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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

Ford Ranger single turbo drills Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara

Base model bakkie raises the bar by darting from 0 to 100 km/h in just 11 seconds

The Citizen Motoring‘s update last month was all about how impressed I was with the towing ability of our long-term Ford Ranger. Especially considering it is one of the entry level XL models in the range that uses a base 2.0-litre single turbodiesel engine.

With this going on in my mind, I thought why not take the Ford Ranger to our Gerotek test facilities and get some performance data. This will help us stack it up against its former self and the stronger offerings from the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara.

On face value, you might think road testing a bakkie for performance data is a bit mindless. But this is South Africa and we do things a little different down here.

Bakkie country

Pull up at a robot (traffic light) next to another bakkie and you know it’s on. When the lights turn green you give the accelerator a kick, and if the other driver takes the bait and is hanging in there, you keep your foot buried. Bragging rights are up for grabs.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Ford Ranger V6 Wildtrak breezes past Hilux and Isuzu

And because I test cars for a living, I also know that having a database of anything and everything that moves always comes in handy when you need to compare things. And this week the comparative data worked out perfectly and provided the content for my third instalment of living with a Ford Ranger XL for a couple of months.

The XL’s engine is “only” rated 125 kW and 405 Nm. It’s a mere 7 kW and 20 Nm more than the previous generation 2.2-litre Ranger base model that came in at 118 kW and 385 Nm. I was obviously expecting my new generation Ranger to be quicker, but I was not expecting a 0 to 100 km/h time of 11.02 seconds compared to 15.79 seconds.

ALSO READ: Ford Ranger XL not shying away from its fancier siblings

Ford Ranger XL packs a punch

This is about as far apart as you can get when testing one model versus another. It means the new generation Ford Ranger single turbo gets to the national speed limit of 120 km/h in just over 300m. The old Ranger gets there in a very long 600m.

They are incomparable. And that’s why I decided to chuck in Nissan’s 2.5 DDTI Pro-2X Navara and Toyota’s 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Legend RS Hilux into the mix to see what my database would reveal.

Ford Ranger XL
Don’t underestimate the Ford Ranger XL single turbo’s “modest” power output. Picture: Mark Jones

The Navara has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 140 kW of power and 450 Nm of torque. The Hilux features a 2.8-litre four-pot blown mill that produces 150 kW and 500 Nm.

Much to my surprise, this base level Ranger saw off both the Navara and the Hilux. The duo could only muster 0 to 100 km/h times of 12.19 seconds and 12.38 seconds respectively.

ALSO READ: Ford Ranger Raptor proves itself as a proper Golf GTI killer

Long gone

By the 400m mark the Hilux was starting to come. It still had not got around the Ranger at the 800m mark, but it was now travelling faster than the Ford. The poor Navara never caught up with the Ranger at 400m or 800m.

I don’t know what they feed the baby Ford Rangers at Silverton these days, but they go way better than their claimed output numbers on paper suggest.

The Ford Ranger XL 4×2 Double Cab 6AT has now increased in price from R563 500 to R580 500 since we got ours three months ago.

Included in the price is a standard four-year/120 000 km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty.

What is not included are the service or maintenance plans, and here you have the option of purchasing service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 165 000km, while the warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200 000km.

Ford Ranger XL test data

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