Ford Philippines was up to something in bringing together motoring journalists for a drive: it perhaps wants to prove why the Ranger is its consistent bestseller this year. Likely, it would continue to do so with the 2019 model, especially with the downsized 2.0L diesel mill inside the pickup truck’s Wildtrak trim.
I’ve had the chance to bring the previous Ranger to a similarly long road trip last year, and this time, I had the opportunity to drive therange-topping 4x4 Wildtrakvariant through its paces – the closest thing to the Ranger Raptor with its biturbo and 10-speed automatic transmission.
Aesthetically, the 2019 Ranger Wildtrak doesn’t deviate too far from its previous styling. It has the same beefy demeanor in the wide stance that its patrons love.
What’s new, however, is found on its fascia. The thick bar in the middle of the glossy black hexagon grille has been replaced with two thin ones. It‘s also equipped with better light configuration: automatic HID headlamps, LED fog lamps, and our favorite, the LED daytime running lights that are derived from the Everest – talk about standing out while being functional, day and night.
There isn’t much alteration at the back, except for the new tailgate assist that allows you to open the heavy tailgate with less effort.
While the outside physical changes are minimal, the interior upgrades enhance the Ranger’s already-homey cabin. First thing I noticed was its new softer steering wheel material that’s a pleasure to touch, as well as the less orange accents on the seats and the long-overdue push start button with keyless entry system.
I also noticed that there’s less dive when stopping, and the ride was even better than before. Outside noise isolation has been greatly improved as well. In comparison, it’s ride quality is nearer to what the Everest can offer.
Probably the best upgrade in the 2019 Ranger is the addition of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Aid that are found in the Everest Titanium+. These might not be usable in the city, but in this almost-300-km road trip, it’s a heaven-sent feature to use in NLEX and SCTEX.
And of course, it all boils down to the most crucial update to the 2019 Ranger – the 2.0L biturbo engine that produces 210 hp and 500 of torque. Sure, it’s downsized and has one-less cylinder than the 3.2 Wildtrak before, but there’s really nothing to complain about in its performance after getting behind its wheel for a good amount of time.
I kid you not, the new engine was even more powerful than before and could easily keep the pickup truck up to speed with the convoy. It wasn’t hesitant to move forward while keeping its composure when overtaking. The turbo also kicked in as early as 1,800 RPM, pushing out the boost as needed.
It wasn’t as torquey as before; it will lay your head gently onto the headrest, but it sure was fast. This was paired nicely to the new 10-speed transmission, which allows incremental feed of power with the short range of RPM per gear. It may not be as intense as before, but that’s a good thing. I also love its quieter roar, as compared to the heaving noise the previous Wildtrak produced. It works well for the truck, and it was definitely great for fuel economy, too.
We travelled a total of 276 km until our final destination, which consisted of highways and provincial roads while having a little bit of fun in some parts. The fuel economy reading? 11.7 km/L – a great number to see coming from a pickup truck of this size.
With the 2019 Ranger’s new heart and added cabin goodness, it didn’t lose its capabilities off the beaten track, as we witnessed in the off-roading activity that was prepared by Ford Philippines.
Through the river and huge rocks, slippery puddles and tough inclines, the Ranger delivered and there wasn’t any moment that the pickup truck needed more pull. Its 232mm ground clearance, 4x4 modes with differential lock, re-calibrated suspension, and class-leading 800mm water-wading capacity played out well to finish the course with flying colors. It wasn’t as hardcore as what the Ranger Raptor can do, but it’s almost there and it had just enough capability to tackle any reasonable dirt path.
At P1,695,000, the 2019 Ranger Wildtrak 2.0 Biturbo 4x4 AT was a huge improvement from the model it replaced. Ford Philippines smoothened out the rough edges of its best-seller and came up with a gem that could perform both on- and off-road, all while coddling its occupants with class-leading comfort. With these things intact, we could very well be looking at another successful year for the Ranger, and that won’t come as a surprise.
Request More Information about the Ford Ranger 2.0 Biturbo Wildtrak 4X4 AT.
Find out more info, request a brochure, or request a quote by sending an inquiry below