Ford Ranger XLT 4×2 Automatic: Our New Truck in the Philippines

Our new Ford Ranger XLT

The Ford Ranger XLT 4×2 Automatic is our new truck in the Philippines. After not owning, or driving, our own vehicle since moving to the Philippines over five years ago we have finally purchased our own personal transportation. WHAT??? But wait a minute. Regular readers of Philippines Plus must be scratching their heads (or their butts, if you prefer), wondering why in the world we bought the Ford.  Didn’t I publish a post a few weeks ago regarding an initial unpleasant visit to the local dealership in Iloilo?

But after the Isuzu fiasco, in which we were told by our salesman that the Isuzu D-Max 4×2 Automatic we wanted was “available”, but hadn’t been shipped when we visited the dealer, I contemplated a return visit to Ford Iloilo to see if they still had their Ford Ranger Wildcat available in an automatic transmission.

My asawa learned to drive in the States at the age of 40 but only learned to drive an automatic. She had no desire to learn how to drive a manual transmission so it was necessary to purchase an automatic model. Smart guys listen to their wives (occasionally) and live by the maxim: “Happy Wife. Happy Life.”

Isuzu could not give us a firm date on a delivery. A new truck would come in handy since we were building our new home in Guimaras and could use the vehicle to help make deliveries of material to our construction site. Five years of squeezing into tricycles and jeepneys was wearing us down.

We were in Iloilo anyway to purchase my ticket to visit my Dad in the States. So I swallowed my pride and we took a taxi to the Ford dealer.

The salesman that had waited on us recognized me immediately. A kano stands out in Iloilo and our home province of Guimaras. I can never pass myself us as a Filipino. I asked the gentlemen if the Wildcat was still available. It wasn’t. Were there any Ford Ranger automatics in stock? There weren’t.

BUT, we could order a new truck in the color we wanted and it would arrive in two weeks. At 24,000 US Dollars the truck was 4,000 dollars cheaper than the Isuzu D-Max. While I still could not negotiate a lower price than what the salesman was asking, he did  throw in some perks for us.

The freebies he gave us, along with a $4,000 savings over the D-Max, and a firm delivery date, sealed the deal.

Have you ever met someone initially and get off on the wrong foot? Most of us have, I suspect. But I found our sales rep to be very helpful now and friendly and willing to help us out on the deal. We worked out our previous differences.

Ford Ranger XLT AT 4x2 in the Philippines


When we went to Iloilo yesterday to pick up the truck, after securing a Manager’s Check from our local BDO branch, we discovered our regular salesman was off that day; his daughter was getting married the next day. Mr. Freddie, seen in the first two photos, handed the truck over to us and explained all of the features to us in detail. We now have voice-activated features that I will have to learn how to work.

We took the RORO, Roll On Roll Off, Ferry from Iloilo to Guimaras but had one of the guys at the dealership drive to the RORO for us. I did not want any part of the Iloilo City traffic and since I don’t have my Philippine license yet, didn’t want to make the drive myself.

My asawa does have a Philippine license, but since neither one of us had driven for over five years, again felt it more prudent for someone else drive to the ferry for us Only costs 435 pesos, 10 bucks,   to haul it over and the trip to Guimaras took about 30 minutes.


Freddie and my Asawa at Ford Iloilo

Freddie filled in for our regular salesman


I did drive the truck off the ferry, per my asawa’s request, though in adjusting the seat and steering wheel, I accidentally flipped on the windshield wipers and couldn’t get the damned things turned off. So I drove off the ramp like a moron, wipers on, and pulled off in the ferry lot and actually looked at the owner’s manual to figure out how to turn the wipers off. I’m used to looking like a moron.

I drove a short distance and pulled into a local Petron station and handed the driving chores over to my wife. She did fine and we arrived home safely. We had my father-in-law, Lolo  come outside. When he saw the truck he exclaimed “Gwapo!,” “handsome.” We will use the truck to check out one of our relative’s fiestas this coming Saturday. Beats having to hop on a jeepney or tricycle all the time and we’re taking Lolo along.


