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Sime Darby Auto Connexion has expanded its pick-up truck line-up with the double introduction of the Ford Ranger XL Lo-Rider and Single Cab variants. Both new models wear the entry-level XL trim, and are priced at RM69,999 and RM71,888 respectively (on the road prices inclusive of insurance, for private registration in Peninsula Malaysia).

Ford’s new working class heroes fit under the recently launched Ranger 2.2 XL Manual to form the base of the Ranger family. Both get the same downtuned Duratorq TDCi 2.2 litre diesel engine with 120 PS and 285 Nm of torque paired with a five-speed manual gearbox – 5 PS, 35 Nm and one gear less than in the Ranger 2.2 XL Manual, itself 25 PS and 55 Nm short of the variable geometry turbocharger-equipped 2.2 XLT variants.

Reasons behind the lower outputs have not been disclosed, but one may assume that it’s for optimum long-term longevity in light of the vehicles’ intended long-term heavy-duty use. Losing the tall sixth gear means the fuel efficiency falls from the XL Manual’s 8.1 to 8.9 litres per 100 km, while also falling short of the theoretical 1,000 km range Ford claims for other variants.

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The Ranger 2.2 XL 4×2 Double Cab Lo-Rider gets a simpler and lighter rear-wheel drive set up with a 65 mm lower ride height. Standard tyres are smaller too: 215/70 R16 items versus the 255/70 R16 rubber used on other 2.2 litre models. Downtuned as it may be, the Lo-Rider is significantly more powerful than the Mitsubishi Triton Lite Turbo and the old Ranger Low Rider.

Keeping the four-wheel drive system and 200 mm ground clearance of more expensive Rangers, the new 2.2L XL 4×4 Single Cab boasts segment-leading towing capacity of 2,500 kg, 300 kg more than the Lo-Rider. The rear cabin makes way for a massive 1,341 kg payload (Lo-Rider takes 1,087 kg, both class-leading figures) and a cargo bed that’s over half a metre longer.

There’s not much in the way of equipment and safety, as Ford is obviously focussing on utility and affordability here. Airbags, ABS, EBD and BA are all missing, as they are on the RM79,888 Ranger 2.2 XL Manual too. Still, if you’re looking for a no-frills workhorse, you can do a lot worse than these two.