Ford Philippines recently gave us the opportunity to test drive the next-gen Ford Ranger. The Blue Oval brand set up a course to give us a quick glimpse at what the all-new pickup truck could do in a safe and controlled environment. With it sporting all-new looks and a set of new features we are sure everyone will appreciate, we had to take it out for a quick spin to see what has been improved and what has been added.
With that said, we go a little further and explain to you just how good this new pickup truck is in our short drive. These are our first impressions of the Next-gen Ford Philippines in the Philippines.
The Ford F-150 vibes are strong with the 2023 Ford Ranger Wiltrak. It comes with a C-Clamp LED daytime running lights, large headlights, and a body that looks like a smaller version of its bigger brother. The front fascia is bold and athletic with a touch of sportiness thrown in.
Moving to the side, it's a familiar sight with similar body lines being seen in this new interaction of the Ranger compared to its previous version. We really can’t fault Ford with this as there is only so much you can do with a pickup truck body style. What we did like is they added a side step to the rear quarter of the bed to give you even easier access to the rear cargo space at the back.
Speaking of the rear, you are greeted by an all-new design at the back. The first thing you will notice is that the word “Ranger” is no longer just a sticker and is now a part of the tailgate itself. You will also notice its new LED tailights and its aggressive new bumper. These elements and much more give the pickup truck a tough and ready appearance which was also seen in the previous version.
The cabin of the 2023 Ford Ranger is a step up over its predecessor. It has more vertical elements inside the cabin and everything is easily within reach. There are plenty of soft-touch materials to go around and the vehicle comes with a premium feel to it. The dashboard itself is long and flat which is great for visibility all around.
While the centerpiece of the cabin is definitely the huge 12-inch portrait-style touchscreen, we can’t overlook the fact that Ford did a great job at emulating the premium feel of the F-150 into the interior of the Ranger. It feels like you are driving a slightly smaller version of the F-150 which is great. This is even more evident in the door handles as they are now a grip-type instead of the typical pull-type that you would see in the previous model.
Overall is a great step above its previous version and a cut above its current competition that has yet to catch up. The bar has been set high for the competition, especially with the Wildtrak variant and we can’t wait to see what Ford will do with the Raptor.
Tech and safety
The 2023 Ford Ranger has come a long way in terms of tech and safety. First up we have the massive 12-inch portrait infotainment system which we think will be a game changer for the segment as other manufacturers will try to catch up to this feature. It will force them to think outside the box instead of just going for a wider display. Aside from this, you can also play a few games on the infotainment system which is great for the kids or if you’re bored and waiting around for something to do.
The next-gen Ranger also comes with a digital display which is great for seeing multiple things at once. It can also be customized a bit to display certain elements that you think should be seen. Another game changer for the pickup truck is the new 360-degree camera which works wonders especially if you are going off-road. You can see what you will be rolling over and where your tires will be placed.
Driving and handling
During the test drive event, we got to test out the capabilities of the Next Gen Ford Ranger Wildtrak. The American automaker designed a short course where we would be able to see the capabilities of the pickup truck both on the road and off it. What we can confidently say with our short time with the pickup truck is that it has the power to keep it a cut above its class and its suspension is tuned well for both on and off-road use.
On the road, the Ranger still delivers a comfortable ride experience, it's still expectedly a bit stiff but nothing to worry about as it is a pickup truck. The suspension does well to keep the bumps at bay and the tires also play a big role in keeping comfort levels up. While we weren’t able to take it out on the highway, at lower speeds NVH is great along with the maneuverability of the truck thanks to its 360-degree camera.
Speaking of the camera, it is a highlight of the vehicle as it lets you see where you and your wheels will go when parking or when off-road. On the off-road segment, the Ranger performed well, you could tell that the articulation of the suspension was on point, however, at certain angles you can feel the body start to twist a bit to keep the wheels on the ground. This is to be expected as the Ranger still comes with leaf springs at the back to maintain its cargo hauling capabilities.
Overall, it's a great improvement from its predecessor when it comes to the technology that it packs along with the
Verdict and Price
The Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4x4 AT which we tested is priced at P1,875,000. While the asking price can be a bit steep for some, we think it's well worth it, especially with the technology that it brings to the table. While we understand that the power figures remain the same, the changes were done to the vehicle bringing it a step above its previous version and a step above its competitors.
With that in mind, the Ranger is a pickup truck worth getting, but do stay tuned for our review of the vehicle so we can give you better insights on it along with proper fuel efficiency figures.