Sprint Review: 2023 Ford Ranger D/C 2.0 BiTDi XLT 4×4 Automatic

The bakkie market in southern Africa is doing exceptionally well, and we just spent a few days with one of its updated stalwarts.

You should know: The Ford Ranger has been around for a while but only started making real headway into the pick-up sales charts with the previous generation. Arch rival Toyota has always been up there, with brands like Isuzu, Ford, Nissan or Mitsubishi forming a combined but ultimately defeated front.

Now though, Toyota is certainly shifting uncomfortably in their chairs. The previous Ranger achieved a decent mix of price and specifications, offered the next best thing to Toyota’s incredible dealer network, and also did its homework when it comes to the ever-important topic of spec levels and model positioning.

More info: Which lands us neatly at this brand-new XLT double-cab model. XLT stands for… umm, no idea, actually. Let’s pretend it means eXtra-Large-Tractor or something, because in Ford-speak it denotes the mid-level offering; available with various body styles, engine choices and driven axles.

What else? The press fleet gave us this ultimate XLT: a 2L bi-turbo-diesel double-cab 4×4 Automatic, which is nothing to be snuffed with 154kW of power, half a thousand torques, 10 gears and a fancy cabin with vertical ipad media centre. There’s also the Ford Sync talky tannie, fancy pleather, plus lots of safety and comfort features.

Why you shouldn’t: That was to be expected at the price of R835,000, which would be incredibly hard to justify if the competition hadn’t risen to the same level. Your only option for cheaper double-cab transport is to go Chinese or Indian, who also better this Ford’s 4-year/120,000km warranty and optional service plans.  

Why you should: At the moment, I think this Ranger is one of the better-looking new bakkies on our market, plus it offers a comfy and versatile cabin with plenty of mod-cons. It’s also built in ZA, popular with game farms and tour operators, plus you can get it in some funky colours like this striking “Blue Lightning.”


Engine:1,996cc i-4 turbo-diesel
Transmission:10-speed Automatic, RWD/4WD
Max. Power:154kW @ 3,750rpm
Max. Torque:500Nm @ 1,750rpm
Avg. cons.:(claimed 7.5L/100km)
0-100km/h:No claim
Top Speed:No claim
List Price:From R833,800  

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