Ford Ranger Showdown: Which truck suits your lifestyle?

The Ford Ranger lineup is probably the most diverse pickup truck lineup in the Philippines. Single turbo, biturbo. 4×2, 4×4. Stick shift, automatic. 2.2-liter, 2.0-liter. Name it, you have it.

In fact, with the latest addition of the Ranger FX4 Max, there are 14 variants within the Blue Oval midsize pickup truck’s range. If you’re in the market for a Ranger, it’s a daunting task to choose from these pickups.

So here’s a quick rundown on each of the variants to serve as your shopping guide and for you to decide which Ranger suits your lifestyle.

Similarities

Before we proceed with the differences between the variants, let’s go over what’s uniform between them.

To begin with, all Ranger variants come with a 3,200mm wheelbase, which is one of the longest in its class. Side steps are standard across the range, while the revised grille that came with the recent facelift earlier this year is likewise standard.

At the rear, all Rangers look alike, only differing with their badges. Each of the variants come with inner tie downs, fog lamps, and bedliner – except for the base XLS that doesn’t come with the latter.

With the exception of the Ranger Raptor and FX4 Max, each Ranger comes with double wishbones with coil springs at the front and leaf springs at the rear. That said, only the Ranger Raptor and FX4 Max have payload capacities below 1,000 kgs.

Ventilated disc brakes are also found on all front wheels of Ranger range, while only the Ranger Raptor comes with discs at the back. ABS is, of course, standard across the lineup.

Inside, power windows, rear bench seats with folding center armrest, and an 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all standard, along with 6 speakers and USB ports. Cruise control is also present even in the base XLS, but the Ranger Wildtrak 4×4 comes with the mode advanced Adaptive Cruise Control.

Covering the bases: XLS vs XLT

The XLS and XLT are the base variants of the Ranger lineup. The XLS comes in either 4×2 or 4×4, with the rear-wheel-drive variant available in both 6-speed automatic or manual. The 4×4 exclusively comes with stick shift, though rear differential locking isn’t present on this trim. The XLT, on the other hand, comes exclusively as a 4×2, in either AT or MT.

Both the XLS and XLT are powered by the tried and tested 2.2-liter turbodiesel that makes 158hp and 385Nm of torque. The XLS makes do with hydraulic steering, while the XLT (and higher) variant is already electronically assisted.

Exterior differences (XLS vs XLT):

While both trucks have black mesh grilles, the one on the XLT has silver accents. Both the XLS and XLT don’t have roof rails but the former has smaller 16-inch alloy wheels. Multi-reflector halogens light the way for the XLS, while projector halogens are fitted on the XLT.

XLS
XLS
XLT
XLT

The XLT also comes with rain-sensing wipers, while its side mirrors also come with repeaters and power-folding function. The XLS’s mirrors are power-adjustable but only fold manually.

Interior differences (XLS vs XLT):

The cabins of the XLS and XLT variants are almost the same, except that the XLT comes with leather-wrapped tiller while the XLS makes do with polyurethane material. The XLS also has a manual day/night function on the rearview mirror, while the XLT already comes with an automatic function.

Both trucks come with turn-key ignition, as well as fabric upholstery with manual adjustments. Rear parking cameras are also absent on both, but the XLT has at least proximity sensors at the back.

FX4: The XLT with added pizzazz

FX4 Max

Bridging the gap between XLT and Wildtrak is the Ranger FX4 variant that comes in either 4×2 or 4×4.

The Ranger FX4 is practically an XLT (including powertrain) with added pizzazz with its rear black tubular sports bar, some decals outside, and a number of FX4 badging in the cabin. It also comes with a bigger set of black alloys at 18 inches.

FX4 Max

Although the FX4 comes with 4×4 variants, both in manual and automatic, rear locking differential is still missing in this trim level. Leather seats are also standard but everything else in the cabin is just like an XLT.

Moving up: FX4 Max vs Wildtrak vs Ranger Raptor

Now, let’s move on to the pricier segment of the Ranger lineup: the FX4 Max, Wildtrak, and of course, the top-spec Ranger Raptor.

Engine (FX4 Max vs Wildtrak vs Ranger Raptor)

All three trucks are powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine. The only difference is that the Wildtrak 4×2 variants (both in 10-speed AT and 6-speed MT) only come with a single turbo, making 178hp and 420Nm of torque.

