2022 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0L V6 4x4 Review
Price & Equipment:8.5
Interior & Practicality:9
Performance & Economy:9
Ride & Handling:9
Service & Warranty:9
What we like:
  • Excellent V6 diesel engine
  • Class-leading interior tech and ergonomics
  • Sublime ride and handling balance
What we don't like:
  • Starting to get expensive at this price point
  • Quirky gear selector takes time getting used to
  • Long wait times no matter what the variant
8.9DiscoverAuto Rating:

Ford’s release of the fourth-generation Ranger in Australia is arguably more of a big deal than when the Ranger was put on sale locally in 2006 thanks to the wildly successful last-generation model and how it takes the lion’s share of Ford’s local sales. Now 16 years on, the Ranger is more technologically advanced than ever before and is loaded with standard equipment – though it’s also priced higher than ever before as well. We tested the mid-spec 2022 Ford Ranger XLT fitted with the new V6 turbo-diesel engine to see if it’s the model to go for.

This new-generation Ranger, which was released for the 2022 model year, goes up against some tough competition – the Toyota HiLux, Mazda BT-50, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi Triton are just some of the Ranger’s rivals. Let’s find out if the Ranger XLT hits the same high notes as its upper-spec Wildtrak and Sport siblings.

Price & Equipment: 8.5/10

The 2022 Ford Ranger range kicks off at $35,930 for the single cab XL and the model we tested is the XLT 4×4 dual-cab, which sits in the middle of the range, and is priced from $61,190 plus on-road costs – or $64,190 plus on-road costs (around $70,000 drive away) with the optional V6 engine.

Even though the XLT is not a top-spec model, it does come with a surprising amount of equipment: 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights with LED front fog lights, auto wipers, a leather steering wheel and gear selector, cloth upholstery with driver’s lumbar adjustment, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, a 12.0-inch portrait touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation with live traffic updates, digital radio, an 8.0-inch digital driver’s display, keyless entry with push button start, heated and auto-folding mirrors, rear privacy glass, a tow bar with wiring and access to the Ford MyPass smartphone app, which allows you to access functions of the car from your phone.

Safety equipment includes nine airbags (including a front centre unit), autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality and active lane centering, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (with braking), automatic rear braking, traffic sign recognition, auto high beam, driver attention monitoring, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Our test vehicle was fitted with the $900-optional Touring Package, which includes an integrated trailer brake controller, a 360-degree camera, puddle lamps and zone lighting. Also fitted to our Ranger was the optional $400 tough spray-in bed liner and further optional but not fitted to our test car are $500 255/65 Wrangler all-terrain tyres.

The only standard paint option is ‘Arctic White’ while ‘Shadow Black’, ‘Meteor Grey’, ‘Sedona Orange’, ‘Aluminium’ and our test car’s ‘Blue Lightning’ add a further $675 to the price. All up our test car was priced at around $72,300 drive away and for that price, we wish it only had an electric driver’s seat, a 360-degree camera and a wireless phone charging on top of that.

The direct rivals for the 2022 Ford Ranger XLT are the $55,690 plus on-road costs Mitsubishi Triton GSR, $61,230 +ORC Nissan Navara Pro-4x, the $61,930 +ORC Toyota HiLux SR5, the $66,390 +ORC Mazda BT-50 SP, the $63,500 +ORC Isuzu D-Max LS-U+ and even the $73,450 +ORC Jeep Gladiator Night Eagle.

Performance & Economy: 9/10

While you can get a 154kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine, the engine fitted to our 2022 Ford Ranger XLT is the optional 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6, which is new for this generation Ranger but has been used in other Ford products like the F-150 in North America and even the Land Rover Discovery. It produces 184kW of power at 3,250rpm and 600Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,250rpm for some class-leading outputs (aside from the current-shape Volkswagen Amarok, but that’s due to switch to the Ford’s engine because the new generation Amarok is now the Ranger’s twin).

The V6 diesel engine is smooth and very quiet – so much so that you would be forgiven for thinking this is the V6 turbo diesel Audi uses in the Q7. There is plenty of low-end grunt and even when pushing it, the engine remains relatively quiet. There is plenty of grunt to overtake with even when towing and you never feel it is underpowered.

The standard transmission that you can pair to this engine is a 10-speed torque converter automatic, which is also used in the bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel that’s used in lower-spec Ranger models. The gearbox is quite intuitive, can skip multiple gears if need be and because of its plentiful ratios, the engine is always be in its power band when you need it to be. The gear selector can be a little finicky though – expect to accidentally put the car into park when going for reverse – and we’d prefer a proper manual mode with paddle shifters instead of the small buttons on the gearknob.

The claimed combined fuel consumption for the 2022 Ford Ranger XLT V6 4×4 is 8.4L/100km, and we achieved a figure of 10.1L/100km with our time spent behind the wheel in mostly urban driving, which is fine for such a big vehicle with 600Nm on tap. The Ranger V6 has an 80-litre fuel tank.

