We love getting behind the wheel of model variants that don’t sit at the top tier of the range. This is because as cool as the top-of-the-line model is, it is most likely equipped with features that aren’t a necessity. And then there is the price consideration. Not everyone can afford the top-of-the-line model, after all.
This makes the battle among the entry- and mid-level variants interesting, which is why we do stories that compare these variants every so often. We want to answer the question: How much can a manufacturer offer at an accessible price point?
Fitting, then, that we were invited to check out the Ford Ranger XLS and XLT on a quick out-of-town drive to Pampanga. Both the XLS and XLT are fitted with 2.2-liter turbodiesel engines that generate 160hp and 385Nm. You can choose between a six-speed manual or automatic transmission as well. Oh, and let’s not forget the 800mm water-wading capability. Both the XLS and XLT variants also come with your choice of either a 4x4 or 4x2 drivetrain. Having those options to choose from is pretty impressive.
We put the XLS’s and XLT’s payload (and towing) capacities to the test. Check out the photos of us hauling sacks of cement to a construction site and rice and corn to a farm. The XLS 4x2 can two 2,500kg, while the XLS 4x4 manual can tow 3,500kg. All variants of the XLT 4x2 can tow 2,500kg. All XLS and XLT variants have a 1,120kg payload capacity. By the way, there’s a promo ongoing, too. Until December 31, 2019, The Ford Ranger 2.2L XLS 4x2 MT starts at P943,000. Whoa. That really opens up your options for a sub-P1 million ride.
You still get a host of safety and convenience features, too, like ABS; childproof locks; driver and passenger airbags; and this we love: cruise control. That's almost unheard of at this trim level.
After talking to some owners who swear by their Ford Rangers, the event just reinforces what I’ve believed all along: Every family needs at least one pickup in their garage as the designated workhorse. And a capable one can be had at under P1 million. That’s pretty tempting.