2021 Ford Ranger XLT Review, Specs, and CostPublished Monday, September 13, 2021
Ford Australia designed and engineered the Ranger, which quickly became one of the best commercial vehicles available not just in the country but globally.
All Rangers feature various turbo engines ranging in size - from 2.0L to 3.2L. There's also a mix of 4x4 and 4x2 options with several body types, including cab chassis, dual cab, and even the off-road-focused Ford Ranger Wildtrak X and Ranger Raptor.
However, this review focuses on the 2021 Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 (4x4) Dual Cab model. Keep reading to find out all about this top-selling ute.
The 2021 Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 is a four-wheel-drive dual-cab pick-up. It has a 3.2-litre, five-cylinder turbo petrol or diesel engine with a six-speed manual transmission. However, you can opt for an automatic one.
The Ford Ranger offers an incredibly comfortable ride regardless of the terrain you're on. It has decent fuel consumption and an exceptional 3,500 kg towing capacity. Also, its safety measures and tech features are excellent, with the unique SYNC3 infotainment system standing out in particular.
Additionally, the Ford Ranger comes equipped with the FordPass Connect Modem. With it, you can locate your ute, unlock and lock the doors, and even start the engine from afar to heat or cool the cabin. The FordPass app has many other functionalities which significantly improve quality of life as long as it has access to a telecommunications network.
Overall, the Ford Ranger is an excellent ute that makes light work of any challenge it faces. Its MRLP is $57,490, but it doesn't include on-road costs, pre-stamp duty, or dealership delivery.
- The ride feels incredibly smooth over all surfaces
- Comfortable cabin and excellent infotainment system
- Remarkable safety, security, and driver assistance features
- Fuel economy might differ quite a bit from the combined one
- It doesn't have a telescopic steering wheel
What's Under the Bonnet of the 2021 Ford Ranger XLT
The Ford Ranger has a couple of engine options. You could choose a model with the 3.2L five-cylinder engine with a six-speed transmission or a new and slightly more efficient 2.0L bi-turbo four-cylinder engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
We chose the former as it gives the option to pick between a manual or an automatic transmission. It's up to you to decide, but we opted for a manual transmission as these tend to be more reliable. It's good to note that the new engine doesn't have this option.
Fortunately, the automatic transmission of the Ford Ranger shouldn't give any trouble unless you frequently use it for towing.
The 3.2-litre engine generates a potent 157 kW at 3000 rpm that is unmatched by its main rivals and has a peak torque at 500 Nm between 1750 and 2000 rpm.
How Much Fuel Does the 2021 Ford Ranger Consume?
The Ford Ranger has never been a particularly fuel-efficient pick-up, but newer models show some improvement. Its claimed combined fuel economy for a manual transmission is 8.4 L per 100 km. Meanwhile, the automatic transmission sports an 8.9 one.
With an 80-litre fuel tank, the Ford Ranger has a theoretical travel range of around 900-950 km between refills. However, in practice, the fuel economy sits between 10 and 11 L per 100 km. The trip computer on the centre console is accurate, so referring to it can be helpful if you ever want to plan a long journey.
What Are the Design Highlights of the 2021 Ford Ranger?
Few automotive companies design vehicles with such an appealing look as Ford Australia does, and the Ford Ranger is no exception. This car has high-performance LED headlamps, 17-inch alloy wheels with the option to upgrade to 18 inches, and chrome exterior tailgate handles and mirrors.
The Ford Ranger also has front and rear mud flaps, privacy glass, black side steps, a tow bar, and rear and front bumpers. Furthermore, it has an 800 mm water wading capacity.
The interior of the Ford Ranger is relatively high-quality, even by pick-up standards. It's also highly functional and fit for purpose. Unfortunately, the wheel lacks telescopic adjustment.
The driver's seat has a six-way manual adjustment and is pretty supportive on long trips. Other seats lack this feature, but they're just as comfortable. You can opt for leather accented seats for an extra touch of luxury.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel of the Ford Ranger feels nice on the hand, and the instrument cluster has digital colour displays beside the analogue dial. It presents plenty of helpful information, but the readouts do appear small when viewing them at a glance.
The same case applies to several buttons in the console. Although they are ergonomically designed, they can also be a bit awkward to use.
The cabin of the Ford Ranger has a decently sized glovebox, a broad door pocket in each door, and a big container under the central armrest.
The back seat space is generous and provides enough room for large-sized blokes. Compared to other utes, this vehicle offers more shoulder and knee room. Furthermore, the fold-down armrest has a couple of cup holders, and the seats have back pockets for that extra storage.
