If you’ve been hankering for a Ford Ranger but wished that it came with a bit more Wildtrak presence, here’s the Ranger FX4 – a 2.2 XLT with unique trim inside and out, which we’ve had an early look at ahead of its official release on April 20.

Mechanically, this Ranger is the same beast as before, with 158 hp and 385 Nm of torque from the 2.2 litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. Ditto the drivetrain, comprised of a six-speed automatic transmission sending drive to a driver-selectable all-wheel drive system, with low range and hill descent control.

Here, the FX4 sets itself apart with an overall darkened visual theme – at the front sits a black painted grille in place of the standard XLT chrome unit, while the same gloss black scheme is applied to the side mirror casing and door handles. In terms of hardware, the FX4 gains roof rails (absent on the XLT), while the chromed side step bars have been replaced with wider, flatter units akin to the Wildtrak’s.

Joining the ranks of darker-toned items are the 18-inch double six-spoke wheels of a new design, while matte decals add subtle contrast to the bonnet and the tailgate. Inside, black leather upholstery adds some plushness to the 2.2 XLT’s interior, with ‘FX4’ embossed into the seats.

Elsewhere, it’s standard 2.2 XLT fare, with a reverse camera and rear-view monitor function integrated into the 4.2-inch SYNC screen. The same, therefore, goes for equipment – auto halogen headlamps, auto rain-sensing wipers, manual climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather steering wheel, and four-way manual adjustment driver’s seat feature here. Dual airbags and stability control, too.

The Ranger FX4 can be had in Meteor Grey and Aluminium Metallic, and is priced at RM121,888 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM127,688 in East Malaysia; prices are on-the-road estimates without insurance. What do you think of the FX4 kit?