My asawa and Lolo


My wife will do all the driving. That way I can consume a few adult beverages and won’t do anything stupid like drinking and driving and driving without a license. Plus, my asawa is a good driver and can negotiate our provincial roads without any problem.

While I’ve stated for years that owning a vehicle in the Philippines is not a necessity, it’s great to have the freedom to travel where and when we want in air-conditioned comfort. We do not plan to take the Ford Ranger to Iloilo City. We will drive the truck to a parking area near the Jordan Wharf where we catch our pump boat to Panay Island. Only costs 20 pesos a day to park. I have no problem using the jeepneys and taxi cabs in Iloilo to get around.

It makes no sense to spend 860 pesos on a round trip on the RORO and face the hassle of driving in big city traffic. This crusty old expat doesn’t need the stress. But we won’t have to hire a multi-cab now in Guimaras when we do our monthly shopping trip to Iloilo and that’s just fine with me.

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

24 thoughts on “Ford Ranger XLT 4×2 Automatic: Our New Truck in the Philippines

  1. Hi Dave looks a great deal and cheaper than the Isuzu,it will take awhile to get use to driving it thank your lucky
    Stars your not driving in Manila,sometimes you have to swallow your pride and go for the best deal really pleased
    For you both,on a side note went to immigration office yesterday saw a big line of people waiting was told they were
    Offline a little bit disappointed but what can you do just smiled and said I will come back next month,
    That’s life in the philippines allways look on the bright side of life as montyPython put it ,
    Derek in pasig.

    1. Yes, Derek, quite a bit cheaper and we got some perks, so my asawa and I were both quite pleased.

      Sorry, you have to return to Immigration. I spoke to a couple of expats the other day and they did not have to fill out that four page form or get a confirmation number online to do their Annual Report. Like me, they only had to fill out their name and ACR card number on my personal record like I have done for years (aside from last year.)m

  2. Dave,
    What a sharp looking truck. Really like the color. I think you will be much happier with the Ford than the Isuzu. We stopped by the our Ford dealer last week. The only truck they had in stock was a 2014 White XLT for 1.1M. No 2015’s yet. On the way home there was a truck carrying 2 Wildtraks to the dealer. The only freebie the dealer would give was free seat covers. What freebies did you get? The voice activated features sound neat. It nice to have freedom to go where and when you want.

    1. Thanks, Papa Duck. The Freebies? Window tinting. Floor mats. 10 liters of gas. And one that the salesman asked me not to disclose because it is the only time the sales manager has authorized it. I will send you an email because I have to honor his request.

  3. Hi Dave
    Congratulations on the purchase. We Kiwis like Fords. I know what you mean about not wanting to drive in cities. I think I could drive in Guimaras, but I would never drive in Manila or Angeles City. Bigger problem for me than you, because in NZ we drive on the left hand side of the road.

    1. Thanks, Murray. Yep, you’re right. We Yanks already drive on the right side and since the Philippines has adopted a lot of the culture from the States, I’m glad they use the right side to drive on. Truth be told, as you know, Murray, people here, including Guimaras, drive on BOTH sides of the road whenever it is convenient for them, regardless of oncoming traffic.

  4. Dave, it’s wise thinking not to bring your new truck to Iloilo City. Anyhow, commuting is not a problem in the city due to abundance of taxis and jeepneys. Besides heavy traffic cost you fuel and stress. Not worth it. My present work horse a 1997 Ford Ranger with 245,000miles on it is still dependable. Happy Driving.

    1. Good to hear about your Ranger, Rey. That’s pretty good mileage. Yep, why bother with the stress of driving in the big city? I know my limitations and have no problem using the jeepneys or taxis in Iloilo. My asawa and I both know our way around in Iloilo fairly well so it’s no problem finding the right jeepney to take.

  5. Dave, congrats on your new truck. I understand you not wanting to drive in Iloilo, I just drove there four days ago for the first time driving in the Pilippines. By the time I got from Grand plains sub to SM City my nerves were shot to hell.
    Two days ago I drove over to Guimaras without a problem.
    BTW I stoped over at Camp Elfredo at three pm to have a cold SMB with you, met your Ausi friend and had a good chat.
    Happy trails.

