With so many new Rangers being sold these days, Ford’s bakkie has become a ubiquitous presence on the second-hand market. Here’s what you should keep in mind, when shopping around for a used Ranger.
Ford is an immensely popular brand in South Africa, and the Ranger has become one of the bestsellers on the local vehicle market. In fact, the Ranger now regularly bests the ever-popular Hilux, which is quite a feat. The bakkie is just as popular on the second-hand market, too. One popular vehicle website had no less than 1 730 for sale when I checked. But the question remains: is the Ranger a good second-hand buy? Well, generally speaking, I think it is. You don’t reach the sales numbers Ford has managed over the last few years by building a bad product. However, there are things to keep in mind when buying a used Ranger.
Before we examine the newer (and more popular) T6 Ranger, let’s have a quick look at the previous model. This Ranger was sold until 2011, and you can still find some decent examples of it on the used market. Apart from a thirsty four-litre petrol model (which you can get for an absolute steal if you’re willing to deal with that thirsty engine), there is a 2.5 TDCi and a 3.0 TDCi to choose from. The 2.5 TDCi offers 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque, while the burlier 3.0 TDCi delivers 120kW and 380Nm of torque. For the most part, these oilburners are robust and reliable, and the three-litre mill in particular is a punchy, bulletproof gem. It really is a lovely engine. The big thing to look out for when shopping for a previous-generation Ranger, though, is a faulty gearbox, as these have a bit of a reputation for acting up. Make sure that shifts are smooth and that you can slip into every gear without a struggle.
If you’re buying a 4WD model, check that the transfer case is in good working order, and that you can shift into both 4WD high-range and low-range. Importantly, don’t just assume that the 4×4 system is working just because the lights on the dash go on. Check it thoroughly, and remember to check the diff lock. It’s also important to remember that bakkies/LCVs tend to lead hard lives, so if you’re buying an older model with a lot of kilometres on the clock, you should have it checked out thoroughly. Ideally, you want a bakkie with less than 100 000km on the clock and a full service history.
Now let’s look at the current T6 Ranger. These have been around since 2012, and Ford has sold loads of them, so there are plenty available on the used market. Although a 2.5-litre petrol version is available, the majority boast either a 2.2-litre (110kW and 375Nm) or a 3.2-litre (147kW and 470Nm) diesel engine. The 3.2-litre’s oomph is fantastic, but there is nothing wrong with what the 2.2-litre version offers. Unless you’re going to be doing a lot of towing or carrying heavy loads consistently, the 2.2 is probably all you need. At the price, the 2.2-litre version offers excellent value for money. As for reliability, the T6 Ranger seems to be tough and robust. There aren’t any generally acknowledged engine/gearbox issues.
The drivetrain appears to be solid. Search online, though, and you’ll find plenty of people complaining about problems on forums. Is this something to be worried about? Well, keep in mind that Ford sells a lot of these bakkies, and anytime you’re pushing these volumes, complaints will spike. But always have a used vehicle checked out thoroughly to make sure all is in order. One issue worth mentioning is that the fitment of certain unauthorised canopies/accessories led to load-bin cracks on early T6 models. Ford made special brackets available for the fitment of aftermarket accessories, but there are no guarantees that these were ever fitted to a used vehicle. So, check all vehicles carefully to ensure that there is no damage to the load bin.
Text: Chris du Plooy