Ranger FX4 Max debuts as Ford’s cargo-hauling off-roader

It’s official—Ford Philippines adds a 14th member of its extensive and recently updated Ranger lineup, the Ranger FX4 Max. 

Originally developed for the Australian market, the Ranger FX4 Max bridges the gap between the lifestyle/workhorse nature of the Ranger Wildtrak and the esteemed off-road performance that the Ranger Raptor offers.

Most importantly, Filipino truck fans will be delighted to know that Ford Philippines has priced the Ranger FX4 Max competitively—within the Ranger lineup and in the truck segment, but more on that later.

Up front, the Ranger FX4 Max wears the same grille you’ll find in the Ranger Raptor. It makes a distinction from the rest of the normal Rangers but it doesn’t have the restyled bumper that the Raptor has. Headlamps are projectors, partnered with halogen fog lamps.

At the sides, the FX4 Max comes with anti-slip side steps and claddings, as well as distinct decals. The bed also comes standard with a bedliner, along with a black tubular sports bar. 

Under the hood, the FX4 Max is powered by the same bi-turbo 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine found in the Ranger Raptor and Wildtrak 4×4. Power output is rated at 210hp and 500Nm of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic. Of course, power is routed to all four corners with an e-Locking rear differential.

The new Ranger FX4 Max sets itself apart from normal Rangers with its 17-inch alloys wrapped with BF Goodrich all-terrain rubbers. From the get go, it’s ready to reach unchartered territories, even with its front coil spring/rear leaf spring suspension setup, and that’s because of the two-inch Fox shock absorbers added into the mix.

With the said setup, the Ranger FX4 Max can haul cargo of up to 981 kilograms, which is 215 kg more than the Ranger Raptor. It’s like carrying four more sacks of rice in the FX4 Max than in the Ranger Raptor. It can also tow up to 3,500 kg, so add that to the list of things that this pickup can do.

Inside, you can expect a similar cabin setup in the FX4 Max and with the regular FX4. The manually adjustable seats are upholstered with a mix of leather and suede material, accentuated with an embroidered FX4 Max logo. The instrument cluster has the usual dual digital display, while the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with the sound routed to six speakers. There’s also a push-to-start button and a leather steering wheel for added niceties. Ford Philippines throws in all-weather mats for all occupants, a precursor to your off-road adventures.

Safety-wise, the newest Ranger in the lineup comes with more than the essentials like parking sensors, Hill Descent/Hill Start Assist, ABS with EBD, cruise control, ISOFIX child seat tethers, and dual airbags.

And of course, here’s the juiciest bit: the pricing. Ford Philippines is selling the Ranger FX4 Max with a launch price of P1,698,000, which positions it below the Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 in terms of pricing. Whether this sticker price will hold until the end of the year is still uncertain, but Ford Philippines Managing Director PK Umashankar told the members of the media during a Q&A portion that if we like the pricing, then it would stay that way. 

It’s not a secret that Ford Philippines tops the 4×4 pickup segment in 2020. The Blue Oval is obviously capitalizing on that front with the revamped Ranger lineup and the addition of the off-road-ready FX4 Max variant. The question is, how will this new variant affect the sales of the similarly priced Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 and similarly equipped Ranger Raptor? Guess we’ll have almost a full year to find that out.

“The FX4 MAX builds on the success of the Ranger as a rugged and versatile pickup while harnessing the winning off-roading capabilities of the Ranger Raptor. True to our Live the Ranger Life philosophy, the FX4 MAX caters to customers who are up for challenges and go over the horizon to experience their adventure of a lifetime with the pickup truck’s uncompromising blend of toughness and power,” Umashankar concludes.

The new 2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max is available at all Ford dealerships starting March 10. Buyers have the option to choose from these colors: Arctic White, Absolute Black, Aluminum Metallic, Meteor Grey, Blue Lightning, and True Red.

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