Ford Ranger Stormtrak Adds Mustang Style to a Bakkie Favourite

Based on Ranger Wildtrak, which shares Ford’s peachy 157 kilowatt 500 Newton-metre bi-turbodiesel and ten-speed trannie with Raptor, Ford’s latest run-out Ranger Stormtrak cuts a striking pose for a double-cab four-by-four. Well, we’re not sure if it’s actually the last run-out Ranger. There have been a few of late!

Have we seen it All before?

Stormtrak gains a revised blackened mesh grille with red nostrils, blackened 18-inch multi-spoke alloys, dark wing mirrors, and bright 3D badging. Add GT stripes that someone designed after dreaming he drove a Mach 1 Mustang. We loved the lockable roller shutter bakkie top and cargo area management system. With a bed divider to easily separate the load bay and secure different-sized items.

Step into the familiar Wildtrak cabin and those in the know will soon notice the Stormtrak branded leather front pews and contrast stitched black leather dash top. The steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake shrouds too. The sharper among you will also by now have noticed that all the above was a copy and paste of our recent Ranger Thunder report. Followed by a search for Thunder to replace with Stormtrak. D’uh!

Of course Stormtrak also benefits Ford’s SYNC infotainment tech, which brings gesture, voice or touch control for its Apple CarPlay Android Auto, Waze traffic and navigation, Bluetooth and USB. You can also run your Ranger off the Ford Pass app on your phone. Never mind this bakkie will even park itself.

You’ve seen the new one already

You’ve also already seen the new Ranger in pictures. So it’s no surprise that the cabin is dated. It’s difficult to operate and the darker cabin hides many button labels from less than 20/20 eyes. And then the AC system is primarily controlled through screen instead of dials on dash. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? And as good as the infotainment is, it is difficult to navigate. So we look forward to see if the new one fixes all that

On the road, Stormtrak is light and easy to drive. Ford’s ten-speed autobox uses its broader spread of ratios to deliver a creamy dollop of power. Quite literally right across the band from idle to limiter. Accompanied by a mellow and friendly mechanical thrum. It has real-time adaptive shift-scheduling to pick the optimal gear, whatever the demands and will short-shift up and skip gears down its ratios.

But the box also gets lost in its ratios too often. We think that ten gears are a few too many. Well in a bakkie anyway. Especially considering that it’s a laggy gearbox. With a brittle rep. Stormtrak however carries Wildtrak’s significantly improved ride quality over and retains its class-leading 3,500 kg towing capacity. Its 750 kg load capacity may be a worry if you want to hunt with a few big mates and still load the kudu in the bak.

STORMTRAK A bargain in the offing

It may be on the endangered list with the all-new Ranger due in November, but still, it’s a decent all-round bakkie with a funky design that still turns head. Its powerful, has a comfy ride, a decent audio and a responsive infotainment system. And it stands apart from the old Ranger crowd.

Well, kind of. But the new Ranger is coming and while you may be able to talk the dealer down on a cut-price Stormtrak and a buy-back on the new one. Now isn’t that a plan to have your cake and eat it…? Michele Lupini

Testing & images: Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Ford Ranger 2.0 biturbo DC 4x4 Stormtrak
Engine: 157kW 500Nm 1998cc turbodiesel I4
Drive: 10-speed automatic 4x4
Payload: 750 kg
Max Towing: 3500 kg
0-60 km/h         4.05 sec
0-100km/h:        9.48 sec
0-120 km/h:       14.05 sec
0-160 km/h        28.81 sec
400m:             16.8 sec @ 131 km/h
80-120km/h:       7.36 sec
120-160 km/h      15.09 sec
VMax:             180 km/h
Fuel:             8.1 l/100km
CO2:              215 g/km
Warranty/Service: 4y 120K/6y 90K km
LIST PRICE:       R855K
RATED:            7
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