Ford finally unveiled the new-generation Ranger ute last month to much fanfare.
Revealing a new version of one of Australia’s most popular models will always be a big deal, and, unsurprisingly, there’s a lot to unpack.
Set to hit dealer showrooms in the second quarter of 2022, the Australian-developed and engineered Ranger offers a series of changes to the previous model, including a new powertrain, fresh design, new interior and more.
Ford conducted significant customer research to help develop the new Ranger and owner feedback has prompted a number of new features on the model.
Let’s take a look at some of the cooler new features of the new 2022 Ford Ranger ute.
Powerful new V6 turbo-diesel engine
Say goodbye to Ranger’s old 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder engine and welcome the new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine. The new flagship diesel engine is the US version of Ford’s F-150 truck, but has been revised for the Ranger and includes a new turbocharger.
Ford hasn’t revealed any engine details yet, but in the F-150 it pumps out 190kW of power and close to 600Nm of torque – that’s more than the five-engine 147kW/470Nm. It will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
However, don’t expect the new V6 to appear in the entry-level Rangers. Car Guide understand that it will be offered in a higher class variant such as the Wildtrak.
Until recently, the only mainstream vehicle in Australia with a body big enough to swallow a pallet was the Volkswagen Amarok. No longer.
The new Ranger has an expanded body that can also fit into a standard-sized pallet. Given that the next-generation Amarok, due for release sometime in 2023, is being developed as a twin under the skin of the Ranger, it is hoped that the new VW can carry a full-size palette.
Ford is still withholding a fair amount of details about the new Ranger, including the exact dimensions. However, after seeing one at the global reveal, it looks like it has a slightly higher ground clearance compared to the older model that came out.
To make it easier for people to access the tub, Ford has added a load-box step that’s integrated into the rear bumper but alongside the ute. You just go inside and load or pick up the stuff you need and you’re good to go. This will be standard at higher values and optional at lower values.
Better cargo management in the bath
A series of spring-loaded serrations clamped to rails bolted to each side of the cargo box allows owners to create smaller areas or compartments for storing items.
The new bedliners have molded slots that allow you to add bulkheads to store items like wood or toolboxes and ensure they don’t slip while 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 cupholder.
To avoid damaging the top of the body with toolboxes and the like, Ford has included a lid that protects the top edge. However, the lid can be removed if you want to install a canopy or bars.
Cute design touch
Take a good look at the cool wavy design of the air vents in the cabin and they might look familiar. That’s because Ford’s designers have used the same pattern found on Ranger’s bold new grille for the air vent covers. Tiny!
Also familiar is the new Ranger front-end design. A headlight treatment called C-clamp ensures the new ute’s look as part of the Ford truck family. You’ll find similar faces on the smaller Maverick and the larger F-Series.
Inside, Ranger gets Ford’s latest SYNC4 multimedia system and brings with it major hardware and software upgrades over the 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 guises and has a 360-degree camera. The new screen houses many of the vehicle controls that were previously buttons on the console or dashboard. The new Ranger also comes with wireless device charging.
More storage options
The rear seats fold flat in the dual cab variant, ensuring more space for storage in the second row, and you can store more gear under or behind the rear seats.
Up front there are more hidden compartments for greater security as well, including a hidden dash box, and easy access to a retractable cup holder near the dashboard-mounted exterior air vent. The relocation of the 4×4 controls to a more compact dial means there are three different center console layouts and more small storage.
Ford has worked with 4×4 accessory manufacturer ARB to produce dealer-compliant options for the new Ranger, which will be covered by Ford’s factory warranty.
Some of the new accessories include recovery hooks, hood guard, tub canopy, snorkel, skid plate, side rails with ladder, roof rack, LED spotlights, towing mirror, pop-up awning and fridge.