To “Go Further” as the Ford slogan says, I decided to test the outgoing 2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 on a road trip from an end-to-end opposing route to the south as far as Calauan, Laguna, and up north as far as Baguio City. As my ride schedule falls on Valentine’s weekend, I brought along my little sister to search for flowering plants which my mother would like to have in her current pocket-garden project. The projected number of kilometers from my home in Daang Hari, Bacoor City to Ornamental Plant Farms in Calauan, Laguna is around 120 kilometers one-way.
Ride Comfort and Handling
The way to the Calauan farms is predominantly made out of tarmac with a few off-road segments. Despite featuring rear leaf springs and a pair of double-wishbone coil springs at the front, the ride is surprisingly comfortable. It handles very well the bumps and potholes of the road. In terms of NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) suppression, the performance as expected is superb compared to its rival pickup trucks. Thanks to the better sound insulation that this pickup has as it was able to lessen and dampen most of the noise at a faster speed.
In addition, the light electronic power steering helps me to maneuver easily on the narrow farm roads which for some first-timers would worry that the road ahead is built almost for a one-way lane only with the presence of some blind corners.
Cargo Load and Space Management
One reason why I chose the Wildtrak pickup to review, is because I want to know how it performs in terms of cargo handling since my family is into farming and one of my relatives also owns a pickup, thus a simple comparison can be made, and of course, this is the only Ranger variant that I have not driven in my entire life.
The Ford Ranger’s bed is one of the largest in its class, and at least for this Wildtrak 4×2 variant, this can haul as much as 1.1 tonnes of cargo. I was able to haul as many plants and garden soil as I needed to build my mom’s pocket garden. This isn’t enough to fill its maximum rated payload capacity, but it’s reassuring to know that the Ranger Wildtrak can handle much more than I needed.
Since this is the Ranger Wildtrak with a 4×2 drivetrain, this variant gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder single turbo diesel engine that produces 180 hp and 420 Nm of torque and is mated into a 10-speed automatic transmission. While I noticed that there is a bit of delay in acceleration when you compare it with the twin-turbo version that’s sound in the Wildtrak 4×4 and Raptor variants, it still provided me enough power to climb up Baguio City via Marcos Highway.
As it is my first time driving to Baguio, its Hill Start Assist comes in handy since it will prevent you from rolling back while stopped on an incline. It also comes with electronic stability control, which prevents you from slipping even under hard braking or cornering. This is also especially handy when heavy rains occur, as this feature gives you a sense of confidence under harsh weather conditions.
People in the rural areas especially in the far flung-barrio where the farmers are located were distracted from their work when the 2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak arrived, probably marveling at the strong masculine presence of the utility vehicle. Over the years, Ford has improved the look of the Ranger, including this Wildtrak variant. The new mesh grille and the gloss black trims kept its sporty and masculine looks. The LED lighting upfront is good though the incandescent bulbs of the rear light assembly need upgrading. “Saber” accents are dotted across the exterior, while more gloss-black accents are found on the front grille, the lower bumper, the rear bumper, the foglamp bezels, the exterior mirrors, and the fender vents. The new Wildtrak decals on the doors and tailgate complete the refreshed look of the Ranger.
Ford likewise continually improved the interior of the Ranger even to this day. The upper portion of the dashboard of this Wildtrak variant has a leatherette finish, while various part of the interior has orange trims and stitching. Lastly, the ambient LED lights that can be configured gives the interior an even more premium character. And being the Wildtrak variant, there are various splashes of orange accents to break the monotony of the all-black interior theme.
On my two consecutive 2 roadtrips with my sister accompanying me in Laguna and my dad in Baguio, a modern infotainment is necessary. One is to entertain my sister who might be getting bored because of the long trip away from the malls and an aide system for my dad to keep him awake while navigating for me. The 8-inch infotainment system has an updated version of Ford’s SYNC3, which works in together with the pickup’s digital gauges. The Ranger’s SYNC3 offers a broader range of functionality which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s still one of the best in its segment, as touch response is snappy and there’s a minimal lag with the system. The menus are also easy to understand.
As for fuel economy, I was able to have an average of 12 km/l considering my itinerary are mostly provincial trips with less traffic except in Baguio City proper where there are many tourists traveling due to the lowering of the Covid alert level.
In summary, the 2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak, which has been on the market for a decade already, is still a pickup that’s worth considering, even when an all-new model is already coming out soon. This is despite the fact that over the years, numerous newer models have popped up in the market. With the all-new Ranger coming out soon, expectations are going to be sky-high, but with what the Blue Oval brand has achieved with this outgoing Ranger, we’re confident of what’s to come for the Ranger’s future.