Consolidated Auto Boksburg blew me away last month when introducing me to the Ford Kuga: this month I am on a mission to explore the Wilder side of Ford and Johan Homan enthusiastically assures me that once you drive a Ford 4×4, your perspective will never be the same again.
Having been with Consolidated Auto for the last 4 years, Johan’s love for the brand is evident in his vibrant interaction with me. Sharing that this is his current favourite vehicle, Johan introduces me to the Ford Ranger Wildtrack – the top of the range 3.2 litre 4×4 double cab.
Offering premium features and class-leading engine design, Ford vehicles are (according to Johan) an other-worldly experience. And other-worldly may just be right, as I find myself staring at the monster-sized Wildtrak with apprehension. It is large, sturdy and seemingly the exact definition of the word rugged. Yet, the designers of this monster had some unbelievable flair, because it’s a rather good-looking monster at that. Far from an ugly-yet-functional bakkie, the Wildtrak is beautifully put together with sleek lines that highlights it’s capable and strong foundation.
Much to my surprise, the interior is completely opposite to what I would have imagined from a double-cab; gorgeous, refined leather, with unique Wildtrak stitching and colour matching makes the inside of this vehicle seem much more like an SUV or luxury sedan. The dashboard is modern with digital displays on both side of the speedometer, which feed real time info regarding your vehicles functioning to you as you drive. An 8-inch touchscreen sits centre console, and allows you to have full access to all your phone/media content as you drive, as well as making use of natural voice commands to control such aspects as climate, phone functions and audio-entertainment.
It sits so comfortably that until the engine roars to life, I almost forget I am in a Double Cab, and the feeling of seamless, smooth acceleration (coupled with silky transmission shifts in the 6-speed gearbox) is most exhilarating. Ford’s newly upgraded 3.2 litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder engine is responsible for the impressive 147 kW and 470 Nm of torque (whilst maintaining a respectable fuel-efficiency rating, according to Johan).
With the latest in driver assist technologies (including ESP, ABS, Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist/Descent Control and Trailer Sway Control to name but a few) together with superb safety features such as Lane Keeping Alert, Forward Alert and Driver Impairment Monitor, the Wildtrak proudly holds a EuroNCAP 5 safety rating. Making a clear statement about safety and security, it is no wonder I feel so protected and at ease behind the wheel.
I also note the vehicles comprehensive off-roading capabilities, which include an excellent wading depth of 800mm, a 230 mm ground clearance and impressive towing capacity – not to mention the user-friendly shift rom 4×2 to 4×4 by means of a knob on the centre console. Despite being equipped to literally crunch rocks, the Wildtrak has impressively low cabin noise, is smooth and velvety to drive (thanks to amazing suspension design) and parks incredibly easily despite its big bulky body, thanks to its on-board technology.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Wildtrak – and in agreement with Johan’s assessment of this big beast – feel particularly attached to this Wild Thing. For more info and current specials with the fantastic team at Consolidated Auto, please click Consolidated Auto Boksburg
By Desh Bechan