After spending his first month with a long-term Ranger Stormtrak, APEX contributor Kumbirai Mtshakazi is left with three things on his mind…
Words: Kumbirai Mtshakazi Twitter: IamKumbi
As we anxiously wait for the next-generation Ford Ranger to arrive on South African shores, the local arm of the Blue Oval brand has graciously given me the chance to take a closer look at the special-edition Ranger Stormtrak. Following a month of experiencing it, I thought I would share three things with you. Let’s go!
1. Looks and comfort
Much like the Wildtrak and the Thunder that preceded it, the Stormtrak offers more kit and a different look for a modest additional outlay compared to the Wildtrak it’s based on. The black stripes on the bonnet made us wonder if they were really needed. They are visible from the driving position and tend to get a bit, uhm, too much for my liking. However, they look stylish when the vehicle is parked. They also do a superb job of differentiating it from the Thunder.
The bakkie looks more premium with its “Stormtrak” branding and red stitching on the seats and dashboard. The seats, with heated function, have been a blessing this winter. They kept me warm. The pews are also very supportive.
The illuminated scuff plates are another great addition. Besides looking stylish at night, they offer excellent visibility as well. It is imperative to reiterate that the Ranger Stormtrak has a lengthy list of features.
As for comfort, it’s pretty good too. It may not have the level of comfort and refinement of the Everest, but the Ranger’s rear suspension can still cope with a one-tonne payload and 3.5 tonnes of (braked) towing capacity. It is more than capable of cruising at most speeds. With the Ranger, even the most uneven road surfaces are handled effortlessly.
2. Not just a pretty face … It’s a cargo warrior
The ability to not worry about luggage or groceries flying around is something that I have appreciated during the first month with the Stormtrak. And for this, I have the bed divider to thank for. Couple that with the motorised roller shutter, and you have a winner.
3. The drivetrain and fuel consumption
The Stormtrak is powered by a 2.0-litre twin-turbodiesel engine that produces 157 kW and 500 Nm of torque. The oil-burner is paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox. There are no issues with what the powerplant is capable of or its set-up. The only problem comes when it needs to move from a standstill. Granted, it is a heavy vehicle.
However, it does feel a bit slow. All that is easily forgotten and forgiven once it starts stretching its legs. Once on the move, the engine and gearbox are quick to respond, and with so many ratios to choose from, the Ranger rarely veers outside its power range. The average fuel consumption figure I achieved during the month was just below 10.0 L/100 km. The best was 9.0 L/100 km during a 650 km trip to the North West. Owing to the increase in fuel prices, filling up the 80-litre tank came in at R1857.60.
As each day passes, the Ranger Stormtrak continues to show off in town. The vehicle boasts a good ride as well as a commendable engine. Next month, we plan on taking our long-term steed on an off-roading adventure.