Ride & Handling: 9/10

As we’ve discovered in our previous reviews of the current shape Ranger, its ride and handling balance is easily top of the segment. For comfort and driving fun, look at no other ute because the Ranger manages to feel mature, composed, light on its feet despite weighing more than two tonnes and also quite quiet from behind the wheel. The Ranger feels like an SUV to drive, the suspension is forgiving and even unloaded the Ranger is more than comfortable enough on most surfaces. While its multi-link front and leaf spring rear suspension set up is nothing special, the ride quality is sublime for a ute.

For those who like taking their utes off-road, you will be happy to hear that the new Ranger XLT V6 has a 30-degree approach angle and 23-degree departure angle (a HiLux’s equivalents are 29-degrees and 25-degrees respectively), while its 800mm wading depth is great. The ground clearance is 234mm. The 2022 Ford Ranger XLT also comes as standard with a tow bar. The braked towing capacity of the Ranger with the V6 engine is 3,500kg, which is the same as the HiLux, D-Max, BT-50 and even the lesser bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine in the Ranger lineup

Interior & Practicality: 9/10

As we have discovered in the other model Rangers we have tested, the cabin of this dual-cab ute is best in class. There are premium inclusions like a massive infotainment screen, hard-wearing but good quality materials throughout and a somewhat conventional but very functional layout.

The 8.0-inch digital driver’s display makes the cabin feel decidedly premium and shows off a decent amount of information. There’s also plenty of cabin storage – big door bins, a big centre box, a tray beneath the screen with a wireless phone charger and a reasonable glovebox. Unfortunately though, the XLT misses out on the handy two-tiered glovebox that the Wildtrak features and the pop-out cupholders on either side of the dashboard – in place of this there are cheap-looking holes left in the dashboard.

Sitting in the dash of the Ranger XLT is a 12.0-inch portrait touchscreen that uses Ford’s new ‘Sync 4’ infotainment system. It has an inbuilt SIM for connectivity features such as weather and live traffic updates. It’s a huge screen that can take some getting used to thanks to its sheer size, but once you’ve learnt it, it’s intuitive and easy to use, plus it also has physical AC controls and a proper volume knob for extra usability. It’s also fully featured with wireless smartphone mirroring, satellite navigation, digital radio and a drawing pad (which can be fun).

The screen is what makes the Ranger feel more modern and more premium than its rivals – unlike a lot of other large screens, the one in the Ranger is very functional and not an eyesore to look at. It’s also quite intuitive to use, and it feels developed for use, rather than a car maker using a system it’s borrowing from a supplier – like the system that’s in the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins, for example.

The rear seats of the Ranger are quite comfortable, while offering good space for the segment as well. There is plenty of head and knee room for adults, while there is also storage under the base of the seat and the backrest of the seat can fold down to fit larger items. Rear passengers get air vents, both a USB-A and USB-C port, reasonable door bins and a centre armrest with cupholders.

Opening the tray of the Ranger XLT reveals a larger tray than the model it replaces, and one of the biggest in the ute segment. We do wish the tailgate would be soft opening (it does have lift assist, however), but it’s an otherwise positive story. As we mentioned earlier, a tougher spray in bed liner is optional (we would recommend ticking that option), while there is also a 12V power outlet in the tray, as well as tie down hooks, LED lighting and clamping points. The tray is 1,200mm long and 800mm wide (between the arches) and can now fit a Euro-sized pallet.

Service & Warranty: 9/10

Like other new Ford models, the 2022 Ford Ranger XLT comes with the brand’s five-year/unlimited km warranty with 12 months of roadside assistance that’s topped up to seven years in total if serviced through a Ford dealer. Mazda gives you five years of both warranty and roadside assistance, while Isuzu gives you six years of warranty and seven years of roadside assistance.

Servicing the Ranger comes around every 12 months or 15,000km. The cost of servicing over the span of five years or 75,000km on the Ranger XLT V6 is $1,716 (an average service cost of $343.20). Compare this to the $2,356 it costs to service the Mazda BT-50 and the Ranger is very good value to service.

2022 Ford Ranger XLT V6 DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.9/10

The 2022 Ford Ranger XLT V6 4×4 is an exceptional ute and really brings commercial vehicles into the 21st century. It drives very well and doesn’t feel like a ute behind the wheel, meaning daily duties are a breeze and the cabin is more premium than you’d think as well. The V6 engine is a gem, and it really adds to the new Ranger’s excellent maturity. So is the XLT fitted with the V6 engine the variant to go for?

Put simply, yes. Unless you need kit like leather trim, we do think that the sweet spot in the Ranger lineup is the exact spec we have here. The XLT, while more expensive than the model it replaces, offers the best value equation in the range and the V6 engine it can be paired with is absolutely the engine to go for as there is both effortless power with relatively good fuel economy. It’s a great product, and we think the Ranger is at its best in XLT V6 form.

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