Pretoria - Ford certainly spoke to its customers while designing the new Ranger. In fact, more than 5000 interviews were conducted in order to learn how customers used their bakkies and what they wanted from the next one, and the result is a far more versatile load area in the new Ford Ranger.
Not only is the cargo bin wider than before, but it is also packed with features and opportunities to transform that space into a total cargo management makerspace.
For example, owners of the new Ford Ranger can create segmented DIY storage spaces, both big and small, by sliding pieces of wood into slots moulded into the bedliner. Take a closer look at the new load bin innovations in the video below:
Furthermore, Ford has installed tie-downs in the bed, sliding cleats that can be adjusted into nine positions to help secure odd-shaped cargo, while external tie-down rails aim to make it easier to secure bulky loads.
Another welcome feature to result from the thousands of interviews is the rear load box access step, although it’s interesting to note that this feature was found on the last-generation, and South African-designed Ford Bantam that was launched 20 years ago!
Ford has also made it easier to fit accessories such as a canopy, cross bars or even a tent, with the fitment of six structural attachment points in the protective load box capping.
“Ford’s design team studied the ways customers used the cargo box – be they a tradesman, adventurer or family who needed to carry ‘stuff’ – and developed many innovative ways to help them access and use the space more effectively,” Ford said.
A tailgate that doubles as a workbench
The Ranger’s easy-lift tailgate also doubles as a mobile workbench for both professional and DIY jobs. Two clamp pockets concealed by spring-loaded caps in the tail gate are designed to help secure timber or other project materials, while a built-in ruler with 10mm increments (on models not fitted with a drop-in bedliner) makes measuring convenient.
Power up your appliances
Another feature that customers will surely appreciate at work or camp sites is the power socket in the load box, which allows owners to power a range of compatible portable electronics and appliances.
Lighting up your work or camp site
Finding gear in the dark is easier too, thanks to load box lighting - something you’ll surely appreciate on a camping trip. Furthermore, a combination of the headlights, puddle lamps, number plate lamps and box lighting can be set to illuminate a 360-degree area around the truck, or in specific areas.
You can also operate electrical accessories such as light bars, work lights, warning beacons or loudspeakers from the inside of the cabin, thanks to a pre-wired auxiliary switch bank.
Create compartments inside the load bin
On models fitted with the new drop-in bedliner, owners can use divider locators to create their own compartments to store gear that they might otherwise have had to carry in the cabin. Dividers can be custom-made from timber at home and then installed and removed as required.
You’ll also find an internal rail with spring-loaded, adjustable cleats on either side of the cargo box, allowing you to configure the cleats and tie-downs to suit every load.
For the record, the carbon box can store 1233 litres, making it one of the most voluminous in the segment according to Ford.
Powered roller shutter
To keep items secure in the most convenient way possible, customers can order a powered roller shutter that can be opened and closed using the key fob or a switch inside the cargo box. Along the sides of the roller shutter you’ll find special accessories channels that make it easy to fit mounts for things like bikes, skis and kayaks.
Cabin versatility enhanced too
Ranger customers can also look forward to a more organised mess inside the cabin of their vehicle. For starters, the new centre console has more storage space and dedicated storage compartments.
You’ll also find more stashing space in the redesigned bins beneath the rear seats. The rear seat back also folds flat to make room for even more gear inside the vehicle if need be. Retractable cup holders and numerous cubby holes further add to the new Ranger’s functionality.
More than 600 accessories in total
Depending on the market, Ford is offering as many as 600 factory-backed work, urban and adventure accessories.
Ford has also made space under the bonnet for a second battery, which can be used to power everything from fridges to tools.
“Our intent was not to simply create a good truck. We wanted to deliver an exceptional one that people would want to own – one that customers around the world could trust to tackle anything,” said Enterprise Product Line director Gary Boes.
The new Ford Ranger is expected to go on sale in South Africa in the second half of 2022, with prices and specifications to be announced closer to launch.