Ford has introduced a new Ranger variant in Thailand, and the FX4 MAX isn’t just an XLT given the usual dress-up treatment. The version gets plenty of mechanical improvements, enough to make it sort of a Raptor “lite.” At 1.19 million baht (RM159,380), it’s perfect for buyers wanting most of the mod-cons from the higher-end model without having to fork out the extra dosh.

The changes start with the engine. Where the previous FX4 edition came with a Puma 2.2 litre TDCi VGT turbodiesel engine offering 160 PS and 385 Nm, the FX4 MAX is equipped with a 2.0 litre EcoBlue twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel as seen on the Raptor and WildTrak. The Bi-Turbo unit, which delivers 213 PS and 500 Nm of torque, is paired with a Ford 10R80 10-speed automatic gearbox with SelectShift manual override.

The suspension has also been given a boost with the inclusion of Fox monotube dampers offering a two-inch lift, in essence following on the off-road package seen on the US FX4. There’s a new 29 mm front stabiliser bar, and the rear dampers feature a sub-tank to improve off-road performance. The kit offers the FX4 MAX a 20 mm higher ground clearance than the XLT, at 256 mm.

Unlike the previous FX4, which rode on 18-inch wheels, the MAX rides on 17-inch alloy wheels, shod with all-terrain KO2 BF Goodrich 265/70 tyres.

Of course, there are dress-up bits, with grey a running colour theme on components such as the front grille and door handles, and the front/rear bumper and side mirrors are finished in a Bolder Grey scheme. The variant also gets a matte black roll bar, off-road metal side steps with a black anti-slip finish and dedicated front/rear wheel arch cladding. The FX4 MAX also makes the transition to LED projector headlamps.

Inside, the FX4 package for this one includes Alcantara leather upholstery with carbon-pattern accent strips and an embroidered FX4 MAX logo on the front seats. Another visible highlight is a bank of six auxiliary switches housed on top of the dashboard. Working in tandem with a 250A alternator, the switches allow owners to connect accessories such as a hoist and spot lights in a tidy manner.