The official Australian configurator for the new Ford Ranger is now available, so we allow Drive freelance team to build their ideal version of the popular new ute.
Customization is all the rage right now, but the choices can be very confusing. In our configurator challenge, we let Drive loose teams on the manufacturer’s website to create their ideal combination for a particular model.
The all-new Ford Ranger 2023 was the focus of this week’s challenge, after Ford Australia’s ‘build and price’ tool was launched on Thursday evening for all variants – including the twin-turbo V6 Raptor hero.
Let us know what your ideal 2023 Ford Ranger would look like in the comments below (configure yours here), and the car you’d like us to configure next.
Joshua Dowling, National Motorcycle Editor
Full disclosure: I have a start on me Drive guys for this Configurator Challenge because I’ve already defined a car.
I had ordered a Ford Ranger Raptor in white with no stripes and no beadlock enabled wheels.
I’ve had a black Ford Ranger Raptor before and it looked great the day I bought it and the day I sold it. Very white for me this time.
That means I saved $675 on the metallic paint, $500 on the factory-installed stripes, and $2000 on the optional beadlock-enabled wheels (which, if ordered after shipping the car, cost $5000 for the rims alone).
On Ford’s website – with private registration for the NSW metropolitan area – it’s a $92,127 drive as a guide.
I can’t wait to experience how the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 petrol engine and 10-speed automatic power the 2.4 tonne pick-up.
However, as has happened to many Ford Ranger buyers, this was a tough choice.
I also saw a Ford Ranger Wildtrak (white) but with a single-turbo 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine.
A standard Ford Ranger Wildtrak with a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine retails for $73,228 drive-away (Sydney metro registration) on Ford’s website. But I ticked the options for the matrix LED headlights ($1500) and the single-turbo 3.0-liter V6 diesel ($3000), which with the stamp duty comes in at $77,913 a drive as an estimate on Ford’s website.
If the budget doesn’t stretch that far, I think maybe the best buy is the Ford Ranger XLT twin-turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel. In standard form it costs $67,098 drive-away on Ford’s website (Sydney metro registration) but I opted for the ‘Blue Lightning’ metallic blue paint ($675) which with stamp duty comes to $67,794 drive-way.
The engine’s fuel efficiency is attractive, as is (as I expected) a softer ride on the 17-inch wheels and tires, and the fabric upholstery (so you don’t burn the back of your foot in the summer).
My wish list: to be able to choose matrix LED headlights on the XLT model class. Now that would be a fine setup.
Kez Casey, Production Editor
With double taxis ubiquitous, I had to opt for something a little different.
When you see the Ranger ‘Super Cab’ in the photos, it really stands out from the pack – and its limited availability (XL and XLT only) makes it a rarer beast. That extra length of trays, and some dry, safe cabin storage felt like the perfect fit for my adventurous, alternate universe self.
I’ve opted for the 2.0-liter bi-turbo engine and the XLT trim. There are no extra V6 cabs available, but you can bet if there was one it would be my go-to.
Since I have a bit of history with monochrome cars in my own garage, Meteor Gray is a sure bet, but it’s hard to get past Lightning Blue – it’s a great color and it almost worked.
With no other options to choose from, the rest is standard XLT fare, from dark 17-inch alloy wheels, to chrome exterior trim, and a rear sports bar in the tub and tow bar at the rear. Inside is a large 10.1-inch touchscreen and digital instruments, with fabric trim.
Simple as it may be, Ford’s estimated price led me to collect a $64,570 drive-way bill (in Melbourne) for the extra XLT cab. That would definitely make this relatively rare in the real world
Susannah Guthrie, Senior Journalist
I’m not your typical buyer, but I will say the Raptor has always appealed to me.
First, I’m not usually a fan of diesel engines (as I mentioned, not your typical buyer), and since this is the only petrol Ranger available, it’s an easy call. Second, I’ve always loved the integrated Ford branding in the grille which I predict will continue to fuel imitators for years to come.
I was tempted by the ‘Code Orange’ paint choice but I don’t like being stared at so I opted for the more subtle ‘conquer grey’. In my personal opinion, the black and red leather-accented interior that comes standard on the Raptor is downright awful, but my dad is a diehard Bomber supporter, so at least he’ll be happy with that.
Apparently it’s all going to cost $91,577 to drive. But can you help my friend move house? Very valuable.
It took a lot of time to get past the Ranger Raptor, but if I were to buy a new Ranger, I’d be completely comfortable with the Ranger Sport’s specs.
Still interested in six-cylinder power, I opted for the extra power provided by the 3.0-liter single-turbo (184kW/600Nm) diesel engine.
I’m a big fan of the Blue Lightning color which costs an extra $675. There are no interior upholstery options other than the standard black outfit which is a bit of a shame.
My Ranger Sport would cost $72,270 if shipped in Melbourne.
Unfortunately there are very few ways to customize your Ranger in the current configurator, but hopefully Ford will open up more options to the Ranger at some point.
Ben Zachariah, Journalist
For years now I have been trying to tell anyone who will listen that modern utes can be turned into fun and practical sports cars – if the right formula is applied. The Ranger may not be offered with a manual in this new generation, but for around $70k you can get a vehicle with 600Nm and all-wheel drive – all the ingredients you need to have fun.
My pick is the Ranger XLT – the lowest-priced variant available with a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine. Its 184kW is fine, but the big torque figures and the 10-speed automatic should provide everything you need to provide enjoyment on the road. Add the Tour Package for the 360-degree camera and the Tough Bedliner for longevity and resale value, finish it in Shadow Black, and it’s done… almost.
I already have two four wheelers, I don’t really need another one. And off-road Rangers are everywhere. Which meant I wanted to drop the dual cab on a set of TE37 alloy wheels with some sticky rubber (and white lettering), along with some upgraded suspension bushings. All it takes is a rear canopy to help with even distribution of weight and you have a fun family carrier with lots of practicality.
As fast and powerful as the Raptor, I can’t justify spending nearly $95,000 long-distance on the ute, and 292kW is a lot for all-terrain tires on suburban roads – so any of those diesels, especially the new 3.0-liter V6.
But when you factor in each variant, the price difference between the XLT and Wildtrak is “only” around $6000 – and those are all features you really should get as standard for a $70,000 drive, but not on the XLT, such as wireless phone charging, upholstery heated skin, 360-degree camera, and a larger infotainment screen.
So that’s the Wildtrak V6 for me, loaded up against the wall in a $675 Luxe Yellow metallic paint, and the $1500 Wildtrak Premium Package, with matrix LED headlights and a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system.
Final price was $78,609 by drive, using my Sydney zip code.
That’s a lot for a Ford commercial vehicle, but considering you could spend the same money on a Mazda BT-50 Thunder – and end up with less power, less tech, and less safety tech (but a few extra accessories), it not so bad.