Ford Ranger XL Sport


There are probably few areas as beautiful as the Cape Winelands, which made for the perfect setting to test-drive the 2021 Ford Ranger XL Sport 4×4.


  • All new Ford Rangers come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120’000km comprehensive warranty, 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance, and 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty.
  • All Ranger XL models are fitted with a tow bar as standard equipment.
  • The Ranger XL is powered by Ford’s proven, economical 2.2-litre four-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine.
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The Ford Ranger with its optional XL Sport pack is a budget-conscious, entry-level double cab bakkie with a bit of muscle – one of three editions launched by Ford, which took The Sandton Times from seaside to mountain views for a week in the Western Cape.


At a highly competitive price point, the Ford Ranger XL Sport has left out a few favourites to make this happen, including leather seats and automatic climate control. Yet if you are able to forgo these features then you are one step closer to being part of the bakkie community, thanks to this release by Ford.


Ford Ranger XL Sport
The Single Cab and SuperCab models are available in two and four-wheel drive specifications mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic in the 4×2 derivative. The Ranger XL Double Cab can be specified in 4×2 or 4×4 versions, with both available in manual or automatic. Image: The Sandton Times

The Ford Ranger XL Sport had us torn between an entry-level, accessible bakkie for entrepreneurs, businesses, or young families needing a little cross-functionality, and releasing a car of this size without some key features – more on this in a minute.


With a 2.2l diesel motor – 118kW and 385Nm torque – it certainly isn’t the most powerful in the Ford line-up but can tow up to 3’500kg. From a features perspective, the Ford Ranger XL Sport has most of the basics including Bluetooth (which connects remarkably fast once getting into the car) as well as USB charging slots, a Wi-Fi hotspot, touch display screen, and steering wheel controls.


Ford Ranger XL Sport
Visually, Ranger XL models equipped with the Sport Pack are distinguished by an eye-catching gloss black grille that replaces the plain black version used on the standard models. Image: The Sandton Times


  • Compared to its German counterparts, the Ford Ranger XL Sport makes owning a bakkie way more affordable.
  • It’s a work-horse that hasn’t stripped out all the luxuries.
  • The Ford Ranger XL Sport has generous interior space.



  • With a car this size, it’s somewhat bizarre and frustrating that the Ford Ranger XL Sport has no park distance control sensors or parking guidance.
  • Without a secured canopy or lockable after-market solution, there isn’t really an ideal space to place luggage (except the backseat) when heading out of town for a weekend away.
  • There is no built-in satellite navigation or cruise control function that comes with this model.


There is no doubt the Ford Ranger XL Sport is a sound ride, with its automatic transmission, comfortable seats, and the basic features covered – barring one or two. It’s certainly not the Wildtrak, Thunder, or Raptor but for those wanting a foot into the bakkie world, it’s a mean contender.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

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