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Ford Ranger 2024 review: Platinum


Daily driver score

4.1/5

Tradies score

4.1/5

Back in the ‘60s, Land Rover decided to combine the humble station wagon with an off-road 4WD, to create the first Range Rover.

This was the original luxury SUV. And the one that has set the standard ever since.

Now, Ford is trying to do the same with the Ranger Platinum – the first luxury mid-sized dual-cab ute, if you ignore the short-lived Mercedes-Benz X-Class. Which most people did.

So, in a class currently on its own, does the “Ranger Rover” convince? Let’s dive right in.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The super Ranger lives up to its name by kicking off from a super eye-watering $78,190, before on-road costs.

That’s nearly $6000 more than the Wildtrak V6 diesel, though nigh-on $10K cheaper than the V6 twin-turbo petrol-powered Raptor. At least this version looks the part.

And the Ranger Platinum does come with its own special features.

Ford has gone down a very-American luxury-car makeover route, so there is the showy ‘Silk Chrome’ grille, fancy Matrix LED headlights that can see through corners, 20-inch alloy (though with no additional wheel arch flares), a new bronze metallic choice and a no-added-cost black roof option to help your neighbours think you’ve bought the Fairlane of Rangers – though that paint effect is lost on our all-black test vehicle.

Ford has gone down a very-American luxury-car makeover route, with the showy ‘Silk Chrome’ grille. Ford has gone down a very-American luxury-car makeover route, with the showy ‘Silk Chrome’ grille.

Furthermore, the Platinum scores a much-wider digital instrument cluster (12.4 inches, like the Raptor’s), cooled as well as heated front seats (with memory setting for the driver), a toasty steering wheel, pre-installed auxiliary switch panel for accessories, 10-speaker premium audio and pleated leather trim to help swish things up inside.

Out back, the tailgate has a classy soft-drop-open action, while there’s a segment-first slidable tub rack system for long roof loads, as well as roof rails with nifty swinging roof racks. Out back, the tailgate has a classy soft-drop-open action, while there’s a segment-first slidable tub rack system for long roof loads, as well as roof rails with nifty swinging roof racks.

Out back, the tailgate has a classy soft-drop-open action, while there’s a segment-first slidable tub rack system for long roof loads, as well as roof rails with nifty swinging roof racks. That’s quite a spec upgrade.

But is it $6K’s worth, since the cheaper Wildtrak also scores the Platinum’s electric front seats (but minus the memory), along with its 12-inch central touchscreen, ambient lighting, adaptive cruise control, a trailer brake controller, powered roller shutter, zone surround lighting, 360-degree camera, auto park-assist, pull-out dash-end cupholders and side steps?

The Platinum scores a much-wider digital instrument cluster (12.4 inches, like the Raptor’s). The Platinum scores a much-wider digital instrument cluster (12.4 inches, like the Raptor’s).

Never mind. The extra kit comes on top of the keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, leather-wrapped steering wheel, wireless smartphone charger, traffic-sign recognition tech and an Off-Road screen displaying 4WD activation and related settings.

And, like all Ranger dual-cab models, the Platinum’s safety is impressive, offering a raft of driver-assist tech. More on all that in the safety section.

About the only obvious omission is a sunroof. Do utes even come with those? And possibly a gold-plated nudge bar with new gen Ford Ranger in LEDs!

21-inch wheels. 21-inch wheels.

Is Platinum good value or not then? Objectively, no, because it is so expensive.

But, subjectively, you need to consider that the Ranger’s considerable feel-good factors, from the evocative Tonka Truck styling and interior’s comfort, space and functionality, to the promise of off-road adventure. And that’s not taking in the pride as the sole Australian-designed and engineered vehicle (along with Everest). These are premiums worth paying for, if you can afford them.

So, we get it: Wildtrak for action, Platinum for sophistication. Two sides of the same Ranger coin.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

There isn’t much that’s subtle in the new Ford Ranger up-front, and even less so given the blingy Platinum accessories that are fitted.

You cannot miss the big chrome letters spelled across the bonnet’s forward edge. And on the lower front door panel. And high on the tailgate. All that’s missing is a Lincoln badge embossed inside the tail lights!

Our black example really highlighted the striking Matrix LED headlights and broad-stroke chrome application vividly, with the jewelled-effect grille especially standing out.

You cannot miss the big chrome letters spelled across the bonnet’s forward edge. You cannot miss the big chrome letters spelled across the bonnet’s forward edge.

The Platinum also wears the most attractive alloys out of all the Ranger grades. They add the necessary class and fill those arch flares out nicely. The same goes for the roller shutters, which are fast becoming the tonneau cover of the 2020s, along with the swing-away roof rack set-up.

