Guess who finally got to test drive one of the Ford bakkies… ME! After almost a year of constant nagging, I was finally put on the list to test the Ford Ranger Thunder. Ford is globally known for producing “tough” cars because they are mostly built for off-road or heavy duty functionality.
I had only seven days to test drive and enjoy this car and, lucky for me, I had a perfect trip set out for the West Coast which is a mix of both gravel and tar surfaces. Unlike the Raptor, the Thunder sits in the “special” category of the Ranger derivatives with its sporty look. As usual, I am going to share a few things I like and some I wish could have been done differently.
Before I get into it, I just wanted to let you know that as part of Ford’s initiative of encouraging more women to buy and drive big cars, make sure you post a picture of yourself on social media, tag Ford South Africa and myself and hashtag #LiveTheRangeHerLife for a feature.
Also, I have just realised that Ford released the new Shamrock which admittedly looks a bit like the Thunder. A review will be coming soon or maybe never as the waiting list is usually long for these things.
The Thunder spots a Race Red 3D Thunder badging with 18″ alloy wheels- talk about breaking your bank when you get a puncture. As mentioned in my YouTube video, for the people who complain about how it would be so annoying to have things move around in the back, you can add accessories to your car such as a bed divider and protect your belongings, or just a cool finish with a shutter. I would personally get the shutter because an open air bakkie is vexing to me.
The bakkie also comes with a big red “THUNDER” embellishment on the side, as well as red trimmings on the grill. This continuity can be seen in the exterior on the seat covers as it is not just your ordinary 4×4. For slightly new-ish drivers like myself, prepare to test your parking skills as this beast is about 2179 mm long.
I enjoyed the off-road experience I had on the gravel road to St Helena Bay which is usually rough but because the Thunder is built for such a terrain, I felt nothing.
I quite liked that the seats had the Thunder continuity by having embroidery on the seats to continue the sporty finish. It is powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine, which delivers 157 kW and 500 Nm with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The standard Ford entertainment and connectivity for Android and Apple Car Play come with it. I still struggle with the navigation system but with time, it is something that one can get used to and learn quickly how to use most of the buttons the car has.
With lots of bakkie boot space, with which you won’t even know what to do, there is a lot more to go around as well in the car for front and back passengers. It is really about that space. If you are new to Ford, you will be a little confused on what to get as they offer a wide range of bakkies such as the Raptor and especially the Wildtrack. One thing you should know is that you will not be disappointed when it comes to Ford’s collection of cars!
Finally, it comes with automatic LED daytime lights and rearview camera, a 20,3 LCD screen and like always, the dashboard needs a little bit of time to get used to as you know, I am not one with buttons. However, the steering wheel button functionality always comes in handy when you def need it most.
Damage to your budget:
The new Ford Ranger Thunder comes with a 6-year/90 000 km service plan with intervals every 15 000 km. A 4-year/120 000 km warranty is offered.
2.0 BiT 10AT 4×2 R736 000
2.0 BiT 10AT 4×4 R787 000
3.2 TDCI 6AT 4×2 R711 600
The Thunder challenges you to test its limit, not because it is a bakkie but because of the accessories that it comes with. I wanted someone to ask me to help with moving house, so I could use the storage at the back and utilise the shutter a lot, but next time. I am not into the red lining on the front, I think I just needed to get used to it but everything else, Ford will always give you big d*ick energy aesthetics. The Ford Thunder is worth your coins!