On Monday morning, I was flown out of ORT to Kruger International Airport- on a chartered plane no less- by Ford South Africa, in order to drive the new Ford Ranger! It will be available as of November, so if you’re on the look out for a functional, affordable, comfortable utility vehicle- be sure to test drive one of the brand new Rangers!
What. A. Car.
I drove four of them- the 2.2XL, the 3.2 6Speed automatic 4×4, the 2.2XLS and – AND – the 3.2 6 speed Wildtrak!
I want a Wildtrak… Can I have a Wildtrak? Pleeeeeeeeeeease!!?!
Holy crap what a car!
Power? Check and double check.
Handling? Check and triple check. And responsive! Wow!
Its as quiet as a luxury sedan, you can hook up your phone via Bluetooth to make calls and listen to music, and its got some serious interior storage space! The lockable cubby hole is big enough for a fifteen inch laptop! Its got sound sensors in the doors that deploy airbags before the impact does! It has a ground clearance of up to 237 mm and an 800mm wading depth! It has just been awarded the full 5 stars under Euro NCAP crash test!
The features are endless, and not only on the top of the range Wildtrak!
As always, Ford outdid themselves to make sure we got the most out of the cars and our time with them. We drove the Rangers from Kruger International Airport to River Wild, taking the looong way around! I had @MaBlerh as my co-driver for this launch and we got on famously (he was also one of the competitors on the Ford Figo Amazing Race Challenge)! At River Wild, we were treated to a bit of a 4×4 adventure with pro drivers, on a course that is rated 3 out of 5 and had me squealing nervously as the Ranger was navigated over terrain that doesn’t even look like there could be a road in some places! There were times when only 3 wheels were actually on the ground!
After lunch and a presentation by Ford, we changed cars and set off for Elephant Whispers to meet some of their trained ellies! It was fascinating indeed, with Medwa and Tembo being put through some of their paces in order to demonstrate their intelligence.
We then had a bit of a photo-op with Tembo, changed cars again, and lit out for Casterbridge Hollow Boutique Hotel in White River. I think I was very likely the first person to head off to the gawjiss king size bed in my room after a very yummy supper, but there were a few people who were very brittle at breakfast after a 3am bed time!
The next morning we were again given keys to the Rangers and we drove ourselves back to Kruger International Airport for our flight home, also on a chartered plane. We had the same pilot and crew as the flight in the day before, and I doubt the stewardess has ever had a plane so full of hecklers and jokers! She actually handed the seatbelt and oxygen mask demos to @MaBlerh so he could do the visuals whilst she handled the PA! It was hysterical and she was a fabulous sport!
Landing at ORT was another adventure! We’d been delayed so there was no bus waiting for us, which meant we were not allowed off the aeroplane! Eventually one small bus arrived and collected the Durbanites and Capetonians who had connecting flights, and the rest of us waited with the pilot for another bus. We were then dropped at the wrong arrivals gate and because we had no passports and hadn’t actually flown in from outside the country we weren’t allowed through! And the doors leading back to where the bus had dropped us didn’t open from the inside! Eventually the pilot managed to arrange another bus through Menzies and we were dropped at the right door.
A quick, laugh fest of a Gautrain ride to Sandton, I was collected by my Glugster and I went home to my bed for a bit.
Thank you again Ford South Africa and Ogilvy, I had so much fun!