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2024 Ford Ranger Platinum review (video)

The biggest showdown in the monthly VFACTS sales report is between the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, both tousling for top position every month.

This extends to a tit-for-tat clap back to match almost every model in each contender’s range. With Toyota’s well-sorted HiLux Rogue receiving a recent overhaul with lots of Australian input, Ford has seen fit to respond with a luxurious Platinum version of its new Ranger.

Ford has used the Platinum badge on USDM products such as the Expedition for a while now, as well as the Everest wagon, which shares much with the Ranger. The class-leading Ranger provides a solid foundation for a luxury version. The question is: how does it stack up to its arch-rival and does it offer enough for its price to be top-dog of the tradie mob?

2024 Ford Ranger Platinum: Specifications

Engine: 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6
Output: 184kW@3250rpm / 600Nm@1750-2250rpm
Gearbox: 10-speed auto
Drive type: Part-time RWD/4WD
Wheels: F & R: 20×8.0, 255/55
ANCAP: Five stars
Tare weight: 2324kg
Power-to-weight: 12.63:1 (kg:kW)
Official consumption: 8.4L/100km
Our consumption: 9.6L/100km
Fuel tank/Fuel type: 80L/Diesel
Power efficiency: 21.90kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 3.84 seconds*
0-100km/h: 8.25 seconds*
60-110km/h: 5.75 seconds*
1/4 mile: 16.07 seconds at 142.0km/h*
Max acceleration: 0.599g*
100-0km/h braking: 45.15m in 3.59 seconds*
Max deceleration: -1.195g*
Decibel at idle: 46*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 74*
Starting price: $78,190

*Figures as tested by Driving Enthusiast on the day. Manufacturers’ claims may be different

2024 Ford Ranger Platinum: How much does it cost?

At $78,190 before on-road costs, the Ranger Platinum is the plushest and most premium offering in the Ranger ladder. The price includes a five year/unlimited distance warranty, roadside assistance and capped-price servicing at up to four years or 60,000km, with each visit set at $379. Intervals are 15,000km or 12 months – whichever occurs first.

With a fuel consumption rating of 8.4L/100km, the 80-litre tank would cost around $162 to fill. This is based on the median NSW price of diesel right now, at $2.03/L. This equates to a cost of $2652 to cover 15,000km – or $2995.19 with our on-test average of 9.6L/100km, including some heavy right foot action and an off-roading component.

2024 Ford Ranger Platinum: Interior & packaging

Externally, the Ranger Platinum is marked out by distinctive 20-inch alloy wheels, matrix LED headlights, jewelled grille and the Flexible Rack System (moveable sports bar) that can slide to the back of the tray for a Plymouth Road Runner style spoiler.

An electrically-sliding tonneau cover keeps goods hidden and secure, with a 12V socket, tie hooks, and other handy features such as side steps and storage helping with practicality. Like its arch-rival, the Toyota HiLux Rogue, the electric tonneau mechanism occupies a little bit of space towards the cabin, but unlike its main foe, there is no marine ‘carpet’ lining.

The Equinox Bronze colour of our example, a $700 option, successfully elevates the appearance, in our view. It comes with a black contrast roof but this can be colour-coded at no extra cost. A 976kg payload shows there’s been no impact to the utility of this pickup.

What really sets the Ranger Platinum apart is the interior, with quilted leather seats adorned with a ‘Platinum’ logo, as well as heating and cooling functions, and a heated steering wheel.

It is certainly a plush place to be, with a high degree of seating comfort and adjustability, plus reach-and-rake steering adjustment. Material quality is mostly good, save for some areas underneath the dash – but it’s perhaps a bit unfair to criticise this in a workhorse-derived vehicle.

The centerpiece is a massive 12.4-inch tablet-style touch-screen, which, despite its complex menus, offers a crisp and modern interface. The cabin’s design is further enhanced by elegant dark ash woodgrain accents and blue ambient lighting, adding a touch of elegance. However, unlike the Everest Platinum, there is no sunroof.

Operating the infotainment system is a mostly user-friendly affair, thanks to the plethora of knobs and buttons for volume and climate control. A ‘home’ button has been added for MY24, but it is still a bit confusing the way every screen slides in and out, in our opinion. Thankfully, there are voice commands at your fingertips. There are no complaints about the B&O 10-speaker sound system, however. All your favourite summer bangers are reproduced with crisp clarity and a nice bass kick, if that’s your thing.

A length of 5370mm, width of 1918mm and height of 1884mm gives the Ranger Platinum an imposing silhouette, but a capacious 3270mm wheelbase gives a nice trade-off between cargo volume and accommodation for five adult passengers, including ISOFIX child seat anchorages.

How safe is the Ford Ranger Platinum? On the subject of safety, the Ranger performed exceptionally well in the ANCAP-conducted crash test, netting a full five-star result, reporting excellent child occupant protection (93%) and good safety assist technologies (83%). You can read the full ANCAP report here.

