Australia’s love for lifestyle utes is surging, and no model is more popular right now than the Ford Ranger. In fact, as of June 2021, it’s the best-selling vehicle in the country.1
Blending practicality and performance with everyday driving comfort, it’s not hard to see why the Ranger is a favourite among tradies and families alike.
In this article we’ll focus specifically on the 4x4 Ute options. With (at current count) seven model ranges available and approximately 25 different variants, you’re certainly spoilt for choice – but how do you know which one is right for you?
Let’s compare what four popular models offer in the way of technology, styling, comfort and performance to help you narrow your search for the ideal Ford Ranger.
The entry-level model of the 4x4 range, the XLS is ideal for tradespeople and weekend warriors. The model boasts 16-inch alloy wheels, a tub with easy-lift tailgate and chrome exterior finishes. Modern conveniences include keyless entry, push button start, Bluetooth with phone and audio streaming, as well as an 8-inch touchscreen (the largest available across the range). Safety features as standard include front, side and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane keeping aid and traffic sign recognition. For those seeking sporty styling, a special edition of the XLS, the Ranger Sport, comes with a unique black front grille, black side steps, black sports bar, upgraded black gloss alloy wheels and sports decals.
One important note when it comes to structuring your novated lease is that the vehicle must have a payload of under 1 Tonne according to manufacturer specs. This means novated XLS buyers will need to focus on the 6-Speed Sports Automatic variant as opposed to the Manual.
One of the most popular variants of the Ranger, the XLT steps things up a gear in terms of practicality, styling and tech. This model comes standard with SYNC® 3, a voice-activated communications system that enables you to make calls, listen to music and control your favourite apps hands-free. There’s also a 12v socket in the tray, meaning you can power your mini fridges, freezers and other gadgets on your weekend getaways. Inside the Ranger XLT, you have dual zone air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter knob, an anti-dazzle rear-view mirror and rain-sensing wipers. You’ll also have daytime running lights as standard as well as slightly bigger (17 inch) alloy wheels than on the XLS.
Here, novated drivers have a choice of the XLT 5-seater, 5 cylinder Diesel 3.2L engine with 6-Speed Manual or Sports Automatic transmission.
The Ford Ranger’s top tier variant, the Wildtrak blends workhorse practicality with luxury comfort and styling. The model features 18-inch alloys, bold grey grille and accents, LED front fog lamps, auto dimming rear view mirror and an all-electric roller shutter. The interior of the vehicle flaunts a number of premium touches including leather seats and dash with special Wildtrak stitching, heated front seats, accent colours throughout and multi-colour ambient lighting to suit your specific driving mood.
Technically part of Ford’s Performance Vehicle range, the Raptor is a beefed-up version of the Ranger, built to handle the most aggressive off-road conditions. If you’re a fearless explorer of the rugged outdoors, this is the Ranger for you. The Raptor X’s suspension system was reengineered to tackle tough terrain. The vehicle has a higher ground clearance than other Ranger models, with an 850mm water wading capacity to give you confidence when confronted with river crossings. Inside you’ve got a Ford Performance steering wheel with paddle shifters to allow for fast shifting and purpose-built sports seats featuring enhanced bolsters and suede inserts for better body grip when driving off-road.