    1. Yves, we lived in Savannah Subdivision over in Pavia for two years. There is absolutely NO WAY I would driven from our subdivision to SM City.

      I sincerely apologize for not being at Camp Alfredo, Yves. For reasons I cannot explain on this website, I no longer go to Camp Alfredo. I deleted my previous post about Camp Alfredo.

      I will be in Iloilo City later this month and will meet up with my American friend, Rease. I will send you an email or feel free to add my on Facebook and I will contact you in advance. The beer’s on me. Hope to see you soon.

  6. Dave your now FORD TUFF! “Get her Muddy Buddy”.
    222,564 on my 2003 F-150! She’s dependable, great looking and asks for very little. Just like my lovely Aveline. There’s a country song in there somewhere.

    P.S. Please no muddin’ in the rice boxes. I still may use them.

    1. Already get her dusty, Tom Cat, but Melinda wiped down the truck this morning. The vehicle’s in her name only so I better not piss her off if I want a ride.

      Yeah, you might have a potential country hit there, Tom. One of my favorites is “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?”

      Dawg, the Boss would never let me mud in the rice fields, at least not on “The Farm.” But the new property? You never know what a guy can do after quaffing a few bottles of Stallion. 🙂

  7. To quote Cousin Eddie, “that’s a good lookin’ vehicle.” Congrats!

    However, I would like to hear your thinking about buying a new truck. I have only owned new cars over the past 20+ years but think that when I get to PI I would most likely buy used, both for cost reasons and since the last thing I want is to stress out about getting dinged. So what was your reasoning?

    1. Peace of mind and cost, DaveW. We looked at a couple of car lots but the cost of a used vehicle, AT truck, even five years old, was only about 400-500 thousand pesos cheaper than the Ranger. Peace of mind since we have a 100,000 kilometer/3 yr warranty on the truck.

      I just didn’t want to bother with a used vehicle and any potential problems it could bring. Even Sam Walton from WalMart drove around a beater, a used truck, and I know the value of the vehicle drops as soon as you drive it off the lot. I have bought new vehicles for years, like you, and decided for us, personally, that was our best choice.

      Frankly, a person really doesn’t need their own vehicle in any part of the Philippines I have traveled. Our purchase was mainly for convenience and it will come in handy to haul stuff to our new construction site.

  8. Very nice!!!!How does it feel to be mobile again? Hope it will stay looking as nice as it does in the pictures for years to come. Other articles I read about guys buying cars there, from what I remember, the price was set, and non-negotiable unlike here, where everyone pays a different price based on your negotiating skills.

    The ignition key look like a real bitch to carry around though, maybe you or your wife can wear it like a necklace.

    1. Well, Bill S, it feels pretty good. We hauled some recyclable crap to my wife’s other house, where the local scrap lady visits and we took the whole crew to a fiesta out of town. It really is nice having our own set of wheels again.

      Yep, that key contraption is big but I was delighted that the annoying “chirp,chirp,chirp” noise is gone when we lock or unlock the doors now.

      OK, OK, Bill, I thought of your comment again and it dawned on me you were talking about the big key in the lead photo. That’s what happens when you get old. 😉

  9. FoundOnRoadDead, FixOrRepairDaily, just kidding, great looking truck. I drive in and around Manila a lot, sort of like bumper cars with really big cars, loads of fun. Hopefully driving in your neck of the woods will be a bit less stressful.

    1. Yeah, this is the first Ford we have ever owned, Tony. My Dad and my Grandpa were GM, Chevy guys. I’m really going against tradition by buying the Ford.

      Guimaras versus Manila. Man, there is no comparison. The biggest thing to look out for in Guimaras are the carabaos and cows alongside the road and jeepney and trike drivers that stop in the middle of the road without warning. There is absolutely no way I could drive in Manila; you’re a better man than me, Tony. 😉

    1. Thanks, Pantera. Well, we do intend to explore more of the Philippines once our house construction is done but we will keeping the Ranger close to home. Too stressful for this crusty old expat to take it elsewhere. 😉

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