What is it?
The Ford Ranger Platinum is the luxury flagship of the Ranger line-up. It follows the theme of its SUV twin, the Ford Everest, which saw a Platinum model range-topper introduced in late 2022.
On the outside, it's distinct in this exclusive Equinox Bronze colour, 20-inch wheels and detailing in the grille. There's also Platinum lettering across the bonnet, with ‘Matrix LED' headlights, too.
Taller buyers may spot the black-painted roof, which can be colour-coded at no cost.
While the Raptor is the chest-beating performance king of the Ranger line-up, the Platinum is the discerning, submissive luxury limo flagship.
Does it have any racing pedigree?
You may not expect it, but racing the clock, sort of. The Ford Ranger Raptor is the Finke Desert Race production record holder, having completed a single leg of the course in the 2023 edition of the legendary outback Australia race in 2:51:18.711s.
The very same Ranger also took class victory in scorching Mexico at the Baja 1000, too.
The Ranger nameplate will also make an appearance at the gruelling 2024 Dakar Rally with the goal to win the event – which has been ruled by the Toyota Hilux for the last two years – in 2025.
The Platinum, though, is the leather-laden opulent version – so no Perspex windows or competition roll-cage here – and doesn't possess the Raptor's coil-spring rear nor petrol V6.
Instead, the Platinum is all about maximum comfort and features.
What's under the bonnet?
The Platinum packs the superb Lion 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 that's optional in the Wildtrak that sits below it in the line-up and produces claimed outputs of 184kW at 3250rpm and super-meaty 600Nm from 1750-2250rpm.
It has a lineage back to the 2.7-litre in the Territory and is also used in the F-150 that's on its way here later this year.
Its make-up includes a graphite engine block, aluminium cylinder heads – all part of news when the Ranger and Everest were launched in 2022, and an engine we've already given plenty of praise.
Despite its muscular set of numbers, the V6 suits the Platinum, as it's silken around town, its quietness spot-on for a vehicle with a premium tilt – and it is barley recognisable as a diesel, given its refinement.
The throttle is easy to modulate – and while that may be intended to make towing easier, combined with the 10R80 10-speed auto and permanent four-wheel drive, it also brings smooth urban driving and even spirited country touring into the armoury of the Platinum's talents.
We know from other Rangers that this drivetrain has muscle, but the Platinum takes full advantage of its finesse for an impressive package.
The official fuel economy claim is 8.4L/100km on the combined cycle, so it's champagne performance for relative beer bucks for its capability at the pump.
How does it handle?
The major question that the Platinum needs to answer in the ride and handling area is staring you in the face: those wheels.
The Platinum sits on the same 20-inch alloys as the Everest Platinum (with a matching 20-inch spare), and while that may have struck fear into those looking for a plush ride only a few years ago, Ford has game here.
It's had 20s on the Everest Titanium – which the Everest Platinum replaced last year – since its 2015 introduction with suspension tuned with the larger diameter wheels in mind.
Similarly, the Ranger has a ‘Highline' suspension tune that been created for models running larger wheel sizes (18-inches upwards).
That means that the 20s, which were wrapped in 255-wide Goodyear Wrangler street rubber on our test car, provide a comfortable ride that sees small bumps quickly dealt with.
It's firm over bumps yet smooth in its primary ride, with little tyre noise.
Excellent body control means the Ranger can take a corner with confidence, too. It's not a sports car – at 48kg more than a Wildtrak to stretch to a 2388kg kerb weight – but it sits flat around corners better than it should and isn't a wallowing mess, with high levels of grip – in the dry conditions we sampled it in, at least.
That excellent suspension tune means that it the Platinum doesn't need to crawl over suburban speed humps to avoid neck-snapping moments, either; instead, it despatches them easily and efficiently.
From a supportive driver's seat – which is 10-way electrically adjustable, as is the front passenger seat – the driving position is excellent with great all-round vision. Again, the inherent traits of the Ranger line-up are evident when living with the Platinum.
The light yet not-so-feelsome electronic power steering allows you to place the Platinum relatively accurately on the road, too.
What also helps in the daily-driver stakes are those cameras – the colour monitors mean that the front-facing and 360-degree cameras that Ford pitched as off-road helpers are also a benefit when parking the Ranger in tight car parks.
Oh, and again – if you do take it off-road, there's all the tech that we've talked about on Ranger as standard, too.
Where would you most like to drive it?
We'd love to take this thing to the snowfields. While the Ranger has proven off-road credentials, the Platinum is more of luxury family car that eats miles, pavement and less so dirt. Its capability isn't diminished, but given its plush luxury push, it's more likely to be in the urban jungle than the back of beyond.
There are some practical additions – namely the tray's ‘Flexible Rack System' that allows you to move two crossbars to carry longer items – a long piece of wood, skis or a surfboard.
Push the key fob or dash-mounted button for the power roller shutter, and the tray also has the spray-in bedliner and of course a standard factory tow-bar to exploit the 3500kg tow rating.
That said, it'll surely be towing a caravan or a horse float, but its extra features and cost don't make it a Raptor junior – it's the comfort class Ranger. Expect three baby seats across the back of that quilted leather rear seat, too, on occasion. Three small snow hats, please.
What's the interior like?
The cabin really is where the Platinum's extra cost is most apparent. It's here that the bells and whistles stand out, with the quilted leather seating and Platinum embroidered backrests presenting a premium promise. That's followed through with the leather-wrap steering wheel and of course the digital displays that dominate.
In the centre stack, there's the 12-inch display that's impressed in the higher-spec Ranger and Everests already but look upwards and there's the 10-button auxiliary switch pack on the roof. There's also a 10-speaker B&O Play audio system as standard.
From the driver's seat, there's the 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster taken from the Ranger Raptor, with additional features including heated/cooled front seats, heated steering wheel and with stylish dark woodgrain appliques adding to sense of occasion.
In terms of practicality, the Platinum offers no less in terms of space and ergonomics as any other dual-cab, with ample space in both rows of seating, and a pair of ISOFIX points for baby seats.
Of course, there are nine airbags, and Driver Assist Tech to hilt – from Dynamic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist as well as Intelligent Speed Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition. That all adds up to Ranger's five-star ANCAP rating.
There are still some irks – the power window switches are too far forward for this reviewer but will be fine for others – as is the chunky shifter, which seems to need more attention that an old-fashioned T-bar.
How much does the Ford Ranger Platinum cost?
The only option on the Platinum is the colour, with the Equinox Bronze seen here exclusive to this model – albeit an additional $700 on top of the $76,990 MLP.
The price of the Ford Ranger Platinum at the time of launch is $76,990 plus on road costs. There are no options on this new flagship, so the only additional choice is the colour – with white at no charge, and the remaining palette $700 each.
Of course, you can spend more on accessories – including at the dealership with Ford's partnership with ARB.
Would I buy one?
The Ford Ranger is the class leader at the moment, so there's no better luxury dual-cab on the market. Whether it's worth the extra cash over the Wildtrak will likely be down to taste – it bins the orange hero colour and gaudy graphics for a more subdued, elegant psyche to match its extra kit and price premium.