The SYNC3, 8-inch infotainment system of the Ford Ranger features a CD player, radio, Bluetooth stereo, and USB. It has a bright user interface, making it easy to see while you're on the move.
This system also has your usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Additionally, the six-speaker stereo of the Ford Ranger is an excellent match for other competing cars, and the rear-view camera has a decent resolution.
These features are beefed up with the addition of the FordPass Connect Modem, which allows you to lock the car and start it remotely. The FordPass app also comes with a handy vehicle locator in case you ever forget where you parked your car.
The tub of this car is 1,549 mm long and 1560 mm wide. Between the arches, it's only 1,139 mm wide. Also, this vehicle has a maximum payload of 1,106 kg and a towing capacity of 3500 kg.
What Safety, Security, and Driver-Assistance Features Does the 2021 Ford Ranger XLT Have?
The Ford Ranger has a wide array of safety, security, and driver assistance measures.
Its first notable safety measure would be the Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Protection. This system works whenever you go over 3.6 km/h and detects when the car in front of you unexpectedly stops or a pedestrian steps on the road. Should you fail to apply the brakes, your Ford Ranger automatically does it for you.
Every Ford Ranger has Traffic Sign Recognition, which lets you control your speed and concentrate on the road. It works by using its forward-facing camera to detect current speed limits. When it's active, it displays it on the instrument cluster and provides a visual warning if you exceed it.
The Lane Keeping Aid can be helpful on long roads. It detects road markings and warns you whenever you unintentionally move out of your lane. Should you continue to leave it, this system directs you back by controlling the steer of the Ford Ranger.
These are just some examples of the many features it has. Here is a list of most safety, security, and driver assistance measures you can find on the Ranger XLT:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Anti-Lock Braking System
- Adjustable Speed Limiter
- Driver Impairment Monitor
- Emergency Assistance, Brake Assist, and Brake Light
- Hill Descent Control and Hill Launch Assist
- Parking Sensors and Active Park Assist
- E-Locking Rear Differential
- Roll Over Mitigation
How Much Does the 2021 Ford Ranger Cost?
The pricing of the Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 Dual Cab (4x4) starts from $57,490. This is the fare before accessories and on-road costs, based on the manufacturer's recommended list price (MRLP). However, this price doesn't include pre-stamp duty, dealership delivery, and registration.
For that reason, it's crucial to take list prices with a bit of scepticism. The standard Ranger XLT features 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, privacy glass, and side steps, among other things.
Inside the Ford Ranger, you get an 8-inch touchscreen with a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, access to several 12V sockets in case you need to power up a device, and other characteristics mentioned in the design highlights section.
Some extra-cost options include 18-inch black alloy wheels, a tech pack with additional safety measures, such as automated park assist and adaptive cruise control, and leather-accented seats. You can also delete the chrome sports bar on the tub of the Ford Ranger and add a tough bed spray-in bedliner.
Of course, when it comes to interior accessories, there's quite a bunch that you can get. You can find the entire list on Ford's official website.
How Does the 2021 Ford Ranger Drive?
There isn't another ladder-frame, rear-leaf-sprung workhorse that can ride bruising surfaces and off-road paths as well as the Ford Ranger. No other car in this class can even begin to compare with the experience you can get from this vehicle.
While driving, you sit up comfortably and high. The lack of a telescopic steering wheel may annoy some, but most people might not even think twice about it. Furthermore, town and highway driving is bliss with the Ford Ranger. The electric power steering gives the wheel a significantly responsive yet light feeling.
This truck is softly suspended, so there's a slight pronounced body movement whenever you go through corners, including the occasional up-and-down motion. Nevertheless, it settles down rather quickly. The Ford Ranger is so comfy and quiet that you might not even notice these things.
Its 3.2-litre engine never feels overworked, which is impressive considering the Ford Ranger is heavier and bigger than other vehicles in its category. The fuel economy after a long drive sat at 10.4 L per 100 km on average, but it did get as low as 9.8 at one point.
The Ford Ranger XLT's approach angle is 29 degrees, its departure angle is 21, and the ground clearance is 237 mm. Overall, the ride felt very smooth on rough roads and other off-road trails, but it was even better on plain ones. The throttle of the Ford Ranger doesn't feel too sensitive, and the gear stick feels nice and firm.
Is the 2021 Ford Ranger XLT a Good Purchase?
No one would regret purchasing this remarkable dual cab Ford Ranger. News sites and many people consider it to be the best ute in Australia. It has won several awards, including the Dual-Cab Ute Car of the Year from Drive and the Best-Value Tradie Car from Money Magazine.
If you want a new car to rely on for the following years, consider purchasing the Ford Ranger. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a performance vehicle or a family car. The Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 (4x4) works splendidly in every role and never disappoints.