2020 ford ranger xls sport long

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Part 1: Ranga"s Ranger

After several years of old Land Rover Defender ownership, I decided it was time to treat myself (and my family) to lớn a more huroji.comfortable touring 4x4 … one with a few little luxuries such as air-conditioning và power windows.

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So, towards the over of 2020, amid COVID lockdowns, I started scouring the internet for a reasonably priced dual-cab ute.

I spotted plenty of kitted-out second-hand dual-cab utes in my price, but I was keen on a new vehicle so I could build it up from scratch, just how I wanted it. Và while I considered several models, deep down I knew I wanted a Ford Ranger.


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After all, I have tested just about all of the 4x4 utes on the market và I reckon the Aussie-developed Ranger is the pick of the bunch, despite the age of the design và the fact it’s just about to be superseded by a new model.


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I opted for cubic capacity over tech when it came lớn the engine and driveline, choosing the older-generation 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel; after all, there’s no replacement for displacement, right?

And while I would have been happy with the six-speed manual gearbox, my wife Renata prefers an auto tranny, và as she occasionally drives me home from the pub, she easily won that debate.


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As for spec, I wanted all the safety tech available, but didn’t need superfluous huroji.comfort và convenience items. To lớn my mind, the Ranger XLS sport offered the best in terms of equipment for the price, và I picked this one up just in time for Christmas 2020 for $51,640 drive-away.

Standard kit includes 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, tự động hóa headlights và high-beam, lane-keep assist, sat-nav, reversing camera, parking sensors front & rear, DAB+ digital radio, & bed liner. Options in the drive-away price included Meteor Grey paint and slimline weather shields front và rear.

I wrote a danh mục of all the gear I wanted to fit to the Ranger & then started pricing items. The idea was lớn kit the vehicle out with everything I thought I’d need for touring, and then fit new tyres right before getting the suspension sorted.


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The first stuff to go on was bar work, consisting of ARB Summit bullbar, side-steps and rear-step towbar, along with an under-vehicle protection plate & front recovery point. The bar is trang chủ to a Warn VR EVO 10-S electric winch, & a pair of ARB Solus driving lights. While all this gear was being fitted, the excellent team at ARB Wollongong also fitted a Safari Armax snorkel.


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I then phối about installing a Navman dashcam with a built-in TPMS, and a Uniden UH9060 radio mated to lớn a Uniden ATX970S antenna, while up top, I had a Rhino-Rack Pioneer platform fitted khổng lồ that huroji.company’s Backbone system.

The Ranger stayed lượt thích that for a while until I found the right canopy. At the vị trí cao nhất of my list was a Kiwi-made Utemaster Centurion canopy or an Aussie-made Camp King canopy, as I wanted to retain the Ranger’s tub with deep lift-up doors on each side for easy access.


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I eventually settled on a more affordable (imported from China) no-name aluminium canopy. The kiến thiết is fantastic và it mounts khổng lồ the tub’s cargo tie-down points, but the supplied mounting hardware wasn’t great và I had lớn make several modifications to fit it securely. I’ve since fitted a drawer system and rubber seals around the tailgate to lớn keep dust out.

Next on the shopping list were tyres, và I opted to lớn fit BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2s, which is the same rubber I had on my Defender. In fact, I’ve run BFGs for many years on many vehicles & reckon the All-Terrains are a good huroji.compromise for on- và off-road use, and they stand up well in terms of wear & resistance khổng lồ damage.

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The standard tyre kích cỡ on the XLS thể thao is 265/65R17, & while I could have gone as big as a 285/70R17, I didn’t want the rubber extending beyond the guards and I didn’t want to lớn mess up fuel economy too much, so I went with a more conservative LT265/70R17. These are fitted khổng lồ the standard black alloys.


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The final step in the build was suspension, which was only fitted about 500km ago. It consists of Tough Dog springs lớn suit the weight of the steel bullbar, winch & driving lights up front, and a constant 300kg load at the rear.


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The shocks are Tough Dog 41mm Foam Cells và the kit also includes bushes, greasable pins và shackles, & a transmission spacer to account for the 50mm lift. Once fitted, the Tough Dog team gave the Ranger a full wheel alignment.

As I write this, the Ranger has just gone in for its 12-month service with only 6690km showing on the odometer (bloody COVID) but hopefully it’ll get a lot more use in 2022 with border restrictions easing. I’ve been keeping a detailed record of fuel consumption since Day One and, as expected, it has been increasing as I’ve added gear, climbing from a base of 10.7L/100km when I first picked it up lớn as high as 14.3L/100km on the last fill, which included a couple of hundred clicks of off-road driving.

So far, I’m happy with the Ranger; it’s huroji.comfortable on-road và capable off-road, và unlike my old Defender, it keeps my right leg dry when it’s raining. Uphuroji.coming additions will include an oil-water separator and an oil catch can kit. I’ll keep you posted.

Price (as tested): $51,640Average fuel use: 11.9L/100kmTotal kilometres: 6690km

Part 2: Happy medium

The recent 2022 4X4OTY trip was fantastic, and we learnt a lot about the vehicles on test. One of the vehicles in this year’s line-up was a Ford Ranger with the 2.0-litre bi-turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, và it was interesting to lớn huroji.compare its performance with my 3.2-litre turbo-diesel five.

Despite the bi-turbo’s higher power and torque, I’m pleased I opted for the 3.2 five-pot, which I reckon has much more character & works better with its six-speed tự động than the 2.0L engine does with its 10-speed auto.


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I was conscious of the potential to mess up the fuel economy when fitting accessories, which is one of the reasons I went for 265/70R17 all-terrain rubber instead of wider & taller 285s. The modest upsize in tyre diameter also meant my speedo wasn’t put out too much, and in fact is now more accurate than when the standard 265/65R17 tyres were fitted.

The other accessory that probably has the greatest impact on fuel economy, at least on the open road, is the roof-rack system I have fitted, which is a Rhino-Rack Pioneer platform on that huroji.company’s backbone system. I also have a pair of Yakima crossbars fitted to the canopy.


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The roof-rack set-up also adds khổng lồ wind noise at speeds above 80km/h, but slightly increased noise and fuel consumption are prices I’m prepared lớn pay for the added convenience of being able khổng lồ secure gear khổng lồ the roof. When out four-wheel driving I can throw bulky items lượt thích swags and recovery boards up on the Pioneer platform, and when heading to the water on weekends I can put the kayaks up on the Yakima crossbars; I have also fitted a ladder roller to lớn make it easier to load and unload the boats.

Of course, fuel economy is also reduced when driving around town or off-road due lớn extra weight, & with steel ARB bar-work front and rear, as well as steel side-steps, the Ranger has packed on the pounds – a bit lượt thích its owner – but again, this is the price I’m more than happy to cop.

As well as offering protection, the bullbar is a platform for accessories (Warn winch, ARB driving lights và Uniden antenna), while the ARB side-steps and rear bar have already copped a beating off-road. I’m glad I went for the standard black powder-coat finish on the bar-work rather than colour coding, as it will be easier to lớn touch up at trang chủ after the inevitable scrapes from off-road driving.

I’ll let you know what I think of some of the other accessories I’ve fitted in the next Shed update.


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