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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Value double cab war: How the new Ford Ranger XL Sport stacks up

The Blue Oval's new value offering goes wheel-to-wheel with the Toyota Hilux SR and the Isuzu D-Max X-Rider.


Ford’s unveiling of the Ranger XL Sport towards the end of October added some unexpected but welcome spice to the lower-end of the often overlooked double cab segment. Available on the single, super and double cab versions of the workhorse-spec XL, which accounts for the lion’s share of monthly Ranger sales, the R15 800 appearance package consists of a black rear bumper, Sport badging on the tailgate, black 17-inch Panther alloy wheels, a tow bar, a tubular black sports bar and a gloss black grille as opposed to the plastic lattice of the donor model. Forking out an additional R5 050 gets…

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Ford’s unveiling of the Ranger XL Sport towards the end of October added some unexpected but welcome spice to the lower-end of the often overlooked double cab segment.

Available on the single, super and double cab versions of the workhorse-spec XL, which accounts for the lion’s share of monthly Ranger sales, the R15 800 appearance package consists of a black rear bumper, Sport badging on the tailgate, black 17-inch Panther alloy wheels, a tow bar, a tubular black sports bar and a gloss black grille as opposed to the plastic lattice of the donor model. Forking out an additional R5 050 gets a pair of side-steps.

Inside, the interior is unchanged from the XL with the only difference being the choice of infotainment system; the standard 4.2-inch static LCD display with a single USB port and Bluetooth or, for an extra R6 060, the SYNC 3 eight-inch touchscreen system with dual USB outlets, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Underneath the bonnet, the XL Sport stays true to its workhorse roots by being offered solely with the 2.2 Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engine rated at 118kW/385Nm. Available with rear or four-wheel-drive, the oil-burner is paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, however, it is worth noting that only the double cab comes with the latter ‘box and all-paw gripping system we got experience at the recent media launch.

Priced at R550 500, the XL Sport 4×4 auto is a fraction pricier than its intended rival, the R549 200 Toyota Hilux 2.4 GD-6 SR double cab 4×4, and considerably dearer than what it likely to be its most direct competitor, the ever popular Isuzu D-Max 250 X-Rider double cab 4×4 at R538 200.

However, the XL Sport is the only one to come with the mentioned automatic ‘box as the cheapest self-shifting four-wheel-drive Hilux, the 2.4 GD-6 Raider, carries a sticker of R609 500, while the D-Max doesn’t come with the option of four-wheel-drive, the 2.5 D-TEQ engine and the six-speed automatic ‘box buyers can have on two-wheel-drive derivatives. In addition, Toyota only offers an automatic ‘box on the Raider, meaning the SR is an all manual affair regardless of being specified with rear or four-wheel-drive.

Therefore, to determine how the XL Sport stacks-up, we look at how the four-wheel-drive equipped with the manual ‘box compares to the equivalent Hilux and D-Max. For the full breakdown, click here.

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