2024 Ford Ranger Platinum: Powertrain & handling

The Platinum is only available with the new-to-Ranger 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, making 184kW at 3250rpm and 600Nm from 1750-2250rpm, tied to a 10-speed auto. It is very refined with a pleasant note and only a faint hint of diesel clatter at times.

Even off-boost, this is a strong performer with a responsive and flexible nature, although there isn’t much in the top-end – to be expected for a workhorse. Left to its own devices, gear selections are intuitive, but it is unfortunately afflicted with Ford’s weird push-button selection for manual mode on the side of the shifter.

Around town and at highway speeds, there is an ever-present feeling of solidity, agility (for its size) and refinement. The suspension absorbs bumps well at all times, considering it uses leaf springs for the live-axle rear, and it transmits little noise into the cabin, except a faint hint of wind on the motorway. In other words, it acquits itself well in the NVH department.

We’ve said it before, but the current-gen Ranger is best-in-class when it comes to handling. You can punt it into tight or flowing corners and it demonstrates a deftness that belies its mass. It has very good road manners for a vehicle of this type. With the stability control off, you can surf the minuscule turbo-lag and induce predictable oversteer at the limit on the dirt, and you can even lock the rear diff while remaining in RWD – there is a faint spirit of Aussie engineering we used to love in Falcons and Commodores here.

Is the Ford Ranger Platinum good off-road? With a range of selectable off-road terrain modes and lockable rear differential, none of the Ranger’s off-road credentials have been sacrificed in the pursuit of luxury. The highway terrain tyres are the weakest point, but these can obviously be swapped for more rugged options if you’re serious about off-roading.

Here are the vital stats for the rock-crawlers out there: 234mm of ground clearance, an approach angle of 30 degrees, 21-degree break-over and 23-degree departure angle. There is also an array of auxiliary switches in the overhead console for those who wish to customise their Ranger with aftermarket accessories, such as lightbars and winches.

All of the ADAS systems including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), speed limiting, autonomous cruise control, front and rear cross-traffic alert and lane-keep assist benefit from thorough calibration – this is one of those rare vehicles where you don’t feel the need to turn them off, as they aren’t intrusive or overly sensitive.

Manoeuvrability is helped by surround cameras and sensors, meaning car park scuffs are easily avoidable. You can tow up to 3500kg (braked), with integrated trailer brake controls in the dash. Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is 3300kg, while the gross combination mass is 6400kg. Subtract the 2388kg kerb weight and the 3500kg towing max from the GCM and you’re left with 512kg for passengers and cargo. That’s a decent result for this class.

2024 Ford Ranger Platinum: Key attractions/reasons to buy

  • Impressive touch-screen: The massive 12.4-inch screen stands out for its size and crisp graphics, with little compromise to functionality. We have to give the instrument panel a massive tick here too, with its ‘Built Ford Tough’ animation at startup, and different backgrounds depending on driving mode.
  • V6 power and torque: The 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 is both robust and effortless to drive, providing torque for days without being too gruff at idle or feeling strained or stressed. This is the idle choice for towing.
  • Luxurious interior: High-quality materials and ambient lighting create a premium cabin atmosphere in the Platinum. It’s the most refined variant in the range.
  • All-terrain readiness: A plethora of driving modes, rear diff lock, and a ‘4A’ mode for AWD-style grip (suitable for tarmac driving) give the Ranger excellent all-round versatility.
  • Flexible Rack System: This is yet another feature that shows Ford has done its research and gathered up proper feedback from customers that actually use their Ranger for work and leisure.

2024 Ford Ranger Platinum: Key considerations before you buy

  • Complex touch-screen: While impressive in depth and graphics, navigating the menus can be challenging, especially while driving, but voice control ameliorates this to some extent.
  • Pricey: Its high price tag might be a deterrent for some buyers. In fact, it is one of the most expensive utes currently on the market.
  • V6 performance isn’t as strong as you might expect: Depending on your expectations. It’s only about 1 second quicker from 0-100km/h than some of the 2.0 bi-turbo variants. Strong torque is very handy for towing, though.

2024 Ford Ranger Platinum: Video

How does it rate against its rivals?
  • Price
  • Quality look & feel
  • Interior tech
  • Powertrain performance
  • Ride & handling
  • X-factor (does it stand out in its class?)

Final word

Although it’s getting up there for price, the Ranger Platinum takes what was already the most sophisticated ute in its class and adds a tangible layer of luxury and refinement. The Platinum adds to Ranger’s already impressive list of versatile and practical options, without diminishing rugged usability. Should you buy one over the Amarok Avventura or HiLux Rogue? Those two are formidable adversaries, so drive them all and check dealer availability.

Mitchell Jones

Eccentric car nut and just as enthused by roasting an egg on the air cleaner of an old Hemi as he is hunting the horizon in a space-age electric supercar, Mitchell's passion for motoring started at a young age. He soon developed a meticulous automotive obsession for obscure facts. He joins Driving Enthusiast as a features writer and car reviewer, following a near 10-year stint at PerformanceDrive.

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