Home on the Ranger
3rd February, 2011
- All-new Ford Ranger Double Cab has 23 practical stowage spaces in its cabin – the biggest number
in its segment
- The deep centre console bin can keep up to six beverage cans cool with a duct blowing cold air
from the air-conditioner
- Engineers found innovative solutions to convert unused space into viable storage areas while
overcoming the challenges of designing a utility truck that will be sold in 180 countries
The engineers behind the all-new Ford Ranger have been thinking out of the box.
Not only can the Ranger swallow any number of things in its cargo box, the Double Cab model has
23 stowage spaces in its cabin – more than many rivals – which can store a wide number and variety
"We are very passionate over every millimetre," according to the package supervisor,
Product Development, Ford Australia, David Stanley. "That’s the difference between a good car
and a great car – lots of attention to every last millimetre."
Door pockets can easily fit 1.5 litre bottles while the glove box is big enough for a 16 inch
laptop computer! A separate driver’s glove box provides greater accessibility to items such as a
can of soft drink, sunglasses, a wallet or keys.
The 8.5 litre centre console bin – also the largest in the segment – helps keep up to six
beverage cans cool with a duct blowing cold air from the air-conditioner. It is big enough to hold
CDs, 600 millilitre bottles and take-away food containers. The console bin also has an upper tray
to store a mobile phone, wallet and coins.
At the back, the rear seats fold up to reveal storage bins for items such as tools, rope, 4x4
The seats also fold down to store items such as a jack, a tyre inflator, a one-litre oil bottle
and a first aid kit. On selected models, the centre armrest in the rear seatback folds down and
includes two cupholders.
Engineers have chased down every spare millimetre in the cabin to deliver a truck that is not
only one of the most spacious in its class but also has the most amount of practical stowage
Instead of succumbing to the easy solution of making something bigger whenever an engineering
problem cropped up, they relentlessly squeezed out every millimetre to reduce wasted space.
The Ranger made its world premiere last September ahead of its third quarter release this
Search for space
With cupholders and seatback pockets that hold bulky street directories becoming run of the
mill, Ford engineers constantly look out for "dead spaces" that can be converted into useable
The rear of the centre console bin had quite a lot of space free under the double opening
console bin lid and tray hinge. The engineers had not originally planned to put a storage area
there but the space was for the taking. So they put in a pocket that could fit a wallet, a mobile
phone or an MP3 player.
In other instances, a clever bit of innovative thinking actually converted a design feature
into a viable storage space. A slight recess has been put into the top of the instrument panel
as a design feature. But by putting in two small ribs across the recess, it became an area which
could hold an office pass or other small items.
One of the biggest challenges in designing a truck that will be sold in 180 countries across
five continents was having to satisfy the legal requirements in each country. Finding a place to
store the fire extinguisher – a safety requirement in many countries – was a prime example. Each
country had specific stipulations on the size and location of the fire extinguisher, resulting
in numerous different, and sometimes contradictory, requirements.
The engineers looked at storing it along the tunnel but it took up too much legroom. They
thought of putting it inside the glove box but that would not leave much room for anything
In the end, they tucked it underneath the glove box. Ergonomic research showed that it did
not affect people getting in and out of the car and the position was also accessible enough for
smaller-built drivers to reach over and release the fire extinguisher in an emergency.
"The number of storage spaces is becoming a key why-buy with more customers using their
truck for both work and family," Stanley said. "We intentionally went for the biggest
spaces wherever we could. Where the competitors could fit only smaller bottles, we could fit
"We went all out to make sure the all-new Ford Ranger is class-leading in stowage. And we