wildtrak20140701In top-spec trim, Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 ticks all the boxes one could want or need in a vehicle
HAVING a stature unmatched by many is already a plus for a vehicle because this allows it to tackle tough situations—most especially those common on Philippine roads. But a tall vehicle that’s also attractive. . . well, that’s quite welcome, too.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.2L 4×4 AT (priced at P1.599 million) is one sweet example of such a vehicle. And it’s also a pickup that not just provide plenty of space for passengers and cargo but is also sturdy on and off the road.

Hailed as this year’s Truck of the Year-Philippines, the Ranger’s functionality is partly a result of its high ground clearance of 223 millimeters and a wheelbase that stretches to 3,220 millimeters. On a recent drive I was able to squeeze in four adults (all a little on the heavy side) in the rear, and they told me it was tolerable. Not bad given that the Ranger’s backseat was designed to fit three people only.

What made it tolerable was the truck’s ample knee room. My passengers were way beyond “golden age.” But the foot clearance between the Ranger’s B-pillar and the backseat made it easy for them to get in and out of the pickup.

Besides the room for passengers, another of the Ranger’s functional features are the 23 storage spaces in the cabin. This is good for people who love road trips as there could never be enough food and drinks in a vehicle. The Ranger’s center console bin can cool six cans of beverage while the glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-inch laptop. There are plenty of cubbies for mobile phones and other small items in the console.

The Ranger Wildtrak 3.2L 4×4 may be a big truck but it also has the features of a premium sedan. It comes with Bluetooth audio streaming, USB and iPod connectivity and voice control for the radio, CD, iPod, USB, air-conditioning and mobile phone.

Other great additions to its list of features (exclusive to the Wildtrak 3.2L 4×4 variant) are a rear-view camera, cooled console bin and a 12-volt power socket in the cargo bed—which is what I enjoyed the most since I was able to plug my phone’s charger there while stargazing under a perfect, moonlit night.

Powering the top-spec Ranger is Ford’s 3.2-liter Duratorq TDCi engine that has a variable geometry turbocharger. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it dishes out 197hp and 470Nm of torque. These ratings make climbing up hills easy. Although the truck needs a little push on the get-go, it’s quick when it is already rolling. If this engine gets paired to a manual transmission, it will create a monster truck. (Ford Phils. recently released such a variant).

Ford said the fuel consumption of this five-cylinder diesel engine in a combined cycle is 10.4 kilometers per liter—one of the best in its class.

The Ranger Wildtrak 3.2L has an electronic stability program that uses advanced sensors to continuously monitor the path the vehicle is traveling on and compares it to the path the driver wants to follow, as indicated by the steering wheel. The system is integrated with hill descent control, hill launch assist, adaptive load control, emergency brake assist, emergency brake light and roll-over mitigation. Other safety features—which I’m glad I did not use—are side airbags and side curtain airbags, which would provide utmost safety in times when they are needed the most.

The Ranger Wildtrak 3.2L 4×4 AT is an eye-candy inside and out. From its available Chili Orange body paint to special Wildtrak leather seats, steering wheel and door panels— a combination of leather and woven cloth inspired by sportswear, and which has ventilated sections—it makes people rubber-neck as they admire its aesthetics. Complementing the truck’s big, bulky face are 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a sport bar, box rails and a bed liner. The Ranger is really functional and attractive.


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