The adventure of the Ford Ranger, off and on the road

By Marc Bouchard | Thursday 20 June 2019 | BlogOn the road

I am not the bravest. No, let’s be serious, I still have a little courage, but let’s say that it quickly reaches its limits when it comes to extreme sports or, worse, high-altitude travel. When Ford invited us to test the Ford Ranger off-road, on the trails in the Whistler area, I was jubilant. It’s totally my thing.

What is less, however, is that the whole hike was punctuated by adventures, say, more physical, during which I had a little less fun. Fortunately, the short but fun portion of the trails behind the wheel of the Ford Ranger with off-road Hankook tires made me forget everything.

Phase 1 – departure

Landing in Vancouver, we quickly jumped in the truck to hit the road, heading to Sea to Sky Highway, a spectacular scenic highway, which is one of the top 3 routes to cross once in his life in Canada.

But our adventure started rather badly. Our pickup truck navigation system decided to choose the destination alone, and headed us in the opposite direction. It took an hour, and quite a bit of city driving, to finally realize that our arrival time made no sense.

So we used our smart phone, and Android Auto (thank you for the compatibility), to find the way to our first stop: the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Phase 2 – vertigo

Standing on a chair, I scream like a little girl at a Simple Plan concert. No way for me to attack the Via Ferrata climbing wall that my colleagues have undertaken. I just took the gondola up, eyes partially closed, and bravely walk a few steps on the suspension bridge. I assure you, vertigo is an uncontrollable fear …

Phase 3 – off-road

This is where the Ford Ranger truck, with the off-road option group, best demonstrated its know-how. Whether steep uphill, steep downhill or winding trails, the Ranger proved to be effective, and its shorter wheelbase allowed it to sneak with ease into the Canadian Wilderness Adventure trails.

In uphill, the Hankook Dynapro AT tires chosen by the manufacturer have demonstrated their adherence. Coupled with the truck’s entire body, it was enough to let it cling to the rocks to have little effort to provide for climbing.

Downhill, using the downhill control system, the Ford Ranger was gently rolling downward, even on a 27-degree slope, while at the touch of a finger you can control the speed, from 2 to 15 km per hour.

And the design of the truck, including a two-section drive shaft whose raised rear portion, increases the ground clearance and angles of attack, which facilitates both the more intense climbs, and the passage in a puddle quite deep.

Phase 4 – the conclusion

Once the off-road expedition was completed, the journalists had the choice between a summer bobsleigh descent (which I could not participate but went to the speed of 90 km / h), canoeing or mountain biking with. electric assistance.

I opted, briefly, for this last option, but the lack of time and the prospect of finding myself in front of a bear in the trails (a colleague has also rolled in fresh souvenir form a bear) discouraged me, and made me drive around the Whistler area.

The result: the Ford Ranger is an interesting model, with a 2.3-liter turbo 2.0-liter, 310-pound, 4-cylinder engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. This mechanical marriage is a success, offering flexibility and driving pleasure. Better still, the available low-end torque provides impressive control of the vehicle.

Only downside: as its versions are all-wheel drive, and equipped with a long list of accessories, the basic price is quite high. Competitive with rivals certainly, but the latter offering two-wheel drive versions, they have less expensive models.

As for the Ranger, he is still able to get down to work, beyond the more extreme hikes. Properly equipped, it can tow up to 7500 pounds, and carry some 1800 pounds on board!

I admit it, it is not perfect, hops a little, and has nothing to do with the inexpensive Ranger of origin. On the other hand, it is quite capable of offering a comfort and a ride worthy of the name. Even if, like me, you do not have the soul of an adventurer!

About the Author

Marc Bouchard is passionate about cars... and many other things. He started out as a general journalist and has been working on cars for the past twenty years. We see him on TV, hear him on the radio and read about him everywhere. Often called upon as an expert analyst.

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