Speaking of which, Ford’s so-called ‘Flexible Rack System’, which slides in several positions longitudinally along the length of the tub, is a segment-first innovation for now. Perfect as a ladder rack or for carrying a water tank.

For those with very long memories, in its rearmost position, the look harks back to the XW Falcon Surfer Roo GS ute show car of the late 1960s, with its unique fixed rear bar.

The Platinum also wears the most attractive alloys out of all the Ranger grades. The Platinum also wears the most attractive alloys out of all the Ranger grades.

These are genuinely useful additions if you’re using the flagship Ranger for work, and a far cry from the aftermarket accessories that used to pass for ‘luxury’ in bygone utes, like a bonnet protector, floor mats, rock sliders, bonnet scoop, weather shields, dash mat, canopy, lift kit, mag wheels, towing mirrors, snorkel kit, seat covers and other off-the-shelf items.

Overall, then, the Platinum’s visual additions bring a freshness to an already well proportioned ute. We like. But does the same apply inside?

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

The big macho ute look outside carries through inside all Rangers.

But the Platinum does go some way in dressing all that up, in much the same way as a tuxedo can really tidy-up a tradie.

Ford says the dash is “Everest-inspired”, with vinyl-like material featuring stitched edges covering the top part, while two sizeable gloveboxes, plenty of chrome trim and some surprisingly classy wood-like appliques do imbue an upmarket feel.

Ford says the dash is “Everest-inspired”, with vinyl-like material featuring stitched edges covering the top part, while two sizeable gloveboxes, plenty of chrome trim and some surprisingly classy wood-like appliques do imbue an upmarket feel. Ford says the dash is “Everest-inspired”, with vinyl-like material featuring stitched edges covering the top part, while two sizeable gloveboxes, plenty of chrome trim and some surprisingly classy wood-like appliques do imbue an upmarket feel.

Speaking of which, monogrammed and pleated leather “accented” seats do seem incongruous in a workhorse, but that’s the point and it all gels together nicely.

The rest is regular Ranger.

This means a low dash dominated by a 12-inch portrait touchscreen in the middle and that 12.4-inch digital instrumentation cluster ahead of the driver. Note that there is no head-up display – which you probably don’t need anyway, since you’re perched up pretty high.

Driver vision is commanding as a result, aided by a surround-view camera display that totally takes much of the guesswork out of parking and reversing the Ranger. Nose, tail, aerial and side shots, all in decent definition. Makes manoeuvring this beast child’s play.

  • 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Seats 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Seats
  • 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Seats 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Seats
  • 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Seats 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Seats

Though it wasn’t bad in the previous model, finding the right driving position is now easier thanks to the adoption of a telescopic- as well as tilt-adjustable steering column. 

As we’ve banged on about before, today’s Ranger really nails the basics, with superb ventilation (thankfully accessed via physical knobs even though they’re mirrored in digital form immediately above in the lower screen area), ample storage dotted all around the cabin and easy reach of most switches and controls. 

Speaking of which, the Platinum uses an electronic auto transmission selector (no manual is available nowadays, sadly), which is neither as intuitive nor as fast as a good old shifter as found in the lowest grades. It can be fiddly to engage the desired gear. And having a thumb-operated manual mode is even weirder to use. Please, give us paddles or a Tiptronic-style lever every time.

  • 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Boot 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Boot
  • 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Boot 2024 Ford Ranger Platinum I Boot

It takes a moment to familiarise with that vast touchscreen. There’s a lot to unpack, too, since everything from climate, sat-nav, radio and other multimedia to vehicle settings including off-road functionality and even the owner’s manual are all placed there. But learn the hot keys and finding what you want is logical and fast, without diving into more than a single sub-menu.

Plus, Ford’s SYNC 4A multimedia system remains one of the world’s best, with largely accurate voice-control functionality. And – unlike with other Ranger and Everest test cars – ours wasn’t glitchy. The Platinum also offers USB-A and USB-C outlets, along with wireless charging and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Let’s talk about space, because today’s Ranger is the best of the mid-sized utes for seating five people.

Up front, there’s excellent comfort and support, backed up by the welcome heating/cooling elements and a memory setting for the driver’s side. We’ve spent hours now sat in these, without ache or fatigue.

The rear bench, meanwhile, benefits from sufficient room in all directions, and provides pretty much all the amenities you might expect, including USB ports, face-level air vents, door bins and cupholders in the centre armrest (that is really tricky to release).

