Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Review: 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2.0L Bi-Turbo 4x4


Watching people gawk at the Ford Ranger Wildtrak as it parked itself on a busy street in Makati made the entire trip worth it. See the Ranger’s always had the “capability” part nailed down—it was and still is the best truck if you wanted sheer ability to go off-roading or haul stuff. It’s the “smart” part that’s seen a slew of competitors try and take the Ranger’s crown. This 2019, ford has had to take the ace out of their sleeve but nonetheless, it blows everyone else out of the water in the process.

As far as aesthetics upgrades go, 2019 doesn’t see much difference compared to the one introduced in 2016. There are new elements like the projector HID headlights from the Everest, LED front fog lights, and the revised grille, but in the context of a 5.3-meter long machine, they’re relatively minor. Interestingly, Ford has seen it fit to change the Wildtrak exclusive orange for a third time: from Chili Orange in 2012 to Pride Orange in 2016, and now, Saber Orange in 2019.



What you see though tells just one part of the story. For this update, Ford’s incorporated a tailgate lift assist. The principle is very simple mechanically, but by adding that torsion bar, it makes lifting and lowering the tailgate now an easy, one-handed affair.

The same philosophy could be said about the Ranger Wildtrak’s interior. At first glance, it comes across almost unchanged from the 2016 update, but this time, there’s a bit more contrast and a bit more shine. The first part is provided by the bright orange stitching that runs across the upper portion of the dashboard, the steering wheel, and the seats. It even outlines “Wildtrak” on the passenger side dashboard and seats as well. The second one is because of the new glossy gray finish that highlights the steering wheel spokes and dashboard. Oh, and finally, there’s the subject of the new infotainment system as well. Now loaded with SYNC 3, not only does it incorporate offline GPS navigation, but it also adds support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.



More than just the infotainment bit, the Ranger Wildtrak now comes loaded with driver assist goodies which may make choosing between this and the Ranger Raptor more difficult. The Raptor may get trick Fox Shox, but the Wildtrak is the one with Active Park Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Warning. The first two are vital for those who live in city confines, while the last two are perfect for highway drives. As someone who finds himself having to go into the Makati Central Business District on a regular basis, having a pickup that parks itself is welcome. Indeed, for people who don’t have the urge to win every single pissing contest, the Wildtrak is the smarter choice over the Raptor.

For 2019, the Ranger Wildtrak has traded its 3.2-liter inline-5 for the same 2.0-liter bi-turbo inline-4 also found in the Ranger Raptor. The downsized powerplant may draw errs from those who prefer larger displacement engines, but some seat time is enough to change that conviction.



The power outputs—213 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque tells just one part of the story, but couple that with a lighter front-end and the Ranger Wildtrak feels much more agile. It changes direction much more easily now and together with the nicely balanced electric power steering, can actually dance through sweeps and bends. Mind you, the unloaded backend still tends to break traction easily, but take things down a notch (i.e. drive sensibly), and it feels much more rewarding than before.

Weighing some 200 kilograms lighter than its 3.2-liter predecessor, the 2019 Wildtrak is, both objectively and subjectively, quicker than before—it’s even quicker in a straight line compared to the Ranger Raptor. Gut-punching performance aside, the bi-turbo unit here is way smoother. The throttle engagement isn’t jumpy unlike the XLT’s old Duratorq 2.2 unit, and the power delivery is linear. Oh, and the engine’s refined with just the telltale diesel clatter towards the end of the rev range.



The Wildtrak also makes use of the Raptor and Mustang’s 10-speed automatic. Despite the absence of paddle shifters, it’s responsive enough to keep the engine singing in its happy zone. Upshifts are imperceptible, but downshifts can sometimes be aggressive. In some occasions, the Wildtrak relies on engine braking whenever the throttle’s let go, resulting in a slightly perturbed feeling. Without a doubt, it’s meant to extract as much pace from the engine while keeping the fuel mileage impressive, at least on the highway. Unfortunately, the small engine and extra gears do little to boost fuel economy in the city: 7.35 km/L—that’s a figure not only lower than the XLT’s 9.009 km/L, but even compared to the previous 3.2-liter’s 7.57 km/L.

After all’s said and done, the 2019 Ranger Wildtrak remains the leader in the pickup segment. In more ways than one, it continues to re-define what a pickup can do and should be. Not only does it manage to tick the best qualities of a workhorse like payload, towing, and water fording capability, but add to that a great looking truck, a sensible interior, and the best tech you can find in this segment. Sure, the fuel economy could be better, but it reminds everyone that for as long as Ford gets their act together, they can come with a class act.



2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4x4
Ownership 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4x4
Year Introduced 2012 (Refreshed: 2016, 2018)
Vehicle Classification Pick-up Truck
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 4-door pickup truck
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/4WD, Part-Time, Low, Locking, with LSD
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Twin Turbo
Fuel Delivery Common Rail Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 213 @ 3,750
Nm @ rpm 500 @ 1,750-2,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 10 AT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive, with Speed Limiter
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 7.35 km/L @ 18 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 5,354
Width (mm) 1,860
Height (mm) 1,821
Wheelbase (mm) 3,220
Curb Weight (kg) 1,880
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension Leaf Spring
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 II 265/60 R 18 T (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front and Rear, with Camera
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keeping Aid
Forward Collision Warning
Autonomous Emergency Braking
Active Park Assist
Exterior Features
Headlights HID
Fog Lamps Yes, Front (LED)
Auto Lights Yes, Auto High Beam
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Leather/Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes, Dual Zone
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
Aux
USB
Bluetooth
GPS
Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes

6 comments:

  1. Have you tried the 4X2 Wildtrak? Which is the more sensible buy if you're not really going offroading?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for 4x2 if you're not into offroading. 'got all the power you need with all other options except Biturbo Engine.

      Delete
    2. I got the Biturbo variant, Meteor Gray, but 4x4 is seldom use. So proud and happy with it! :D

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. Fuel economy in Makati area might be in th 6+km/li area.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete