In the Ford Ranger XLS 4x2, is age just a number?

In the Ford Ranger XLS 4x2, is age just a number?

The year 2011 was indeed a long time ago. Back then, in the world of motoring, Red Bull bagged its second Driver’s Championship title with Vettel, electric cars were a pipe dream rather than an imminent reality, and the so-called “T6” generation Ford Ranger was introduced to the world, and made some headlines. 


  • How much is the Ford Ranger XLS 4x2 AT?

    The Ranger XLS 4x2 AT retails for P1.215 million.
  • What are the key technical specifications of the Ranger XLS 4x2 AT?

    The Ranger XLS 4x2 AT is powered by a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine, which is mated to a six-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive.
  • What are the key equipment of this Ranger model?

    This Ranger is equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment with phone mirroring, Isofix mounts, and dual airbags.
  • Designed and engineered by Ford’s Australian division, the T6 platform-based Ranger was promised to be the most advanced Ranger iteration. It was intended to be a global model, replacing the North American, and Asia-Pacific and Latin American versions of the nameplate. So, the T6 Ranger was expected to have the proper performance and specifications for many markets. 

    If local Ford sales is any indication, then the current Ranger certainly impressed Filipino consumers. Last year, the Ranger was Ford Philippines’ best-seller with 9,184 units sold. The all-singing, all-dancing Ranger Raptor — which we found to offer both superb comfort and performance — found 5,490 homes. 

    Ford Ranger Wildtrak

    Perhaps back then, it didn’t matter to these buyers that an all-new Ranger was on its way. Maybe they didn’t mind (or know) that since the T6 Ranger’s 2011 introduction, the Ford’s rivals — such as the Isuzu D-Max/Mazda BT-50 twins — have gone into new-generation changes. The Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara, to name a few, are a couple of years younger as well. 

    Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that the current Ranger is now 10 years old. But is it a has-been, or does it prove that age is just a number? We answer that question by driving the midsize pickup in its most simple Ranger XLS 4x2 AT form. 

    Ford Ranger XLS 4x2


    Price and key specs

    The Ranger XLS 4x2 MT and AT are the entry-level versions in the (15-variant wide) Ranger food chain, costing P1.155 million and P1.215 million, respectively. They come almost P1 million less than the top-of-the-shop Raptor.  

    Similar to the XLS MT, the Ranger XLS 4x2 AT we tested is supplied with a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine, which feeds its 160ps and 385Nm of torque to the rear wheels. The XLS AT replaces the XLS MT’s six-speed stick with a six-speed automatic, while these variants also share a 232-millimeter ground clearance. 


    The Ranger XLS 4x2 AT — particularly at the front where it wears its 2015 updated look featuring a wider grille — still looks handsome after all these years. The sides and rear end stylize the traditional, boxy pickup format with slight kinks at the windows and the “Ranger” name boldly sticker-ed on the tailgate. 

    Wearing its halogen headlights and foglights, 16-inch alloy wheels that leave much space below the standard fenders, black door handles and side mirrors, the Ranger XLS looks more tame compared to the Ranger Raptor and other Ranger variants with their extended fenders, flash color options, and LED headlights.

    Look at the photos below to see what we mean. 

    Ford Ranger XLS 4x2

    Ford Ranger Raptor

    But this conservative appearance is not a bad thing, as the Ranger XLS 4x2 stays true to its no-nonsense workhorse billing. Meanwhile, this work truck accompanies its work attire with formal color options such as Meteor Gray our test car came in, Sunset Red, Absolute Black, and Arctic White. 

    The Ranger XLS 4x2 being narrower and less taller than the Ranger Raptor pays dividends, too, especially when negotiating gridlock, a cramped parking building, and most parking spaces.

    Driving and riding impressions

    But for longer journeys and even at slow speeds, driving the Ranger XLS 4x2 is worthwhile. 

    For starters, the 2.2-liter mill is decently refined, capable, and efficient. The engine noise that entered the cabin wasn't totally distracting, and the 385Nm of torque kicks in progressively and allows for brisk overtaking. And when passing, manual-shifting or holding one of the six gears — through a push-up downshift, pull-down upshift gear lever similar to race cars — also helps performance. 

