Ford finally unwrapped its new-generation Ranger ute last month to much fanfare.
The reveal of a new version of one of Australia’s most popular models was always going to be a big deal, and, unsurprisingly, there was a lot to unpack.
Set to roll into dealer showrooms in the second quarter of 2022, the Australian-engineered and developed Ranger boasts a raft of changes over the outgoing model, including new powertrains, a fresh design, all-new interior and more.
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Ford undertook significant customer research to help develop the new Ranger and owner feedback has prompted a number of features that are new to the model.
Let’s check out some of the cooler new features of the new 2022 Ford Ranger ute.
New powerful V6 turbo-diesel engine
Say goodbye to the Ranger’s old 3.2-litre inline five-cylinder engine and hello to a new 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6. The new flagship diesel engine is a version of Ford’s F-150 truck in the US, but it has been revised for the Ranger and includes a new turbocharger.
Ford hasn’t revealed details of the engine yet, but in the F-150 it pumped out 190kW of power and close to 600Nm of torque – that’s more than the five-pot’s 147kW/470Nm. It will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Don’t expect the new V6 to show up in the entry-level Rangers however. CarsGuide understands that it will be offered in higher-grade variants like the Wildtrak.
Up until this point, the only mainstream ute in Australia with a tub big enough to swallow a pallet is the Volkswagen Amarok. Not anymore.
The new Ranger has an expanded tub that can also slot in a standard sized pallet. Given the next-generation Amarok, due in about 2023, is being developed as a twin under the skin of the Ranger, expect the new VW to be able to carry a full-size pallet.
Ford is still holding back a fair amount of detail about the new Ranger, including the precise dimensions. However, after having seen one at the global reveal, it looks like it has slightly more ground clearance compared with the outgoing old model.
To make it easier for people to access the tub, Ford has added a load box step integrated into the rear bumper but on the side of the ute. You just step into it and load or grab the items you need and you’re good to go. It will be standard on higher grades and optional on lower grades.
The box step on the side rear bumper is offered on some Ranger variants.
Better cargo management in the tub
A series of spring-loaded cleats that clip into rails bolted to each side of the cargo box allow owners to create smaller areas or compartments to store items.
The new bedliner has moulded slots that allow you to add dividers to hold items such as timber or toolboxes and ensure they don’t slip around when driving.
Tailgate = work bench
The new tailgate transforms into a work bench with clamp pockets that allow you to measure, cut and grip building materials. On some variants it also includes a built-in ruler and cupholders.
To avoid damaging the top of the tub with tool boxes and the like, Ford has included caps that protect the upper edges. The caps can be removed, however, if you want to install a canopy or crossbars.
Cute design touches
Look carefully at the cool wavey design of the air vents in the cabin and they might look familiar. That’s because Ford designers have used the same pattern found on the Ranger’s bold new grille for the air vent covers. Cute!
Also familiar is the new Ranger’s front-end design. The so-called C-clamp headlight treatment ensures the new ute looks part of the Ford truck family. You’ll find a similar face on the smaller Maverick and the larger F-Series.
Inside, the Ranger gains Ford’s latest SYNC4 multimedia system and brings with it big hardware and software improvements over SYNC3.
It has natural voice recognition, improved cloud-based navigation and in the future, it will feature over-the-air updates.
Depending on the variant the new portrait-style touchscreen is available in 10.1 or 12-inch guise and it has a 360-degree camera. The new screen houses many of the vehicle controls that were previously buttons on the console or dash. The new Ranger also comes with wireless device charging.
More storage options
The rear seats fold flat in dual-cab variants, ensuring more space for storage in the second row, and you can store more gear under or behind the back seats.
Up front there are more hidden compartments for greater security too, including a concealed dashtop box, and easy access to retractable cupholders near the dash-mounted outer air vents. The relocation of the 4x4 controls to a more compact dial means there are three different centre console layouts and more small-item storage all-round.
Ford has teamed up with 4x4 accessories manufacturer ARB to produce dealer-fit options for the new Ranger, which will be covered by Ford’s factory warranty.
Some of the new accessories include recovery hooks, bonnet protectors, tub canopies, snorkels, skid plates, side rails with steps, roof racks, LED spotlights, towing mirrors, a pop-up tent and fridge.