2015 Ford Ranger
Ford has officially announced its latest version of the global Ranger at the 2015 Bangkok Motor Show, the midsize pickup that roams nearly every continent except North America. The truck is heavily revised for 2015, with a new exterior look and interior design leading the headlines.
The truck’s updates are partly in response to increases sales. 2014 saw an impressive 40 percent increase over 2013 sales with its market share growing some 4.5 percent to capture an overall 21 percent stronghold.
Though the truck market outside the U.S. is very different, global truck buyers are looking for the same upgraded refinements – at least judging by the changes found on the new Ranger. It includes more digital displays, the latest version of SYNC, and a cabin with improved NVH levels.
Returning for 2015 is a competent off-roader. An electronic, part-time 4WD system is assisted by an electronic locking rear differential and tidy exterior dimensions that afford generous ground clearances.
New are a slew of electronic safety systems designed to keep the driver out of trouble and others that keep occupants safe if trouble does happen.
Continue reading to learn more about the new Ford Ranger.
Horsepower @ RPM:197
Torque @ RPM:347
0-60 time:9 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:115 mph (Est.)
The new 2015 Ranger has a more modern and muscular approach with its exterior design. The sheet metal is basically all-new from the A-pillars forward and flows forward to the new trapezoidal grille. Projector beam headlights, fog lights, and chrome trim dress things up. The chrome runs rearward to the side vents, mirror caps, side steps, door handles, and bed-mounted roll bar. Even the rear bumper and tailgate handle share the bright work. Compared to the outgoing model, the new design is much more crisp, with more angles and edges.
Like all proper trucks, the new Ranger is ready to hit the trail or job site. Properly equipped, the truck boasts nine inches of ground clearance and approach and departure angles above 25 degrees.
|Ground Clearance||9 inches (230 mm)|
|Approach Angle||28 degrees|
|Departure Angle||25 degrees|
|Fording Depth||31.5 inches (800 mm)|
The interior is also much improved. Similarities are still present, especially in the lower center console, but overall Ford has brought the truck into the latter half of the decade.
A new gauge cluster dominates the driver’s lower view. The display is very similar to that found in the Ford Fusion. The center gauge is analog and is dedicated to vehicle speed while the side digital gauges are customizable to an extent. The center console now plays host to an eight-inch infotainment screen with SYNC 2, the latest version of Microsoft’s software. The system now incorporates an improved voice command listening, giving the driver the ability to simply speak a prompt.
The overall interior is much more car-like than the outgoing truck. Aluminum-colored trim on the steering wheel and dash bring an upscale feel to the truck while bolstered seats and a leather-wrapped shifter boot further the experience.
The new Ranger also comes loaded with available electronic safety nets. They include Lane Keeping Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Alert, Driver Alert, Front and Rear Park Assist, and Electronic Stability Control with Adaptive Load Control and Emergency Brake Assistance.
A few of these system move beyond passive aides and into active. The Lane Keeping Aide, for example, actually modulates the steering to keep the truck within a traffic lane. The Driver Alert system monitors the driver’s inputs and sounds an alert if the driver is falling asleep.
Impressive stuff for a midsize pickup.
Ford engineers know the Ranger will have several types of buyers interested in different applications. To keep the appeal broad, four engines are offered – three diesel and one gasoline.
The pair of base 2.2-liter TDCi turbodiesels carries over from 2014 with slight boosts in power. The 128-horsepower version caters to those after fuel economy while the 158-horse version is the mid-pack powerplant. Those looking to all-out towing and payload figures will opt for the 3.2-liter TDCi five-cylinder turbodiesel. It cranks out 197 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque. Those are respectable numbers outside the mine-is-bigger-than-yours-U.S. The five-cylinder offers a globally-respectable 7,716-pound towing capacity.
Lastly, for those wanting to ditch diesel, Ford offers the 2.5-liter Duratec four-cylinder petrol engine. The mill offers up 164 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque.
All engines can be mated to either the six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic unit. Likewise, all the engines are available with an Auto Start/Stop system that shuts off the engine in certain idling situations.
The Ranger’s 4WD system is an electronic, part-time system that uses a rotary knob on the center console for operation. The choices of 2WD, 4WD high, and 4WD low range are available, with 4WD high range accessible on the move. An electronic locking rear differential further helps in sticky situations.
|2.2-liter TDCi||2.2-liter TDCi||3.2-liter TDCi||2.5-liter Duratec|
|Configuration||Inline four||Inline four||Inline five||Inline four|
Prices should keep within the range of the outgoing Ranger, so expect the base truck to command a price somewhere in the $23,000 range while upper trim models go for roughly $36,000. Sadly, those prices aren’t available in the U.S. because, well – because Ford won’t sell the Ranger here.
Though Chevrolet sells a version of the Colorado in the U.S., the real competitor to the upcoming Ranger is its global Colorado counterpart. Both Colorado trucks do share similar parts and design, though there are plenty of differences, with a host of upgrades for the U.S. version.
Nevertheless, the Colorado is still a direct competitor to the Ranger. It offers three engine options and both transmission choices. Towing comes in at 7,000 pounds with the 3.6-liter V-6 and payload is rated at 1,590 pounds. 2016 will see that third engine option, the 2.8-liter I-4 turbodiesel enter the U.S. market where it’s expected to outdo the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in the fuel economy wars.
U.S. prices for the Colorado start at $20,120 and rise up toward the upper $30,000 range.
Like the Colorado, the Tacoma is also something of a global truck. However, most folks overseas will know the Taco as the Hilux. The trucks have plenty of differences, namely in the comfort and strength departments. Hilux trucks are built more as a tool where the Tacoma has a softer side that appeals to car and SUV cross shoppers.
The Hilux comes with a multitude on engine options, including multiple diesel and gas choices. Both automatic and manual transmissions are available with each engine choice. Of course, both 2WD and 4WD options are available on the Hilux and Tacoma.
Prices for the U.S. spec Tacoma starts at $20,965 and grows more expensive as options are added. Load a Taco out, and you’re looking at roughly $38,000.
The refreshed 2015 Ford Ranger includes new levels of refinement and electronic gadgetry that was otherwise lacking. Upgraded sound deadening, interior materials, and information screens help the truck gain traction in a more upscale market while enhancement under the hood help keep the Ranger competitive on the global stage.
Though its bones may be the same, the updates hit at the heart of current consumer trends and will surely help boost the Ranger’s sales in the year to come. The world may never accept the truck as such a common mode of transportation as the U.S. – save for perhaps Australia – but the Ranger sure makes a solid case for itself as a daily driver.