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Ford has reintroduced the Ranger FX4 to South Africa after revealing the aesthetically enhanced version of the conventional XLT in Australia two years ago. Once again positioned between the XLT and the Wildtrak, the FX4, like the pre-facelift model, rates as an appearance package instead of being the off-road focused designation it is on the North American Ranger and F-150.

A limited edition like before despite the Blue Oval not revealing the exact amount, the FX4’s exterior revisions over the XLT consists of model specific multi-spoke black 18-inch alloy wheels, redesigned red FX4 decals on the tailgate and at the base of the doors, the same grille as the Thunder albeit without the red accents, standard LED headlights, black mirror caps, a binliner, the so-called Easy-lift tailgate, a black tubular sports bar and side steps.

Inside, the SYNC 3 eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes as standard, but does without satellite navigation as per the XLT. Aside from dual-zone climate control, Hill Launch Assist, Trailer Sway Control, Roll-Over Mitigation, dual USB ports, a reverse camera, rear parking sensors and push-button start, unique to the FX4 is red stitching on the dashboard, steering wheel and gear lever, FX4 branded headrests and FX4 floor mats.

Up front, the FX4’s biggest departure from its predecessor is a change in powerunit with the eschewing of the 3.2 TDCi five-cylinder engine for the single-turbo 2.0-litre that produces 132kW/420Nm instead of 147kW/470Nm. Hooked to the General Motors co-developed ten-speed automatic that replaces old six-speed unit, drive is routed to the rear wheels as standard, or all four in the case of the four-wheel-drive model.

Available in five colours; Frozen White, Agate Black, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey and Race Red, the FX4 is priced at R618 900 and R687 900 for the four-wheel-drive, a premium of R30 000 over the XLT. A four year/120 000 km warranty and five year/90 000 km service plan is standard on both.

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