/ 16 June 2024

Ford’s Platinum has style and substance

Ford Ranger Platinum 090
Ford Ranger Platinum

Ford has been on a double-cab Ranger assault lately, offering 17 derivatives on its catalogue. 

The budget-friendly-ish, bare-bones models start at a relatively competitive R522 600, with the Ranger Raptor filling the top spot with a price tag of R1 266 700. Shock, horror and disbelief at the audacity of asking that much, but considering what you’re getting, it’s pretty much a bargain. 

Then there’s the Ranger on this  page — the most expensive derivative you can buy that can’t ramp —the American-mouthed Platinum. 

Ford Ranger Platinum 108
Ford Ranger Platinum

So, for R1 120 100 — R106 600 less than the dune-taming Raptor — what do you get for your money? 

Well, the Platinum badge, while considered new in the local context, save for the Everest Platinum, has been slapped on range-topping derivatives of the Ford Explorer, F-150 and Super Duty in the US of A. 

It comes with a mesh grille, a silk chrome-finish horizontal grille bar and Platinum badging on both the bonnet and front doors. 

At the rear, the load bin gets the styling hoops and side rails found on the Wildtrak, along with an electronically operated roller shutter which, surprisingly, is an add-on feature. 

The Platinum also gets Ford’s Matrix LED lights with auto high-beam headlights, which automatically toggle to full-on brightness when no oncoming headlights are detected. While it works well for the most part, the auto high beams occasionally struggle to distinguish faraway static lights from those of an oncoming vehicle. 

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On the inside, the Platinum distinguishes itself from the Wildtrak with diamond-pattern quilted leather seats and a Platinum badge, as opposed to the stitched insignia that we Saffers typically like. It also gets ambient lighting, black maple ornamental strips and aluminium trim. 

As is the case with other high-end Fords, the Platinum has the 12.4-inch, fully digital instrument cluster with scrollable screens, which give a clear readout of driving information. 

In the middle, there’s the now-familiar 12-inch tablet-style screen, which serves as an entertainment and function hub with mostly seamless Android Auto, bar a few lost connections over our testing period. 

It’s also home to the exterior camera control module, with easy switching to this layout, which is useful, especially when manoeuvring into a tight parking space. 

While the tablet style is growing on me, I believe a lot of pixel space is wasted on features such as climate control, which has unnecessary amounts of white space relative to the small screen toggle buttons. 

Finally, the Ford Ranger Platinum comes with a 400W inverter with both 240V and 12V power outlets for charging portable devices. 

This is a nice feature list — but how does it drive? Considering that it’s a bakkie, it’s surprising just how polished its driving characteristics are. 

Ford Ranger Platinum 135
Ford Ranger Platinum