The FX4 Max, Wildtrak 4×4, and Ranger Raptor have two turbos enabling them to produce up to 210hp and 500Nm of torque. All three come with an electronic rear differential lock and a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

Suspension & capacity (FX4 Max vs Wildtrak vs Ranger Raptor)

Despite being pretty similar when it comes to their powertrains, the FX4 Max, Wildtrak, and Ranger Raptor variants differ greatly in their suspension setups.

Ranger Raptor

The Wildtrak has the usual double wishbone front and leaf spring rear. The FX4 Max has the same but gets Fox monotube shock absorbers at the rear with 2.0-inch casings. The Ranger Raptor, on the other hand, has bigger 2.5-inch Fox shock absorbers but partnered with coil springs at the rear.

Ranger Raptor

That said, the Ranger Raptor has the lowest payload limit at 766 kgs. The FX4 Max can carry up to 981 kgs while the Wildtrak, just like the rest of the range, can accommodate up to over 1,000 kgs.

Of note, accessories and passengers are counted in the payload limit.

Exterior differences (FX4 Max vs Wildtrak vs Ranger Raptor)

Undeniably, the Ranger Raptor is the meanest-looking of the three. It’s a bit higher, longer, and wider, while the 17-inch black alloys are wrapped in thick all-terrain tires that are ready for action.

Wildtrak

The FX4 Max adopts the same wheel setup, as well as the huge FORD lettering on the grille, but the Ranger Raptor comes with LED headlamps as opposed to the projector halogens of the FX4 Max. Both gnarly trucks have anti-slip side steps and don’t come with roof rails, but the FX4 Max comes with a tubular sports bar.

Wildtrak

The Wildtrak, on the other hand, has all the bells and the whistles. It has LED lighting, puddle lights, and roof rails, while its fascia greatly differs from the lower variants with the black continuation from the grille down to the lower bumper. The Wildtrak variants also come with orange accents and black 18-inch alloys, as well as black sports bar, albeit, non-tubular.

Interior Differences (FX4 Max vs Wildtrak vs Ranger Raptor)

The interior differences between these three are pretty tricky. The FX4 Max is a mix between the FX4 and Wildtrak, meaning it has leather seats with FX4 Max logos but it isn’t as high-tech as the Wildtrak. Although, it already has dual-zone automatic climate control and a variant-exclusive auxiliary switches that serve as a control center for added accessories. The FX4 Max is also the only Ranger variant that comes with all-weather mats.

Just like in the exterior, the Wildtrak also comes with all the tech and toys that Ford can offer in the cabin. Leather seats with orange accents, digital displays, front and rear parking sensors, rear camera, and of course, one of my favorites: the 230V socket.

The Wildtrak 4×4 is even more high-tech. Apart from the features I mentioned, it also has electronic seat adjustment, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking, which makes this Ranger variant one of the safest trucks out there. It also has Active Park Assist, so if parking a massive truck is your weakness, the Wildtrak 4×4 has got you covered.

As for the Ranger Raptor, it has almost all the features found on the Wildtrak 4×4, except for the automatic parking and adaptive cruise control. But, the top-dog Ranger has its own Terrain Management System and Baja mode, which enables it to stride through various challenging terrains at speeds and with ease. The cabin also has blue stitches as accents, along with the red market at the top of the steering wheel just like the one you’ll find in Ford’s high-performance cars.

Which Ford Ranger suits you?

So, there you go. Now that you know the similarities and differences between each Ranger variant, you probably know which Blue Oval truck suits your lifestyle.

But if you were to ask me, the base XLS suits those who don’t like so much tech and driving nannies on their trucks but want a very capable workhorse. The XLT has a bit more tech but not so much, a perfect match to our Gen-X titos that grew old before the age of the internet but still accepting of new technologies.

Then again, there are the titos who embrace individuality and for them, the FX4 range is the best buy.

The Wildtrak range, on the other hand, will more likely appeal to millennials (young and old) who want high-tech features on their pickups. The FX4 Max is both for work and play – think construction business during the weekdays and probably some dirty off-roading action on the weekends.

And of course, as the ultimate off-roader of the bunch, the Ford Ranger Raptor is for those who don’t want compromises.

PRICE:

XLS: P1,155,000 to P1,304,000

XLT: P1,299,000 to P1,330,000

FX4: P1,320,000 to P1,510,000

FX4 Max: P1,698,000 (introductory)

Wildtrak: P1,480,000 to P1,728,000

Ford Ranger Raptor: P1,998,000

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