3000km later: Update on the new Ford Ranger Thunder

• Wheels24 has covered more than 3000km in its Ranger Thunder test vehicle.

• The bakkie had covered various types of terrain, including tar and gravel.

• Average fuel consumption is rated at 10.6-litres/100km.

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The first month with our Ford Ranger Thunder has come and gone. Almost like a bolt of lightning, it was over before we knew it. But our Ranger Thunder, though, had quite the opening stint.

The bakkie arrived just a few days before a cross-country track from Cape Town to Johannesburg and back. It would have been ideal to drive the new arrival on this journey, but our transport was already arranged and everything planned. Fortunately, Wheels24 editor, Janine van der Post, drove the bakkie over those first few days and made good use of its workhorse capabilities.

Like the rest of the Ranger line-up (excluding the differently set-up Ranger Raptor), the Thunder is fitted with leaf springs at the rear, which makes it ideal for hauling cargo around. Virtually nothing could deter the bakkie, and it carried out its tasks with aplomb.

Van der Post says: "The sliding sliding tonneau cover can be rather daunting if you've never used one before. But a quick search on Google showed it's easy to use. 

"The luggage divider is also nifty to use and came in handy when we needed to buy some soil and plants for our garden project. You can adjust the divider to the space you require in the load bay and keep luggage and/or items safe from rolling around. We used the space to put some small plants behind the divider and several bags of soil in the front to keep it from damaging the fragile plants in case it fell over.

"The Thunder is a very attractive bakkie and there are constantly fans wanting to take a closer look. And I'm always happy to oblige." 


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Not holding back

In the month that we've been driving the Thunder, more than 3000km have been added to the odometer. From leisure drives to all-out road trips, the Thunder failed to call time on any journey.

One of its longer sojourns was a trip to Plettenberg Bay - little more than a week after its arrival. Five passengers were transported in complete comfort, while the luggage was safely stowed away in the back. A nice touch is the sliding tonneau cover. It only opens when you insert and turn the key and tug on the rope, while the tailgate opens when the bakkie is unlocked. This is especially nifty and gave ample peace of mind when the Thunder was parked and unattended.

On the return leg, we detoured through some mountainous roads, but the bakkie soldiered on and ate the kilometres for breakfast. Gravel and tar, the Ranger Thunder didn't buckle once.

READ: Cape Town to Jozi, and back in two of Ford's top model Rangers

Quick stats:

Ford Ranger Thunder bi-turbo double cab 4x4

Price: R787 000 (October 2020)

Engine: 2.0-litre diesel, bi-turbo

Power: 157kW @ 3750rpm

Torque: 500Nm @ 1500rpm

Gears/Drive: 10-speed automatic, 4x4

Fuel economy: 10.6-litres/100km

Km on arrival: 4620.5km

Km now: 7968.4km

Distance covered in the first month: 3347.9km

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