She turns heads, that's for sure. Especially the little (or shall I rather say big) black number I had. Ford introduced its limited-edition Ford Ranger FX4, based on its 3.2 TDCi Double Cab 4x4 models earlier this year and I recently had the chance to drive around in one for a week.
It’s not every day I have a stranger on a smoke break come up to me saying “Ma'am, I was just standing there chatting with my colleague when you drove into the parking lot and we said to each other we’d never seen a lady in such a rugged car. And it looks like a man has been driving it…” Pointing to the mud stains all over it. I had to giggle.
The Ford Ranger FX4, however, is definitely not exclusively a man’s car. It’s apparently become a favourite among many women for various reasons. For one, it accommodates an outdoorsy lifestyle. For the small business owner, it makes the delivery of goods a breeze. And for still another, it makes transporting pets easy-peasy.
As an owner of a 1.4 very lady-like hatchback vehicle, spending some time dashing over dunes and grazing over gravel roads is quite the treat, you can imagine...
Ilse van den Berg 22 Mar 2017
For a woman like me, however, I simply loved the size of it as well as the ease of drive. I loved not having to be worried about or restricted by a pavement. No parking? No problem. *Climbs onto the pavement (in legal measures, of course).*
Driving through a dodgy area? No biggie, I’m higher than everyone else so no opportunist can look down into the car. *Sips coffee out of travel mug while listening to morning breakfast show, safe and relaxed.*
Driving behind a slowpoke on the highway? One glance in his rear-view mirror seeing an intimidating panther black giant KITT
staring at him, and he moves out the way. *Smile and wave.*
Heck, I even had some cops salute me at one stage. Maybe I looked like a reservist. Jokes.
Why the need for a limited edition? According to Tracey Delate, general manager, marketing – Ford Motor Company sub-Saharan Africa, there’s a strong demand for accessorising and customising the standard Ranger, and the Ranger FX4 is said to fill that niche perfectly, while still maintaining the capabilities of the XLT model.
No compromise on comfort or classiness
With a 3.2l five-cylinder diesel engine that produces 147kW with 470Nm of torque, this bakkie can haul loads of up to 3500kg, so you can tow your boat, bikes, or horse in its trailer without breaking a sweat. It will get you through the toughest off-road tracks without compromising on comfort or classiness.
Having done some extensive city driving during the week and longer distance driving over the weekend, I was impressed that I still had roughly a quarter tank petrol left when I had to (reluctantly) return the vehicle. Ford claims a fuel consumption of 8.9 litres/100km for this vehicle.
When it comes to safety, the FX4 boasts seven airbags, electronic brake assist, electronic stability programme, traction control, and trailer sway control, among other features.
I thought the rain-sensing wipers quite nifty as well as the rear-view camera with rear parking sensors (although I didn't fully rely on it as it wasn't always that accurate). The bakkie also has the latest-generation SYNC3 with navigation infotainment system. This incorporates all the benefits of the SYNC3 system introduced in 2016, with the addition of a comprehensive suite of integrated navigation functions accessible via the 8-inch touchscreen and a wide range of voice commands. Connecting my iPhone to the infotainment system was absolutely effortless.
Strong and tough, the Ranger FX4 underwent a number of distinctive styling changes, including sexy black finishes for the radiator grille, fog lamp bezels, exterior mirrors, roof rails, as well as the door and tailgate handles. The 17-inch alloy wheels also come with a panther black finish. The same colour is consistent in the side steps, rear bumper, and special FX4 tubular sports bar located in the load bay.
All models come standard with Ford Protect, including a four-year/120,000km comprehensive warranty, five-year/100,000km service plan, three-year/unlimited km roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty.
You can get the Ranger FX4 in four colours: frozen white, moondust silver, sea grey, and panther black. It can be ordered with the six-speed manual (R593,900) or automatic (R608,900) transmission options and free 4x4 training is provided with the purchase of any Ranger 4x4 model. How cool is that?
In my opinion, the Ford Ranger FX4 is a comfortable, fun ride. She is for sure one foxy 4x4 lady.