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Ford Ranger Stormtrak Special-Edition Review — A Bakkie with Extra Bite?

With a 2-litre bi-Turbo engine & loads of added extras, this range-topping bakkie offers plenty of bang for your buck.

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Thanks to its highly successful special-edition versions of its most popular vehicles, Ford is quickly making a name for itself as a brand that celebrates individuality. Designed to give the customer more features as well as additional design elements to set their vehicle apart from the base models in the line-up, Ford’s special-edition versions often prove to be a popular choice with consumers who want to stand out.

No Ford derivative has done a better job at offering desirable special editions than the Ford Ranger. The brand enjoyed great success with its popular recent limited-edition model, the Ranger Thunder, launched in 2020. Based on the popular Ranger Wildtrak, the Thunder added distinctive styling and enhanced functionality to the much-loved Wildtrak base.

Now, Ford is giving Ranger customers even more choice with the special-edition Ranger Stormtrak. Also based on the luxuriously appointed Wildtrak, the Stormtrak has continued the success of Ford’s Ranger Thunder, becoming a popular choice for South African bakkie lovers. The Ranger Stormtrak builds on the strong foundation set by the Thunder by introducing even more striking visual enhancements and convenience features to Ford’s generously specified bakkie.

More bakkie for your buck

With distinctive design elements and additional convenience features, the Stormtrak is for the consumer who wants more out of their bakkie experience. The special-edition Ranger pick-up adds exclusivity to the range with its distinctive upmarket style that is sure to turn heads.

If you want a bakkie that stands out from the rest of the Ranger line-up, then you’ll get that in droves with the Stormtrak’s outlandish design elements. Distinctive exterior Stormtrak features include a striking black mesh front grille with red inserts, black decal accents for the bonnet and doors, 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels, as well as custom 3D Stormtrak decals on the front doors, as well as on the rear tailgate.

The vehicle also comes in four Stormtrak colour options, including a vibrant new ‘Lucid Red’ to complement the red accents throughout the Stormtrak model. If red isn’t your colour then you can also choose from Sea Grey, Frozen White and Blue Lightning.

Inside the Stormtrak, you’ll get even more for your money with premium interior design elements and features. This includes leather seat trim with red stitching and a Stormtrak logo on the front seat backrests. The signature Stormtrak red stitching also runs across the dashboard upper, steering wheel and gear lever. Illuminated scuff plates complete the look and remind you that you’re riding in style every time you step into your vehicle.

Living the Ranger life… With added convenience

But, the added features don’t end there. You’ll also get enhanced security and practical features with the Stormtrak. The pick-up comes fitted with a Power Roller Shutter for the rear load compartment, an adjustable bed divider, as well as black roof rails — making loading and carrying cargo more convenient than ever before. These simple added features make the Ranger’s bed infinitely more useful in an urban setting.

The Power Roller Shutter and load bin divider are probably the most noticeable added features in terms of day-to-day practicality. Whether you’re doing a grocery run, going away for the weekend, or hauling garden refuse to the depot, the Stormtrak’s cargo management system makes it a breeze. Drivers can electronically open or close the protective metal shutter over the load bin to securely stow cargo out of sight. Plus, compared to the manual roller shutter (which can be locked only in specific predetermined positions), the Power Roller Shutter can be securely locked in any position. Lastly, an anti-pinch feature helps to prevent injury or damage when the shutter makes contact with an object.

Rolling the motorised shutter open and closed is super easy with a dedicated button located on the dashboard, next to the steering wheel. Bespoke buttons on the key fob and inside the load bin add to the overall convenience of the system, plus, the tailgate locking mechanism being integrated into the vehicle’s central locking system gives you the ability to lock or open your entire vehicle with the press of a button.

Even better, Ford’s EZ lift tailgate makes accessing the load bin a cinch. An incorporated torsion rod helps to reduce the initial lift force required to raise the tailgate by about 70%, making it feel incredibly light in your hand when opening and closing the tailgate.

The load bin divider is also super easy to operate. The divider easily rolls backwards and forwards on a rail to create spaces that suit various cargo sizes. Your groceries, cooler box, or luggage aren’t going anywhere with this special solution designed to keep your stuff from sliding up and down the load bin when you’re on the move. Of course, being able to electronically close the shutter also adds security, keeping your cargo safe from the elements and sticky fingers.

Smart features for tech lovers

Not just a pretty face, this car is also pretty smart! As with the Ranger Wildtrak, the Stormtrak features Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system with embedded navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a nifty USB charging port located in the rearview mirror, for easy fitment of a dash cam.

Ford’s innovative FordPass functionality allows owners to remotely access numerous smart features from their phone – such as remote and scheduled starts to either cool or heat the cabin. Stormtrak owners can also use the smartphone app to check their vehicle’s fuel level, oil life status, tyre pressures, and mileage. A handy vehicle locator feature and Roadside Assistance (with access to Ford’s 24-hour emergency Roadside Assistance) round up the FordPass experience.

As if that’s not smart enough, the Stormtrak practically drives itself! The vehicle comes with an extensive list of innovative active and passive safety systems and driver aids, such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Forward Collision Alert, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid, and Driver Alert System, making long country drives or navigating urban roads in a large vehicle easier than ever before.

The new Stormtrak also features Ford’s innovative Semi-Automatic Parallel Park Assist (SAPPA) to take the hassle out of parallel parking. The vehicle uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers to search for parking spaces that are big enough to park the vehicle, and alerts the driver when a suitable spot is found. The system then steers the vehicle into the slot using electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and sensors. All the driver needs to do is operate the accelerator and brake, and select the appropriate gear as prompted by Park Assist.

A bakkie with a little more vooma

While the engine power of the base model Ford Ranger Wildtrak is nothing to sneeze at, the Stormtrak offers customers a little extra oomph under the hood to bring it in line with its range-topping status.

Powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine, which produces 157kW and 500Nm, the Ranger Stormtrak is a beast. Paired with a smooth-as-butter 10-speed automatic transmission, the Stormtrak offers a responsive drive with impressive fuel economy for a vehicle with such a large engine.

The Stormtrak is exceptionally quick off the mark and offers an incredibly fun and easy drive. After spending a week with this vehicle, it’s obvious that the Stormtrak isn’t just a bakkie, it’s a lifestyle. With this vehicle in your garage, you’ll be itching to explore and hit the open road as often as possible. It is a supremely comfortable vehicle to drive and is ideal for anyone who lives an adventurous life with plenty of road trips. The vehicle’s advanced driving features, comfortable seats, and easy steering make long drives to a weekend holiday destination an absolute pleasure cruise for any driver.

The Ranger Stormtrak is available in 4×2 (R815,100) and off-road ready 4×4 model (R874,100) models.

All new Ford Rangers come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included which covers six services (recommended service interval of 15 000km or annually).

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