The 2022 Ford Ranger is one of the most anticipated utes on the market this year, period. We’ve seen significant upgrades to engines, comfort, technology and safety equipment over its predecessor, in a bold new design which puts the Ranger in an excellent position to be able to compete with competitors in the hot dual-cab, 4WD ute market - and we know how much Aussies love their utes. Ford does have one other trick up its sleeve with the Ranger - the range-topping Wildtrak, one of the most capable and comfortable utes you can buy in 2022, and Ford has come a long way in this regard.
What we love
5-star ANCAP safety rating, with an extensive list of standard-included safety equipment
Excellent infotainment system housed in a large and bright 12” central screen.
Tech-focused dash and drive system for a seamless and technology-assisted driving experience.
6 selectable driving modes, as well as selectable drive trains (2WD, 4WD, Low range, AWD).
Excellent towing capability.
Bold and refined new styling inside and out.
Great choice of powerful diesel engines.
The Ranger Wildtrak sits at the top of the Ranger lineup, as the flagship Ranger model. If you’re after performance, (and purely performance), The Ranger Raptor sits alongside the WIldtrak as a flagship, albeit built as a performance-focused Ranger, so you actually lose features you would otherwise see in the Wildtrak in favour of power and off-roading grit. The Wildtrak on the other hand is a top-of-the-line all-rounder. Not only is it a strong performer on the worksite, but it’s also built to be an extremely capable, comfortable and safe daily driver and family car, without sacrificing performance on and off the road. The Ranger Wildtrak is offered with a choice of two engines - a 2L, twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel (which we drove), and a 3L, turbo six-cylinder diesel. All Wildtrak models are diesel and 4WD - although not full-time, as it can be toggled in drive mode selection; when not in 4WD, the Wildtrak runs in rear-wheel drive. All Wildtrak models are dual cab with a tub tray.
Features and Tech
The Ranger Wildtrak writes the rules and sets the precedent for what you would expect to see in a flagship Ranger. Over the lower Ranger grades, you’re definitely getting a lot for your money in a WIldtrak. As standard, the Wildtrak adds 18-inch alloys and all-terrain tyres, unique Wildtrak styling including a sports bar and front grille mesh styling, roof rails, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lights, ambient lighting (interior and exterior), electronic tub cover and upgraded dash tech with an integrated 12-inch infotainment system and an 8-inch digital driver information screen. The 12-inch screen in the centre of the dash is one of the largest we’ve seen and is uniquely portrait in orientation. The infotainment system features wireless or wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as sat nav, on-screen camera feeds and on-screen controls for certain car functions, including tow bar control, car diagnostics and a paperless owner’s manual available through the screen at any time. Just below the screen is a wireless charging pad and USB/USB-C charging ports, as well as physical buttons for the climate control and audio, if you’re more a fan of the physical dials over on-screen controls (you’ve got both here).
In addition to the standard tech pack, there is an optional $1500 Wildtrak Premium Pack which adds Matrix LED headlights, Full LED tail lights and a premium 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system to what is already the range-topping flagship.
As a family and work vehicle, safety is always going to be a top consideration. The 2022 Ford Ranger lineup has been awarded a 5-star ANCAP safety rating under the most recent testing criteria, scoring well on an array of active and passive safety features, as well as its generous amount of airbags. As with all Ranger models in the lineup, you’re getting 9 airbags for maximum occupant safety in both rows. On the Wildtrak, you’re getting autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and lane departure alerts, blind spot monitoring, reverse brake assist, an excellent camera system and parking sensors. The camera system consists of front and rear parking cameras (both with sensors) as well as a 360-degree surround view camera, giving you a birds-eye view of the car and its surroundings which you can toggle on the infotainment screen. This is one of the best we have used paired with a high quality, large and bright screen, it comes in handy in so many situations. The Wildtrak is also equipped with additional assist features that are there to make your journeys safer and easier, such as an auto park system, auto trailer light check system and an integrated electronic brake controller - awesome for anyone looking to tow with their Ranger. The Wildtrak features a drive mode selector, giving you six terrain modes to choose on the fly - super easy.
As a family car, there is plenty of room in the back to fit car seats thanks to the wide cabin. The WIldtrak features two ISOFIX points and two anchor points and has plenty of space to fit two child seats (front and rear-facing) with room to spare. All in all, the Ranger makes for a surprisingly practical and spacious family vehicle if moving children is a top priority for your car.
What’s it like to drive?
What is the Wildtrak like to drive? To put it to the test, we took the 2L bi- turbo diesel for a spin, and it definitely delivered. On road, the engine offered plenty of power and was surprisingly quiet. The ride was smooth and refined, and for a vehicle on the larger side, it remained well-composed on the road even at high speeds. In testing (which simulated real-world driving - a mixture of city, open country roads and freeway speeds), the engine was offered plenty of power and never felt like it was letting up short, and the 10-speed auto was highly responsive and snappy. Considering this was the 2L bi-turbo, we can confidently say that the V6 3L turbo would offer a little more in terms of power and torque if you were looking for a little bit more for towing and carrying heavier loads in the tray.
The Wildtrak offers 6 selectable driving modes on a dial - Normal, eco, towing, slip, mud and sand (for off-roading). You’re also getting an additional dial selector to change between 2WD, Full-time 4WD, low range and all-wheel drive making it a very capable off-roader for those who like to venture a little further. The Wildtrak offers an all-round comfortable and enjoyable drive and makes an excellent towing vehicle.
Lastly, we can’t talk about the new Ranger and not mention the new styling. The new generation has had a facelift, modernising Ford’s design language while still staying true to its roots. The Wildtrak has the most physical design changes of any Ranger which extend inside and out. The new styling is bold and imposing, dominated by the LED headlight array and new front mesh grille styling. At the rear, you’re getting a plastic tub liner and hitch rail, as well as integrated side steps. On the inside, the styling is distinctively Wildtrak, with orange accents featuring throughout. The material and build quality of the interior is excellent, and the dash configuration is practical and high-tech without being too bare bones and minimal - mirroring the exterior styling. It is modern and refined, while still being practical and utilitarian - everything you need in your work vehicle.
The Wildtrak really is the full Ranger package, if you’re looking for a fully specced work machine that will also keep you comfortable and connected on the road. The 2022 Ranger Wildtrak is sure to be a compelling choice for those who want more out of life, and want a vehicle that is every bit as capable as a work truck, as it is as a lifestyle vehicle. The Ranger Wildtrak is a very comfortable and capable daily driver, can comfortably carry 5 people (or two fixed child seats), and features an extensive array of tech to keep you safe, connected and comfortable. No doubt the Ranger will cut through the competition in the hot market segment that is the dual cab ute segment.
If you've got little ones be rest assured you have 2 ISOFIX ports and 2 top tether points located in the vehicle.
We fit 2 rear-facing seats in the ute. We were very pleased with how much space there was for 2 child seats in the row. We've partnered with Maxi Cosi to bring you the best in child car safety. Purchase your Maxi Cosi car seat today.
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Article written by Alex Spurway for carconnect.