But we have yet to find a truly comfortable cushion and backrest in such utes, as they tend to be hobbled by space restrictions imposed by packaging limitations. The Ford’s is probably the best of a bad bunch, but any illusions of fatigue-free luxury and opulence back there is pure fantasy. It’s not like you can recline or stretch out too far, as your headrest is jutted up against the back window.

Under that back seat is limited storage.

Further back, there’s the ute bit, with an electric roller shutter and that Flexible Rack system that can be moved easily. It works in conjunction with the roof racks with crossbars that swing out of the way to dramatically cut down on wind noise at speed.

Reaching into the tray from the side is helped by unique steps integrated on either side of the rear wheels, while the Platinum’s tailgate has a soft drop and lift assistance. The space it reveals is vast, with room for a standard Euro palette. There’s surround lighting, a 12V outlet, hooks and sliding cleats to help secure loads. A moulded bedliner floor has ridges to locate items better, and the tailgate includes two clamp pockets to secure project materials.

A full-sized spare wheel is slung underneath the floor.

Keep in mind that the 2388kg Platinum’s GVM is 3300kg and towing capacity is 3500kg braked. Payload is 912kg (down from 966kg in Wildtrak) and ground clearance is 234mm.

What a far cry from the old days when the Ranger was a single cab workhorse! 

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission?

For now, the Platinum is only available with a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel with intercooler, delivering 184kW of power at 3250rpm and 600Nm of torque at 1750-2250rpm.

What a difference compared to the hoary old 3.2 engine as found in the previous-gen Ranger!

A 10-speed torque-converter automatic transmission sends drive to the rear wheels in most cases, unless the electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive system is engaged.

A rarity in this class, it offers a full-time all-wheel drive that varies drive to the front or rear wheels as needed. Drivers can also dial up 4x4 High or 4x4 Low ranges, that lock in the 4WD system if you need to go bush.

For now, the Platinum is only available with a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel with intercooler, delivering 184kW of power at 3250rpm and 600Nm of torque at 1750-2250rpm. For now, the Platinum is only available with a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel with intercooler, delivering 184kW of power at 3250rpm and 600Nm of torque at 1750-2250rpm.

There are also six driving modes: Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul and Slippery for on-road driving, and Mud/Ruts and Sand for off-road use. Each change the engine throttle, transmission, braking, traction and stability control software to suit the environment.

Speaking of which, an electronic rear differential lock is included, which can be activated via the SYNC 4A multimedia screen, for improved off-road traction.

Interestingly, being a Ranger and not a Raptor, the suspension out back remains leaf sprung, instead of coils. This is a body-on-frame medium-sized truck, after all.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?

Our time with the Platinum V6 diesel revealed interesting consumption figures.

Officially, it should average 8.4L/100km (for 222g/km of CO2 emissions), which roughly averages out to 950km from the 80L fuel tank capacity. Our trip computer hovered around the 9.8 mark, but when we refuelled, we averaged 9.5.

Officially, it should average 8.4L/100km (for 222g/km of CO2 emissions), which roughly averages out to 950km from the 80L fuel tank capacity. Officially, it should average 8.4L/100km (for 222g/km of CO2 emissions), which roughly averages out to 950km from the 80L fuel tank capacity.

Keep in mind that while that included mostly inner-urban and highway driving with the air-con on and two occupants, there was no towing or off-roading and only light loads being carried. We did engage the 4-auto AWD in bad weather, though.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

Many top-of-the-line models are burdened by the added weight of extra equipment (especially oversized wheels), ultimately ending up over-promising but under-delivering.

Keeping in mind that we’re talking about a mid-sized ute here, and in the context of comparison with other such trucks, perhaps the biggest surprise about the Platinum is how true it remains to Ranger values.

Even if it does seem overpriced.

We admit to fearing the worst beforehand, after concluding that the Everest Platinum equivalent with its glitzy 21-inch wheels is just too firm and unyielding. And that was with a coil-sprung rear suspension system, as opposed to the Ranger’s cruder leaf-spring arrangement.

But – and we’re talking about only-bitumen and not off-the-beaten-track driving here – the Platinum is as well-rounded as any of its acclaimed stablemates. And that speaks volumes of the talent that the Australian-led design and engineering team that put this truck together for the world to possess.

Let’s start with the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel.

Yes, it’s a shame Ford didn’t squeeze a bit more muscle out of it given the Platinum’s prestige aspirations, which means your poshest Ranger makes the same 184kW and 600Nm as the lowly (and, crucially, lighter) XLT V6 version.

Still, as far as medium utes go in Australia, it still is as good as you get.

