Need a new ute? The new Next-Gen Ford Ranger is out next month

If you’re a Ford fan and thinking about whether now’s a good time to upgrade? Have a read of our last test drive of the Ford Wildtrak and go from there.

Ford released some good news for all Ranger drivers alike recently, in that Australian specifications of the Next-Gen Ford Ranger have been confirmed. It’ll come with a new-to-Ranger optional 3.0L V6 turbo-diesel engine with 184 kW of power at 3,250 rpm and 600 Nm of torque, full-time 4WD, up to six selectable drive modes and 3,500kg towing.

Basically, it’s a work horse in a stylish chassis, meaning it doubles as the work care for life.

Developed locally in Australia for the Aussie lifestyle, road conditions and the way we drive, the Next-Gen Ranger has taken the immense success of Ranger and improved it with customer-led design and an impressive suite of technology, safety, comfort and drivetrain features.

What does all this mean?

Basically, whether you’re after fuel economy, refinement, towing or hauling, the powertrains chosen for Next-Gen Ranger has you covered complete with six shiny new features to the range that’s all about you.

A huge new dash

Next-Gen Ranger introduces an 8-inch fully digital instrument cluster that can be customised. The dash displays boast unique animations and includes a digital speedometer and tachometer. The animations also feature realistic body-style graphics. Raptor comes standard with a 12.4-inch fully digital instrument cluster.

Depending on the variant, owners can toggle between layouts showing information including driver-assist technologies, tachometer on or off, and extra gauges. There’s also a ‘calm view’, which simplifies information on demand from the display.

Because Next-Gen Ranger features on and off-road driving modes, the instrument cluster displays a different theme for each selected drive mode, with animated changes when the driver scrolls from one mode to another.

Something called Sync 4A

At the heart of Next-Gen Ranger’s technology story is the SYNC 4A communications and entertainment system. This system offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and displays the latest features used to make the SYNC 4A system easier to navigate. Connected Built-In Navigation supplies real-time information like fuel pricing, traffic alerts and more.

A massive screen

Whether equipped with a 10.1- or a 12-inch infotainment screen, Next-Gen Ranger features a customisable split-screen setup with an information-on-demand panel always available at the bottom of the screen. This displays key information, like connected navigation, your connected smartphone and more.

A large-format tablet screen was selected as it allows for a good depiction of navigation while still leaving space at the bottom of the screen for climate and entertainment controls.

Fewer buttons that do more

Some of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and centre console to their own dedicated display on the SYNC screen.

For example, with the touch of a button, you’ll get Ranger’s dedicated off-road screen where they can monitor the driveline, diff-lock indicators, steering angle, vehicle roll and pitch angles. Ranger models fitted with a 360-degree camera can also get a front camera view of the terrain ahead, with predictive overlay guidelines designed to help the driver negotiate obstacles.

Climate and entertainment can be controlled via the SYNC screen or with additional physical controls mounted just below the screen that allow for quick and easy adjustments.

Super secure with cameras everywhere

The SYNC screen is linked to a 360-degree camera making parking easier in tight urban spaces or when negotiating tricky terrain. The system provides front, rear and birds-eye views, including blind spots, for added confidence.

Gears made easy

All models come with a 6-speed auto transmission, but for those who are after the feel of the Ranger, selected variants of Next-Gen Ranger are fitted with a short throw e-Shifter and electronic parking brake for a more high-tech feel. This change enables improved Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), like Active Park Assist 2.0 available only on Wildtrak and Raptor.

For more info on the new Ford Next Gen Ranger, head to the Ford Australia website

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