The Ranger already provides a class-leading interior package, with the most spacious passenger accommodation in its segment. The new Ranger takes these to a higher level:
The Ranger’s front seats have an increased profile on the seat back and side bolsters, incorporating firmer foam to improve lateral support, and adding extra felt padding to the surface of the seat back. This provides significant benefits, especially by reducing driver fatigue for customers who drive high mileages.
The seat and door trim fabrics are new, combining hard-wearing durability with comfort and style. Detail improvements include a silver instrument bezel, and a re-designed instrument cluster with blue dials, red pointers and white numbering in a new, italic typeface. Double cabs now have four speakers as standard, with the two additional speakers incorporated into the rear door trims.
Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels are improved and wind noise is reduced thanks to improved window glass sealing.
For added security and convenience, remote central locking is available on Super Cab and Double Cab models for the first time. On locking, Ford’s advanced Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) is automatically activated. The high-security engine immobiliser employs an electronic security code, which changes randomly every time the system operates. A miniature transponder embedded in the key transmits a signal to an antenna in the ignition lock, and the engine management system will only be activated if the two units match. Without a match, even ‘hot wiring’ will not work.
Following in the tracks of the previous model, the new Ranger also meets Ford's stringent ‘Core Safety Guidelines’, which include frontal perpendicular barrier impact and rear moving barrier tests. These guidelines are tighter and more demanding than the government safety regulations of any country in the world.
Ranger’s high level of standard safety equipment includes driver and passenger airbags, anti-submarine front seats, a collapsible steering column, safety belt grabbers, and childproof rear door locks on double cab models. These features, combined with ABS on 4x4 models, make Ranger one of the safest vehicles in its class.
In addition, the new Ranger is now fitted with two energy-absorbing ‘crash cans’, between the front bumper and the frame of the vehicle. In the event of an accident, these crumple zones absorb the energy of a frontal impact before any residual energy can be transferred to further panels and the vehicle frame. A significant proportion of the crash energy will be contained by the crash cans before it reaches the passenger compartment.
The drive shaft design of the new Ranger has been re-engineered to include a detachable centre bearing which releases crash energy at that point, rather than allowing it to be transferred to the rear axle and cabin.
Safety is further enhanced by a high driving position, combined with a large glass area and large exterior mirrors for excellent all-round visibility. The glass is tinted for additional driver comfort.
Much larger, multi-reflector headlamps are another key component in Ranger’s re-styling. On low beam, visibility (brightness) is improved by 150 per cent on average, and by 190-210 per cent in the important 30-40m range, while lighting width is increased by 140 per cent. On high beam, visibility is improved by an average 120 per cent, and lighting range is extended by an impressive 65m.
Enhanced Braking, Steering And Ride Quality
Ford Ranger has been acclaimed for its driving dynamics, and the new model benefits from enhancements to braking, steering and ride quality.
Four-wheel ABS is now fitted as standard on all 4x4 models. The system functions equally well in two- and four-wheel drive mode, providing increased braking control whether the vehicle is laden or unladen.
To cope with the increased towing capacities, the front brakes have been operated with dual piston calipers. The braking force is increased and brake pad wear reduced. This, together with thicker brake discs, means that under test conditions with the vehicle fully laden, braking distances at 60 mph have been reduced by 25 per cent.
All XLT 4x4 models are now equipped with 265/70R tyres, 30mm wider than the previous tyre size, for added grip. Other 4x4 models are equipped with 235/70R tyres.
Behind the wheel, the transmission has been improved to provide even smoother shifts between first, second and third gears. The power steering system has been re-tuned so that reduced driver input is required at low speeds and when the vehicle is fully laden. This has been achieved without compromising Ranger’s acclaimed steering responsiveness and stability, by modifying the power steering control valve and re-tuning the hydraulic assistance.
Ranger’s already excellent ride quality is enhanced even more through revisions to front and rear dampers and bushes within the suspension. The improvements are particularly noticeable on rough surfaces.
In addition to these new features, all Ranger models are already fitted with a limited slip differential as standard, ensuring that maximum traction is delivered through the rear wheels, especially on damp or slippery surfaces.
Options And Accessories
Ranger’s specification has been broadened to allow customers even more flexibility to customise each model to their personal requirements. For example, a hands-free phone kit is now available, and load-carrying accessories include a load bed liner, hard top cover for the load bed area and a tow bar.
Range-Topping XLT – The Ultimate In Comfort And Style
Since its introduction early last year, sales of the range-topping XLT have gone from strength to strength. The XLT now accounts for nearly half of all Ranger sales in Britain.
"Ranger XLT is a very popular option for business users who want to make more of a statement about themselves, as well as for leisure-orientated customers who appreciate the XLT’s combination of durability, comfort and style," said Steve Parker.
The redesigned Ranger XLT has a range of two-tone body paint combinations, making it one of the most striking vehicles of its kind on the road. The mouldings around the wheel arches, ‘over-fenders’, are wider than those of other models, giving the XLT a very muscular stance. The over-fenders curve around the new, wider 265/70R tyres and new 15-inch, six-spoke alloy wheels. Chrome exterior mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle also form part of the unique XLT package, along with full-length side steps and rear bumper, all in tubular, polished stainless steel.
Inside, the XLT has unique chrome door handles, as well as luxurious velour trim, a single slot CD player, floor mats and scuff plates.
Growing Market Share
Since its European launch in 1999, Ranger has become established as a class leader in several key respects, including carrying capacity and ride and handling. As a result, Ranger’s market share in Britain has grown steadily from its launch in 1999 to 30 per cent in 2001, a total of 3686 vehicles. Sales to date in 2002 are running 24 per cent higher than the previous year.
Summarising the benefits of the enhanced Ranger line-up, Steve Parker said, "Ranger’s proven qualities make it a highly dependable partner for work, leisure or both. We believe the new enhancements will extend Ranger’s appeal, by confirming it as a stylish and versatile choice, with an exceptional package and unbeatable value."Published 31 October 2002