If you're looking for anything with a manual and four-wheel drive, your options are pretty much limited. These days, you're pretty much relegated to pickups because the only SUV with those features is the Land Cruiser Prado, which costs a pretty penny.
However, 4x4 manual pickups are usually top spec models. So what if you want something a little more affordable but not bare? Ford answers that with their latest addition to the Ranger lineup; the XLS Sport.
Now, the Ranger XLS has always had the option of a manual combined with four-wheel drive. But with the XLS Sport, it gets a bit of a visual upgrade to make it less like a work truck and more upmarket. For starters, it gets a set of 17-inch alloy wheels from the XLT. There's no chrome to be found here too, as the XLT Sport has its grill and rear bumper finished in gloss black. If anything, it looks rather imposing in our eyes.
The XLS Sport may be at the lower end of the Ranger lineup, but it isn't bare. It comes standard with SYNC, Ford's infotainment system, and even cruise control.
While you don't get Raptor amounts of power under the hood, the Ranger XLS Sport has the familiar 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine. It has 160 PS and 385 Nm of torque. As mentioned, enthusiasts will be delighted to find three pedals and a six-speed manual transmission on board. With four-wheel drive available, it could be a good off-road rig to start with. On the other hand, you can also opt for the two-wheel drive version.
Price? For the 4x2 Ranger XLS Sport, it starts at Php 1,062,000. Go for the Ranger XLS Sport 4x4 and you'll have to fork out an extra 149,000 at Php 1,211,000. With that, it puts it in the same company as the Isuzu D-Max LT 4x4 and the Toyota Hilux 2.4 E 4x4, which should make for an interesting comparo.