A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited on an epic adventure with Ford South Africa. Myself, together with a whole bunch of super cool travel and lifestyle bloggers were flown out to George, and spent the day putting the new Ford Ranger Auto through its paces. The goal; to see how much fun you can have in this beast!
And so much fun was had!
I’m talking real fun! We drove the new Ford Ranger Auto around on highways -to see how it would perform every day-, we drove it up and down the Vleesbaai Sand Dune 4×4 Route -to see how much fun you can have on the weekends-, and then we took it on a 2-hour “scenic route”, going through bumpy, gravel roads that you’re likely to encounter on an epic road trip through South Africa.
I already love the look of the new Ford Ranger and it’s super cool that the Automatic option is available.
Hubby just got his new Ranger a few months ago, and was kicking himself that he missed out on the Auto option.
For me, since I’m more an adventure seeker rather than a skilled driver, having an automatic “off road” vehicle is the best thing ever! You don’t need to worry about clutch control or stalling over bumpy roads (or in this case, ramming the sand) – you just drive and let the New Ranger Auto do all the hard work!
My Driving buddy for the day was Ryan and I’m so glad we teamed up together. While I freaked out about flying- literally flying up the sand dunes, behind the wheel of the New Ford Ford Ranger Auto, Ryan was full of support, cheering me on from the back seat! Never mind the fact that he’s a super skilled driver and talented photographer, which means I got some really cool action shots of the day. Thanks Ryan!
You’ve probably already seen this shot that Ryan snapped of me up on my instagram channel. You know, little old me sandboarding like a pro. Haha! I know I look like I’m having a blast – which I totally was, not only thanks to the Western Cape’s signature windy welcome, but the look on my face is the result of fear, exhilaration, freedom and fun all rolled into one massive, uncontrollable grin!
Sandboarding was such an awesome experience, and I wrote up a little “doodle” – which is my version of a travel diary entry – which you can read about on my second blog, Dimi Doodles.
On todays blog post, I’m going to tell you more about the New Ford Ranger Auto and the driving experience.
So let’s go and remember to fasten your seat belts!
I’m a girl, so the colour of a car DOES matter to me! Not that all ten colours that the New Ranger comes in aren’t gorgeous, but I had my eye on the blue!
She’s called Performance Blue and it is probably the colour I’d choose if I was lucky enough to be a Ranger girl!
With a bit of luck and some teamwork from my driving buddy, we got the keys to the beautiful blue baby and I wont lie, I was kinda tempted to drive off in a different direction and head back to Jozi with my new wheels! Yeeeahhh!
Instead, I jumped into the drivers seat, Ryan in the back seat, our Advanced Driving Instructor, Marcel sitting shotgun, and off we went to have some fun with the Ranger.
It was pretty cool to be part of the Ranger Entourage. Can you picture it? A convoy of Rangers in all the colours driving behind each other? It made me feel kinda important.
On the highway, I drove the Ford Ranger Auto 2.2L 4×2 which has loads of power and plenty of street cred! It drives like a dream; comfortable, effortless and when I pushed it, it responded!
When we arrived at Vleesbaai, we parked the Rangers and split into two groups. Half of us, including myself, went sand boarding while the other half took the New Ranger Auto 4×4 vehicles on the Sand Duning route.
While the New Ranger Auto 4×2 is capable enough to handle highway driving, gravel roads and few basic bumps, when it came to going up the Sand Dunes, we switched to the New Ranger Auto 4×4. Same 2.2L engine, same power, just the added benefit of 4 wheel drive (as apposed to 2 wheel drive).
When the second group returned with smiles plastered on their faces, Ryan and I jumped into the New Ranger Auto 4×4 in Copper Red (my second fave colour choice) together with Marcel. Once again, being the greedy little Ranger girl I was, I took the drivers seat.
In all honesty, I thought we we’re still on the way to where we were going to 4×4 up the dunes, until Marcel said “Ok Dimi! Remember, you need momentum! Put that foot flat”.
HUH? What do you mean? Now?
“Yes Now” said Marcel and before I even had a chance to piece together what was happening, my foot was flat on the accelerator and I flew up the dune, going up and over it, lIke a pro.
WOW! This Ranger has some serious power for a 2.2! I’m impressed, but what else can it do?
Apparently a lot of epic climbing!
The dunes got higher and higher, windier and windier and the Ranger just eased up every one.
The only really scary part was approaching the dunes and seeing the size of them from the bottom. That, and trying to control the steering on the steep curves that waited at the top.
At one point, and one really large sand dune monster, I freaked out. I wanted to chicken out, but Marcel, cool as a cucumber calmed me down. More like insisted that I could do this! I had to!
It was happening. My heart pounding hard in my throat, making it difficult to breathe. I watched as the Ford Ranger in front of me flew up the dune and it only made my heart pound harder.
“Ok Dimi, Go, Go, Go!” and my foot flattened the pedal, sending my Ranger roaring up the scary dune like it was nothing but a walk in the park!
Such an awesome ride, such an awesome day, such an awesome experience, and such an awesome Ranger!
I think the scariest part of 4x4ing on Sand dunes is how different it is to normal 4x4ing terrain; which its mostly control, ease and steady climbs over rocks and muddy pits. Sand Duning was a flat out, gunning the engine in a formula one style pull off!
It gets very scary when you first go up, and since you are driving like a speed demon, once you level out, the steering tends to go bonkers. The impressive thing with the New Ford Ranger Auto, was how quickly it corrected itself.
There were a few instances where my imagination went overboard, picturing me flying off the side of the dunes, rolling backwards and flipping like a movie stunt. But being Built to Perform, the New Ranger Auto was right at home.
Ryan and I on the Dunes. Photo by @LeratoLb
Lerato and I on the Dunes. Photo by @mylimeboots
An epic capture, early before the adventures fro our hotel. Photo by @justinleephotos
All in all, the New Ranger Auto is a comfortable, impressive, highly powered car that you can expect to have loads of fun in!
Get the full specs, pricing and all the options for the New Ranger up on Ford’s website.
Thanks so much to Ford for the fun!