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The 2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max dual-cab 4×4 ute is one VERY mean and capable-looking off-road vehicle! But how will it stand up to family life? Let's find out when we give it our BabyDrive testing…

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Well, first stop is installing two of our Infasecure child seats in the Ford Ranger.

I am totally converted to Utes. I think it should come as part of the becoming an Australian test, instead of questions about cricket or the Premier there should be questions like “Name the two most popular Utes!!!” or “When and how do you let down the tyres on a Ute?” It would be much more useful for everyday life in Australia!!

There are ISOFix and top tether anchorages for the outer two rear seats. This means you can only install two child seats in the Ford Ranger using top tether straps, which is a shame for those who need to carry three children in child seats, but an increasing reality as only the Amarok and Navara remain with three top tether anchorages (and the Navara's is questionable).

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD with 2 child seats installed in the back row

I installed the Infasecure Aspire More forward-facing and the Infasecure Attain More child seat rear-facing. I found I could JUST sit between the two child seats or I could put an Infasecure Versatile folding booster seat there because its super-lightweight design means it does not require a top tether anchorage.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD with 3 child seats installed in the back row

Installing the child seats in the Ford Ranger was actually a lot easier than I usually find it in utes. The top tether anchorages are behind the seatback, which makes them tricky to access and correctly tighten the top tether straps BUT the process was much easier because these have solid metal anchorages that connect directly rather than the fabric loop type arrangements in a HiLux, D-Max/BT-50 and Navara.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD top tether child seat anchorages in the second row

The difficulty with all utes is there is no space behind the headrest and rear window so in the Ford Ranger, the whole rear seatback folds forward and you can reach down the back to connect the top tether straps, but when you put the seat back up into position there is insufficient space to adjust and tighten the top tether straps, especially on forward-facing child seats. The rear-facing Attain More seat was easier because the adjuster is on the side so it's easier to get it sufficiently tight.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD legroom with rear-facing child seats installed in the second row

Legroom is a little cramped in the Ford Ranger ute. We found with rear-facing child seats installed, we could fit a 186cm passenger in front. Or on the driver's side only a 170cm driver would fit in front of a rear-facing child seat.

There are no aircon vents in the back of the Ford Ranger, which does make it tricky to keep the cabin at the right temperature for rear passengers. There is a 150watt socket and 12V socket in the back of the central console box, which are great for camping.

Storage is good throughout the cabin of the Ford Ranger, with two cup holders in the back.

The door bins in both the front and the back will hold a refillable water bottle.

In the front, the cup holders comfortably hold two coffee cups.

There is also a generous glove box and central console box too.

The tray of the Ford Ranger FX4 Max will carry multiple prams if you need it to! I found it will hold 26 shopping bags when empty, which is one more than the Nissan Navara that holds 25 bags, three less than the Isuzu D-Max, and four less than the Mazda BT-50 and Mitsubishi Triton that hold 30 shopping bags.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD tray space for shopping with two rows of seats in use

The Bugaboo Bee 6 slides nicely into the side of the tray with room for 22 shopping bags beside it.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD tray space for single stroller pram and shopping with two rows of seats in use

Looking to buy a new car? Our partner OnlineAuto knows which models have the quickest delivery times and offer a hassle-free, haggle-free buying process that helps you get the best deal possible. They'll even deliver your new car direct to you with a full tank of fuel! Learn more: BabyDrive.com.au/OnlineAuto

The New Bugaboo Donkey 5 twin pram will fit neatly in the tray of the Ford Ranger FX4 Max with the seats attached or removed and 13 shopping bags.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD tray space for shopping with tandem stroller pram if two rows of seats are in use

The New Bugaboo Donkey 5 Duo pram will fit neatly in the tray of the Ford Ranger FX4 Max with the seats and bassinet attached or removed and 12 shopping bags.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD tray space for shopping with tandem stroller pram if two rows of seats are in use

The New Bugaboo Donkey 5 mono pram will fit neatly in the tray of the Ford Ranger FX4 Max with the seat and basket attached or removed and 16 shopping bags.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD tray space for shopping with compact pram if two rows of seats are in use

The New Bugaboo Donkey 5 mono pram will fit neatly in the tray of the Ford Ranger FX4 Max with the seat and basket attached or removed and 17 shopping bags.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD tray space for shopping with compact pram if two rows of seats are in use

Or you can fit any size family dogs in the tray of your Ranger FX4 Max!

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD tray space for dogs with two rows of seats in use

To learn more about the Bugaboo prams used in this review you can go to the expandable “Storage” section below.

The Ford Ranger FX4 feels very over-confident on everyday roads around town and suburbia but I found that with the big chunky all-terrain tyres it fishtails a lot in the wet. However, when I took it off-road, the Ranger was in its element and that confidence was shown in spades as it proved itself very capable.

The visibility is very good in the Ranger, you sit so high that visibility is great out of the front and sides and out of the back even with child seats installed.

2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Trend 4WD with 2 child seats installed in the back row

The turning circle is very good too which makes manoeuvring and parking easy for such a big ute.

The media system in the Ford Ranger FX4 Max dual cab-ute is quite basic and easy to navigate.

You can control the climate quite easily through the media screen too.

It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is great for easily accessing your phone's navigation, communication and audio apps while driving.

The reversing camera image is quite small and pixelated for such a large ute but you can turn the parking sensors off easily in the central console.

There is a good seatbelt visual in the driver display screen so you know exactly who has their belt on!

The Ford Ranger scored a five star ANCAP safety rating back in 2015 and a new model is due to be released later this year. This model Ranger comes with six airbags as standard.

 

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BabyDrive Indepth

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Looking to buy a new car? Our partner OnlineAuto knows which models have the quickest delivery times and offer a hassle-free, haggle-free buying process that helps you get the best deal possible. They'll even deliver your new car direct to you with a full tank of fuel! Learn more: BabyDrive.com.au/OnlineAuto

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