What’s lively is the Ranger’s comparatively excellent dynamics, thanks to nicely weighted and direct steering, that inspires confidence with its resulting feedback and control. What’s lively is the Ranger’s comparatively excellent dynamics, thanks to nicely weighted and direct steering, that inspires confidence with its resulting feedback and control.

Step-off acceleration is brisk if not quite as breakneck as you might expect, with minimal lag, and keeps up the pace strongly, offering instant oomph at speed for prompt overtaking. Despite some fears of the contrary, the 10-speed auto shifts unobtrusively, making sure the right ratio is selected most of the time. There’s plenty of poke when you need it.

Ford must have added extra sound deadening ahead of the firewall, because the Platinum is also well insulated from diesel noise and clatter, even under heavy throttle, keeping the upmarket image alive.

What’s also lively is the Ranger’s comparatively excellent dynamics, thanks to nicely weighted and direct steering, that inspires confidence with its resulting feedback and control. No ute we’ve ever driven is quite as car-like – and, better still, Ford-like – as this when cornering fast. Again, the Broadmeadows team seem to have performed a minor miracle creating a truck that behaves so benignly.

Credit must also go to the people who have made the driver-assist systems so nuanced and progressive, highlighting the importance of Australian road tuning. We reckon the Ranger is ahead of most modern passenger cars and SUVs in this regard. The safeties stay alert, not alarmed.

Ford has managed to keep the dynamic and refinement integrity of the Ranger intact, despite the extra weight and bigger wheels that the Platinum brings. Ford has managed to keep the dynamic and refinement integrity of the Ranger intact, despite the extra weight and bigger wheels that the Platinum brings.

Which brings us back to the Platinum’s ride quality. Shod with Goodyear Wrangler Territory HT 255/55R20 rubber, its suspension impressed us with suppleness and isolation, elevating the truck to a point where that substantial price premium could be justified on comfort alone. That there’s a ladder-frame chassis and live rear axle going on underneath makes this achievement all the more startling.

So, in summary then, Ford has managed to keep the dynamic and refinement integrity of the Ranger intact, despite the extra weight and bigger wheels that the Platinum brings.

More power would not go astray as flagship grades often do bring such things with them, and we’ve already complained about the fiddly gear lever. But there’s very little else to whinge about.

From a driving perspective at least, the Ranger luxury flagship promises and delivers.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

Tested in 2022, ANCAP awarded the new generation Ranger a five-star crash-test safety rating, scoring especially highly for child-occupant protection, while also doing well for adult and safety assist.

To that end, there are nine airbags – including two knee airbags and one between the front-seat occupants, as well as side and full-length curtain items – along with a whole raft of driver-assist tech.

The latter includes AEB and lane-departure warning/assist with road-edge detection, evasive steer assist, cross-traffic warning, adaptive cruise control with full stop/go and active lane centring, traffic sign recognition, active park assist, driver-alert system, post-impact braking, tyre-pressure monitors and blind-spot monitoring that can be extended to the trailer or caravan that’s being towed.

The AEB for pedestrian, cyclist and backover works day or night and between 5km/h and 80km/h, and car-to-car AEB ranges from 4km/h to 180km/h, while the lane-support systems work from 60km/h to 180km/h.

Other safety gear includes electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist, hill start assist, roll-over mitigation, traction control and trailer-sway control are also fitted.

Auto Matrix LED headlights with cornering function, auto high beams, a 360-degree camera and front/rear parking sensors are also standard.

Finally, two ISOFIX latches and a pair of anchor points are incorporated into the rear seat.

The Ranger seems to be quite a safe truck, then!

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

Ford offers a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, with five-years roadside assistance… that’s pretty average nowadays, and behind the longer warranties offered by Mitsubishi, Isuzu, GWM, LDV and others.

Service intervals are at 12 months or every 15,000km.

A fixed-price service scheme is available. Owners will pay $329 for the first four general services for up to four years or 60,000km, whichever occurs first.

Some Ford dealers also provide free loan vehicles, which is handy.

So, is the Platinum the “Ranger Rover” of its class?

Considering that the Ford handles, steers and – most importantly – cossets consistently better than any other rival ever tested, then the answer has to be yes.

But there’s the rub, because these attributes are also available across the whole Ranger range from XL up, and almost everything the Platinum charges extra for is, well, tinsel. Or, at the very least, not super-necessary. Great if you can afford it, though.

That said, if you can, and truly desire a suitably tarted-up truck that shimmers and shines as well as hustles, handles and rides, then why not?

There’s nothing else like it on the market right now.

$78,190

Based on new car retail price

Daily driver score

4.1/5

Tradies score

4.1/5
Price Guide

$78,190

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.