Chrome pack adds bling to mid-Ranger

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the show must go on from an Autodealer perspective, meaning that we are still in the business of driving cars and then scribbling our thoughts for all to enjoy, although this is now done in total isolation.

The one benefit is that the roads, and in the case of my latest press car, the off-road trails, are empty. The car in question is the Ford Ranger 2.2 4×4 XLS auto double cab with the optional Chrome Styling package.

An overlooked product

The XLS is the often overlooked variant within the Ranger line-up particularly by the media as we’re usually exposed to the XLT, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor variants. With over 30 Rangers to choose from, and the XLS models making up 10 of these, it’s a rather significant, and indeed, a more attainable Ranger with the vast line-up.

More XLT in your XLS

Those familiar with the Ranger line-up will note that all XLS models previously featured matt grey finishes. The self-explanatory Chrome Styling Pack adds what Ford claims as R20 000 worth of aesthetic enhancements. These include a chrome front grille, chrome exterior mirror caps, door handles, tailgate handle, rear bumper step and a standard stainless steel sports bar.

Also available at no additional cost are 17-inch alloy wheels finished in either silver or gloss black as seen on XLT models in place of the standard 16-inch items. This allows the XLS models to resemble the more expensive XLT; however, personally, I prefer the matt grey accents on the XLS models as they allow for a more subtle exterior look. The benefit of this, of course, is choice, providing those who prefer a chrome finish to opt for it, which may also assist with resale value in the future too.

Interior simplicity

The XLS Ranger is a rather dramatic, and in this writer’s opinion, a pleasant departure from the higher-specified Ranger models. The cloth upholstery suits a bakkie better, both feeling and looking more robust than the leather in higher-spec models. The one foible in this package is that the tiny 4.2-inch infotainment system lacks the functionality of higher-spec models with SYNC 3; however, those who don’t value infotainment as highly will find the Sync 1 system sufficient.

Driving XLS

This was my first road test of a Ranger with the older 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine and six-speed automatic gearbox. In isolation, if you’ll pardon the pun, the 118 kW and 385 N.m produced by the motor would feel sufficient, had I not driven the single and bi-turbo, 2.0-litre-equipped models, previously.

The engine simply feels underpowered by current standards, but it still provides reasonable consumption, with a figure of 9.2-litres/100km throughout my five-day stint with the vehicle. Ford claims a braked towing capacity of 3 500kg which is impressive while a 750kg payload allows this to be used a true dual-purpose work/leisure bakkie.

Heading off of the beaten path, the Ranger does an admirable job. The on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system engages easily and the all-terrain tyres combined with a 237mm ground clearance and respectable approach and departure angles endow the Ranger with the sort of capability that those in the market for a lifestyle bakkie expect.


The back-to-basics nature of the XLS captures the essence of a bakkie very nicely while the addition of the Chrome Styling Pack may drive customers to the cheaper, mid-spec Ranger models more readily.


Ranger 2.2TDCi double cab 4×4 XLS auto R 538 100

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