With the new Ford Ranger making waves as it makes its way to SA, we decided to take a minute to appreciate the outgoing model in Stormtrak guise…

Our first long-term test unit in the APEX garage arrived on our doorsteps over a week ago. It’s big, bold and makes a fair amount of noise. The noise is partly to blame on its rumbustious  2.0-litre twinturbo-diesel engine that produces 157 kW and 500 Nm of torque and also partly due to the driver wanting to show everyone who cares to stare for longer than two seconds that a pretty dope Ranger Stormtrak will be bracing their presence for the next couple of months. 

Stormtrak
Photos: Timothy Throne.

The first week behind the wheel of the Stormtrak went down a treat. This was not our first rodeo with this special-edition model. We enjoyed this rendition of the Ranger on the local launch in 2021 and were impressed with its off-road ability, linked with some light city driving, and we were sold. Fast forward to today, will we feel the same about the Stormtrak as a daily driver in the city? Only time will tell.

What we have enjoyed so far is its narrow body. It looks the part for a BFG, and it plays the role as well; however, in reality, it does have a figure-hugging outer body that looks mean enough, but only sits at 1860 mm in width, making parking in tight bays not that challenging. We didn’t dig its length too much, however. The size of 5 354 mm does make fitting in your standard bay near impossible, but with its pretty accurate reverse camera, it takes the guessing out of the game.  

Stormtrak
Photos: Timothy Throne.

The Stormtrak is, of course, an externally enhanced version of the oh-so-very-popular Wildtrak. Now straight off the bat, its subtle branding/decals are what excited me the most. The two strips across the bonnet have the same colour palette as the body; our model is Sea Grey. The most significant plus point between the Stormtrak and the Wildtrak is its automatic roller shutter. This is a massive plus in terms of safety and is more accessible when opening the bed. Bye, bye traditional tonneau cover! That dreaded tonneau cover could also easily be cut open or, even worse, stolen.

In contrast, the automatic roller ensures a safe spot where you can put your prized possessions without fearing someone nicking them. It opens with a simple push of a button. However, there is a slight issue with the motor that rolls this shutter on our test unit. Maybe having 24 000 km on the clock wore it out, so we had to manually assist the little switch by pulling the actual shutter while holding in the button (you don’t look pretty while doing this). 

The Stormtrak is fitted with a tonne of standards, though, making it a really larny bakkie. LED headlamps, the electric roller shutter on the back, a tidy load divider, a cool sportsbar and really neat underbody protection. 

Stay tuned for more on our time with this loved bakkie from Ford.