Editor's Note: click here for the full launch story.
The Ford Ranger re-wrote the pickup truck rules when it made its debut three years ago. Riding on the Blue Oval’s four brand pillars: Quality, Green, Safe, and Smart, it mixes the best attributes of a passenger car with those of a dependable workhorse. Almost overnight, it transformed the pickup into more than something used by utility men and contractors. It made pickups cool.
Three years and the crown of the Philippines’s best-selling pickup truck later, a new version of the Ranger is here. It’s striking and modern, to say the least. Above all, it once again re-writes the pickup truck rules, rules which its rivals are only starting to catch-up up to now. It’s a smarter pickup which is best appreciated inside. These are the seven things you shouldn’t miss about the new Ranger’s interior.
Electronic Power Steering
A feature normally reserved for passenger cars, the new Ford Ranger is the first-ever pickup truck equipped with EPAS or Electronic Power Assisted Steering. This eliminates the use of the traditional hydraulic power steering pump equating to better fuel efficiency, less maintenance cost, and quieter operation. It also promises to give the Ranger better low-speed maneuverability while offering more precise steering at high speeds.
Door Lock Switch Movement
Finally, the biggest gripe of the Ford Ranger’s previous interior has been solved. The center door lock switch migrates from its position in the center console to the more traditional location which is by the interior door handle. And both the driver and passenger side have them. Plus, higher-trim models get the added benefit of the Ford Power start button with a smart key keyless entry.
Dual TFT Instrument Cluster
Seemingly plucked straight out of the Explorer (complete with its warning chimes), the Ranger gets a fancy looking dual TFT instrument cluster. Not only does it look nice, but like its application in the Explorer, it’s customizable depending on what you want displayed. The speedometer is front and center, but the two side screens can display trip information, entertainment, climate, and phone control options. They’re operated, like the Explorer, via two four-directional key pads on the steering wheel.
Hands on the wheel and eyes on the road have been made even easier with the use of Sync 2. Still powered by Microsoft, Sync 2 uses more naturally spoken commands for the integrated voice command system. You want it to lessen the temperature? Say, “Temperature 20 degrees.” Gone are the days you need to speak up in broken English trying to give instructions to a robot. More than voice commands, Sync 2 also allows a wealth of connectivity such as Bluetooth, two USB ports with smart charging, a SD card slot, and a 3.5-mm auxiliary input jack. And the interface is all done through an 8-inch touch screen.
Thinking about working on the go? No need to worry too much about battery life as the Ranger provides a 240-volt power socket located at the back of the center console bin to charge gadgets on the go. Aside from this, the Ranger also has three 12-volt sockets (two in the front and one located at the back of the center console bin as well) to keep small devices topped up. For heavy duty items (such as powering a camp site), the Ranger has a 24-volt socket at the side of the bed, even for XLT models.
Rear Center Armrest
Another problem with the previous Ranger is that it compromised somewhat on rear seat comfort by not providing a rear center armrest for occupants back there. Now, it’s there. Plus, it retains its three rear headrest configuration and now adds better child protection with ISOFIX anchors.
Sexy New Stalks
Aside from the steering wheel, one of the most important driver controls is the stalks. Although it wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the presentation, a careful look at the new Ranger’s stalks reveal a re-think. The lights have moved to a rotary-type switch on the dashboard itself (like the Fiesta and Focus) and the cylindrical stalks has been replaced by pointy ones. One side controls the wipers while the other side controls the side indicators as well as what looks to be the Lane Keeping Alert / Lane Keeping Aid.