ranger Wildtrak
The new Ford Ranger Wildtrak ute: classy way of chasing sheeps around the farm

The top of the line Wildtrak is the pinnacle of the 21-model strong Ranger line-up which covers base spec 4x2 and 4x4 cab chassis models to 4x2 high riders and beyond.

Ford’s engine range for its light commercial hero starts with the 2.5-litre multi-point injected petrol engine and the 2.7-litre turbo diesel option. The peak of the horsepower hill is the 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre 5-cylinder Duratorq diesel.

With output figures like that the Wildtrak has clearly been built to pull as well as carry. And that’s where the 3,500kg braked towing capacity comes to the fore.

I’m not really clear as to whether a 5.3-metre long ute is still a ute or whether we’re now in ‘pick-up’ territory. But the dual-cab 4x4 Wildtrak comes with a whole host of extra equipment from electrically-adjustable heated leather seats to dual-zone climate control.

There are courtesy lights galore outside, side steps, driving lights and a mild body kit with a lockable sliding load area cover. It’s almost too pretty to get dirty.

NewFarmMachinery recently drove the 6-speed automatic version of the Wildtrak. And while the big ute takes up quite a bit of road, it was easy to live with around town for a few days.

However, the auto did bog down in day to day traffic, as if it needed the proverbial bag of cement in the tray and a trailer on the back to really get it changing smoothly and decisively.

But really, it was clear that I would need to get the Ranger out bush and off the asphalt. And the Ford loved the open road, easily holding the speed limit through undulating country Victoria.

Once off the blacktop the Ranger was easy to handle, even the stability control coped with loose gravel roads and the big pick up floated along nicely.

The 18-inch alloy wheels transmitted very little rumble back to the driver, it was almost too cushy.

Load wise the Ranger can handle a ton, but, there’s not a lot of room to put it. That’s the price paid for seating five people in comfort. A few bales of hay maybe, a few drums for sure, but the Ranger’s tray in dual-cab form would even struggle to accommodate a decent sized dirt bike.

Overall the Wildtrak is a very classy way to chase a few sheep around with excellent open road and rough road handling, but with enough creature comforts to deal with day-to-day family duties.

For the full test review of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, see Issue 3 of NewFarmMachinery, on sale October 28 or subscribe to the magazine to receive every issue straight to your doorstep.

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