The Entry Level 4×4 by Ford

You have to admit it, the Ford Raptor has casted a shadow so big that the Ranger line has been relegated in the dark. Understandably, enthusiasts have flocked to the iconic super-truck in droves that they often overlooked the qualities of the lowly Ranger Wildtrak and XLT/XLS line.

Unbeknownst to many, the Ranger also has the entry level 4×4 in the Ranger XLS 4×4. Powered by the trusted 2.2 litre turbocharged diesel engine that’s mated to a 6-Speed manual transmission, it offers the same heavy duty reliability in a more basic, no-frills package.

Interior

The cabin is donned in basic Gray fabric upholstery and trims. Makes sense since work trucks don’t have to be snazzy. The seats are comfortable and offers more legroom. But make no mistake about it, even if the interior is bland, the accouterments are still impressive.

The entertainment system, although presumed as an afterthought at only at 4.2 TFT display , has actually complete connectivity. Aside from AM/FM, it has single CD(!) player, Bluetooth, Auxiliary and USB port. The small screen negates the touchscreen options, so get used to controlling the different functions with old fashioned buttons. Sound is transferred to 6 speakers. There is also the much-appreciated charging port at the back of the console for the rear passengers.

Cruise control and adjustable speed limiter is also available, aside from the usual ISOFIX anchors and front airbags. Oh, the rear seats also has the center headrest!

Exterior

The exterior is also basic; no chrome trims or fancy accessories like flares or skirts. Color combination is limited to body color trims and Gray-Matte finish. The wheels are already big at 255/70/16, but feel free to upgrade to bigger all-terrain tires. Also, no bed liners to keep the cost down.

The powertrain is the popular 2.2 Turbocharged Diesel engine that is used in the Ranger and Everest variants. The 6-speed manual transmission is part of the base package, and although it’s quite a chore shifting in traffic, it offers more engine rpm and traction control. (according to old school off-roaders). Since the XLS is devoid of all unnecessary equipment, it’s more sprightly, thanks to the less weight.

Verdict

The Ford Ranger XLS 4×4 MT is very able! We tested it in muddy terrain and a sand trap to test its ability. Even with the small displacement, the Ranger got through the loose sand without any difficulty. The engine power and differential gearing are so evenly matched that maximum torque is achieved at a low 1,500 rpm. No slippage either.

The Ranger XLS is quite a steal at PHP 1,181,000 as compared to other brands. It offers more versatility, whether tarmac or rough terrain. Business owners and enthusiasts will enjoy this particular variant; it’s sort of a blank canvass, you can modify at will without spending a fortune.

For those who want a workhorse without the 4×4 muscle, the Ranger XLT 4×2 MT is priced at a paltry PHP943,000.

To get a comprehensive Ford Ranger model e-comparison, visit https://www.ford.com.ph/trucks

Text/Images: Earl Manalansan

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