The Ford Ranger doesn’t need any special introduction. It’s happily been topping sales charts for the last few months, urged on by the completely reworked design, powerful engines with frugality in mind, and all the necessary safety tech for carefree driving. Pair this with a tried and tested chassis and suspension setup, able to cope with heavy loads and any type of terrain, class-leading space and towing capability and reasonable pricing, and you can see why buyers are flocking in droves to Blue Oval dealers.
The interior has also seen a major upgrade, with soft-touch materials, attention to detail, more interior space and increased comfort. The overall impression is of a cleaner, better-built, car-like feel with not much missing. And that all puts buyers at the crossroads of keeping that interior spotless. In this respect, seat covers are the necessary extras to keep the Ford interior looking as new as the day you got it. They’ll protect the seat fabric and the inside from all that utes are put through, including dust, sand, debris, water and the hot Aussie sun.
Why You Want Seat Covers for Your Ranger
Three words adequately sum up why seat covers are a necessity – protection, comfort and styling. Seat fabric easily soaks up stains, spills, grime and general wear and tear. This is more so when using the Ranger for work, or putting it through its paces in technical terrain. Then there’s the risk of tears, cracks and fading when throwing in tools or leaving the Ranger in the sun. The selection of materials in covers tends to all the use and abuse utes endure, while still being durable enough to stand high heat, harmful UV rays, and resistance to tearing. Cleaning and maintenance are also simplified, with most being machine washable or just needing a quick hosing down.
The stock seats in the new Ranger are way comfier than in previous models. Still, aftermarket Ranger seat covers offer more in the way of soft-touch materials, non-slip surfaces to keep you snug and safe and all the padding you’ll ever need. You’ll appreciate this in longer highway drives, or when thrown around on the trails.
Lastly, consider how covers go with the overall look of the Ranger interior. There’s a huge selection of colour schemes, nice touches like contrast stitching, and details that go well with the different seat designs. The benefit here is to liven up a drab interior in older and base-spec Ranger models, or complement the upscale look of newer cars with a personalised touch.
Choosing What’s Right
Aftermarket covers come as universal or custom-fit options, in varying designs to accommodate features like headrests, safety considerations such as airbag compatibility, and of course a range of materials. This also means huge differences in prices.
Universal or Custom-fit?
Universal covers are low-cost, made to standard seat size, and can be what you’d want for heavy work or off-road use. The downsides though are fitment issues, being harder to get on in the first place, resulting in possible tears, wrinkling and slipping. This compromises comfort and safety. If you want to spare yourself the hassle, custom-fit covers save you time, are designed to fit snugly to the contours of both the front bucket and bench seats, take into account specifics like head and armrests, and will be easier to get off when dirty. The tighter fit additionally warrants that no dirt or grime comes up in unexpected places, and you get covers that bolster the upmarket interior look.
Materials determine how durable the covers are, how they cope with daily use, and how easy they are to clean. They also impact comfort. Neoprene covers are now the norm if you want good-looking covers, that are extremely comfortable and easy to clean. The material has dozens of things going for it. It’s waterproof (won’t pick up spills and stains), flame- and UV-resistant (won’t catch fire or fade when in direct sunlight) and breathable keeping you cool in typical Aussie weather. The non-slip surface, abundant padding and clean looks also make for a comfy and appealing cover. To add, neoprene Ranger seat covers are some of the easiest to clean, often needing only a short vacuum or a quick spin in the washing machine and dryer.
Canvas is the heavy-duty choice if your Ranger sees more off-road and work use. The material comes in varying grades and thicknesses, is exceptionally resistant to tearing and surface wear, holds its own against mud, dirt and all other nasties in the bush, and copes better than neoprene when directly exposed to heat sources. It’s not as comfortable (no soft-touch here), nor is it as good-looking. You’ll need more time to keep stubborn stains and spills out as it needs to be hand-washed with lukewarm water only.
Other choices include Nylon and polyester covers, a no-frills option with decent comfort and good work in containing minor spills and stains, but short of the overall durability or feel of either neoprene or canvas. When money isn’t an issue, then go for sheepskin or real and faux leather options. Sheepskin keeps cool in summer, warm in winter, and brings unrivalled comfort. Just a pain to clean. Leather goes well with the higher Ranger trims, is offered in dozens of grains (and matching prices) and should last. The covers though can get hot and won’t match the breathability of neoprene.
Regardless of the cab type, custom-fit covers offer quite a bit of flexibility. You’ll find full-back covers, good to hide previous damage in cloth that’s seen better days, or half-back covers that also accommodate the map pockets in higher trims. Front bucket seats have matching head and armrests, as well as console lid covers. For dual cabs, pay attention to centre armrests and whether the rear benches are fitted with headrests. Lastly, to avoid complications, check if the covers are safety-rated and work with airbag activation.