    Ford Ranger XLS 4x2

    As for the efficiency, the Ranger XLS 4x2 can probably triumph in eco-runs like it did 10 years ago. During a 120-kilometer drive composed of highways and mountain roads, with three people onboard and the aircon speed set almost full-blast, the Ranger XLS 4x2 returned 12 to 13kpl. Meanwhile, with a lone driver at moderate city traffic, the fuel trip computer registered 11kpl. 

    Do note that despite the impressive fuel consumption figures, the driver drove in a languid pace and didn't execute any fuel-saving tricks — which will cast this Ranger model in good light amid the heartbreaking pump prices

    Either on twisties and city streets, the Ranger XLS 4x2 offers decent steering feel and handling abilities to the driver. For passengers, there could be a slightly stiff ride for them — considering the XLS is underpinned by a double wishbone and leaf springs combination — but the body lean is well controlled as is the absorption of road imperfections. 

    This truck’s ride and performance is par for the course in the segment. On the other hand, the NVH is a slight notch above the average. 

    Payload and towing capacities

    Here’s where the Ranger XLS 4x2 acquits itself as a bonafide work truck. Ford said the Ranger XLS can carry around 1,120 kilograms on its bed and tow 3,500kg worth of construction equipment (or what have you). 

    Ford Ranger XLS 4x2

    Keep in mind, though, that the Ranger XLS 4x2 comes with neither a bed liner nor a rear tow bar. But considering the model’s age and ubiquity, those equipment should be abundant in the aftermarket by now.  

    Interior and convenience tech

    The Ranger XLS 4x2’s basic character continues inside, with hard-wearing fabric seats for five passengers and all the features they’d ever need. The Aussie Ranger may be trumped by its Japanese peers in terms of cabin space, but the former makes up for it with interior materials that feel classier to the touch. 

    On the dashboard, most of the buttons of the pre-update model have been replaced by an eight-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system supplies Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring and Bluetooth connection. There are two USB ports and a 12-volt socket up front, while music is piped through six speakers that do justice to your favorite rock and rap songs. 

    Ford Ranger XLS 4x2 Ford Ranger XLS 4x2

    Adding to the user-friendliness of the infotainment compared to the Rangers of old are huge steering wheel buttons, and shortcut buttons located below the screen. The controls for the Ranger XLS’ manual aircon are less simple to use than in Japanese pickups, though, but far from the point that you need to have a degree in information technology to operate.  

    To create more space, the rear bench’s backrest can be folded. There are cubby holes underneath the bench, too, which can be accessed by flipping up the seat cushion like a cinema seat. 

    Safety tech

    Again, the Ranger XLS 4x2 keeps it basic. There are airbags for the driver and passenger, Isofix mounts for the child seats in the back, and cruise control. The standard ABS-EBD functions are paired to the brakes combination of front discs and rear drums. 

    On the other hand, a pickup of this size should already come with reversing sensors, especially when even some mini subcompact hatches today are equipped with the feature. On the flipside, parking the Ranger XLS 4x2 is made safer thanks to the large side mirrors, and expansive rear windscreen that gives a view of the edges of the pickup bed. 

    Ford Ranger XLS 4x2


    Stripped of the fancy gadgets, shiny exterior bits, and large engine of its pricier stablemates, the Ranger XLS 4x2 shows what it’s really made of. 

    This soon-to-be-outgoing Ranger model possesses good performance and does the pickup brief well — hauling people and cargo with minimum fuss. Granted, the Ranger XLS 4x2 does miss out on some safety kit, but considering the age of the model, its quality and refinement is still a match to the newer work trucks in the market.

    If only we can age as gracefully as the T6 Ford Ranger. 

    Photos from Ford Philippines, Roy Robles, and Dylan Afuang 


    Dylan Afuang

    Dylan Afuang

    Growing up in the 2000s, Dylan browsed through car magazines before reading proper books, and watched motoring TV shows as often as he did cartoons. So, talking about cars came natural to him. His dream car is the Honda S2000.

    Read Full Bio

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