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The 2023 Ford Ranger: Smartest, most advanced, and most capable Ranger ever!

By: Tarek Hawchar


It is no secret that big trucks garner more sales and attention, but midsize pickups shouldn’t be ignored. They provide more than enough capabilities and they fit in parking spaces much better. There is no better pickup truck to fill this niche than the 2023 Ford Ranger!


Thanks to the new Ford Maverick compact truck, the Ford Ranger is no longer the smallest pickup in Ford’s lineup. Unveiled in late 2021, the latest generation of the company’s most widely sold model is larger, more capable, and boasts more high-tech features than the outgoing model.


Thanks to the new Ford Maverick compact truck, the Ford Ranger is no longer the smallest pickup in Ford’s lineup


Luckily, we had the chance to explore the full potential of the all-new Ranger, particularly the rugged Wildtrak trim, at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The breathtaking natural scenery and wonderful coastal and sandy trails of the city could not entirely distract our attention from the fact that we were sitting behind the wheel of one of the most stunning pickup trucks available on the market. Of the many pickups that we drove off-road, the new Ranger Wildtrak was by far our favorite.


With a powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, smooth 10-speed transmission, responsive steering, higher ground clearance, and state-of-the-art technology, the new Ranger Wildtrak is designed to take on any off-road challenge. Simply put, the 2023 Wildtrak is like a Swiss Army knife for tackling tough terrain—it has everything that you need to get the job done! The KAEC also proved to be a perfect location and a testing ground for this rugged midsize pickup—a truck that is worth every penny!




The Wildtrak variant features a prominent mesh grille with a horizontal bar atop it as well as C-shaped LED headlights flanking the grille on both sides



Exterior


Visually, the design of the 2023 Ford Ranger adopts the bolder lines of its other pickup siblings—the Maverick and F-150. The Wildtrak variant features a prominent mesh grille with a horizontal bar atop it as well as C-shaped LED headlights flanking the grille on both sides.


Other exterior highlights include pronounced wheel arches, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sculpted hood, LED taillights that mimic the C-clamp headlight design, and a new large, sculpted Ranger logo on the tailgate, giving this midsize pickup a more aggressive look.


In terms of dimension, the Next-Gen Ranger Wildtrak is 5370 mm long, 1918 mm wide, and 1884 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3270 mm. With a 50 mm wider track and a 50 mm longer wheelbase, the bed is now slightly larger than before.



Unlike the outdated cabin of the outgoing model, the latest pickup features a stylish, high-tech cockpit



Interior


Taking a peek inside the 2023 Ford Ranger reveals a completely revamped interior. Unlike the outdated cabin of the outgoing model, the latest pickup features a stylish, high-tech cockpit, thanks to a 12-inch SYNC4 infotainment touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster—the former has a portrait view, while the latter measures 8 inches.


Aside from the coast-to-coast dashboard with stylish air vents, the updated interior comes with a new three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a redesigned center console, and a stubby “short-throw e-shifter.” A wireless charger, redesigned ebony seats with new bolsters and foam inserts, a signature Cyber Orange Wildtrak logo, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient interior lighting, and 8-way adjustable power seats are also available.



A number of smart storage solutions have been incorporated throughout the cabin, including door pockets, large bins under the rear seats, and a front glove box integrated into the dashboard, just to name a few. A new, tough plastic-molded bedliner protects the truck bed, and additional cargo tie-down points are available. Customers will also appreciate a new cargo management system that features moveable dividers, and a tailgate that can function as a mobile workbench with integrated ruler and clamp pockets.


On the technology front, the all-new Ranger comes with a wide range of driver-focused technologies and safety features, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, a rearview camera, a blind-spot information system, forward collision warning, hill start assist, and tire pressure monitoring, and much more.



Under the fresh sheet metal of the Next-Gen Ranger Wildtrak is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that delivers 298 hp and 3452 Nm of torque

Engine and Performance


Under the fresh sheet metal of the Next-Gen Ranger Wildtrak is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that delivers 298 hp and 3452 Nm of torque. The four-cylinder mill is mated to an updated ten-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the four wheels.


There are two different four-wheel drive options available for the 2023 Ranger: a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly system for part-time use as well as an on-demand four-wheel drive system with a reassuring set-and-forget mode for full-time use. With the latter, power is continuously distributed between the front and rear axles for optimum performance in all on-road conditions.





In terms of drive modes, the Next-Gen Ranger Wildtrak has six: Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery for on-road use, and Mud/Ruts and Sand for off-road usage. Everything from the gearshift to the throttle response, traction and stability controls, ABS, and more can be adjusted in these modes through a dedicated rotary dial.


Besides the updated chassis, the 2023 Ranger Wildtrak has a towing capacity of 3,500 kg and a tow ball weight limit of 350 kg

Besides the updated chassis, the 2023 Ranger Wildtrak has a towing capacity of 3,500 kg and a tow ball weight limit of 350 kg. An integrated trailer brake controller, a trailer connection checklist, and a trailer light check further assist with towing.



Our Verdict


No one can argue with the success of the Ford Ranger. Over the past few years, it has consistently been the best-selling pickup in Europe. The Next-Gen Ranger aims to raise the bar even higher—a perfect blend of practicality, capability, power, and comfort. We have already tried the 2023 Ranger in the Wildtrak guise, and it proved to be one of the best midsize pickups on the market. Not only is the all-new Ranger a step above the outgoing model, but it is also a step above its competitors—good job, Ford!



#FORD #RANGER #FORDRANGER

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