The new Ford Ranger Wildtrak Super Cab is packed to the brim with features designed to make your working life easier, and your weekend life a blast.
I recently had the chance to spend three days behind the wheel of Ford’s top-of-the-line “workhorse” on an epic journey across South Africa, from Johannesburg all the way to Gqeberha.
The launch of the Ranger single and super cabs involved transporting a number of items, including four large Jojo tanks, which were a good demonstration of the carrying capacity of the new load beds.
The rear tray is now 1,584mm wide – big enough to accommodate a standard Euro pallet between the wheel arches. The super cab’s load bin is also 298mm longer than the double cab’s for a total of 1,845mm, which translates to a payload capacity of 1,006kg compared to 970kg.
The Wildtrak comes with integrated side rails – a perfect mounting point for ratchet straps to tie everything down – and it even has a small footwell in the sides making it easier to reach into the cargo bay.
Another feature standard on the range-topping model is a cargo management system, which lets owners divide the rear into compartments using special mounts and grooves built into the load bin.
There’s also an integrated ruler on the tailgate for quick measurements, two pockets for mounting clamps, and a 12V socket and 240V/400W inverter for hooking up powered equipment.
On top of this, the Ranger’s cabin is fitted with overhead auxiliary switches for managing six different electronic accessories at once.
Comfortable yet powerful
The super cab Wildtrak is available in one specification, which unfortunately means there’s only one engine in the form of the 2.0-litre bi-turbo-diesel – the 3.0-liter V6 being reserved for the highest-spec double cab.
While the lack of a V6 option is disappointing, the 2.0-litre powerplant is nothing to scoff at. In fact, it delivers a ride that is beautifully smooth out on the roads and suitably aggressive when thrashing about off the beaten path.
A big part of this can be attributed to the responsive 10-speed automatic gearbox, which can be controlled via a special “E-Shifter” that feels more like a mouse in your palm than a traditional gearstick, right down to the buttons located where your left thumb rests.
You’ll have 154kW and 500Nm at your disposal, which translates to easy overtakes on the highway and enough grunt to overcome nasty stretches of back roads, or lack thereof.
What makes off-roading in the Wildtrak so effortless is all the gear that comes with it.
There’s a dial for shift-on-the-fly 2×4 and high-range 4×4 modes, though you will need to stop to engage low-range 4×4, and there are buttons for things like engaging the hill-descent control or locking the rear differential.
All of this can be kept track of via the customizable digital driver display and 12-inch portrait infotainment system, letting you keep tabs on things like the car’s tilt angles, diff lock, and 360-degree camera system.
There are also six different drive modes to choose from – Normal, Eco, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Mud/Ruts, and Sand.
The upholstery is decked out in leather with a model-specific cross-stitch pattern, and I was able to achieve my ideal driving position thanks to the eight-way electronically adjustable seats.
Much of the cabin is covered in soft-touch surfaces, which was greatly appreciated when getting knocked about by the terrain, and the super cab was able to live up to its name with plenty of leftover storage space even after we added several bags and suitcases.
The big question that one needs to ask when thinking about the new Wildtrak is this: “why the super cab?”
There is only a R5,500 difference between the super cabwhich retails for R772,800and the rear-wheel-drive double cabbut the price gap increases significantly to R94,900 when looking at the bi-turbo 4×4which is arguably the better comparison.
A difference of nearly R100,000 shouldn’t be overlooked, and this is before you consider the fact that business owners are able to claim back the VAT on the super cab – which can reduce the price by another 14%.
These two factors mean it’s possible to secure the two-seater at a significantly lower price than the five-seater, all while retaining its extensive features list and highly-capable nature.
You do miss out on the V6 engine, but the 2.0-litre bi-turbo is more than up to the task, and the super cab body brings benefits of its own with its increased practicality.
It’s a great option for small business owners looking for something they can enjoy outside of operating hours, and it’s an excellent choice for couples, individuals, or parents whose kids have moved out of the house, and who are looking for an exciting 4×4 to take on weekends away.
Ford Ranger Wildtrak super cab
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