NCAP rat­ings Ute lifts its game

Ranger is a five-star deal for the work­ing man — and so, fi­nally, is the Tarago

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

gives ute buy­ers a gen­uinely safe choice as well as ver­i­fy­ing the work done by the Ranger de­vel­op­ment team of en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers at Ford Aus­tralia.

It also means that ev­ery other ute maker must be aim­ing for a five-star NCAP re­sult in their fu­ture de­vel­op­ment work, re­gard­less of the tar­get buy­ers or price point. The Ranger gets its five-star mark in the lat­est Euro NCAP test­ing and leads a field that in­cludes the Audi Q3, BMW1 Se­ries, Chevro­let (Holden) Cap­tiva, Hyundai Veloster, MercedesBenz ML, Opel As­tra and Zafira, and the all-new Toy­ota Yaris— which are on sale in Aus­tralia or com­ing soon.

Apart from its over­all five stars, the Ranger also gets a best-yet score— 81 per cent— in the Euro NCAP test­ing for pedes­trian safety among utes.

‘‘ The Ford Ranger is un­doubt­edly rais­ing the bar of safety in the cat­e­gory of pick-up trucks, which had un­til now not proven to be the safest,’’ says sec­re­tary gen­eral of Euro NCAP Michiel van Ratin­gen.

The Ranger has just hit show­rooms and is also sold as the Mazda-cloned BT50. Both brands re­port very strong early sales. Mazda is also con­fi­dent of a com­pan­ion five-star score.

‘‘ I would be very sur­prised if the BT50 is not five stars,’’ says Mazda Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Doug Dick­son.

The lo­cal five-star re­sult for the Ranger comes af­ter a mas­sive de­vel­op­ment pro­gram.

‘‘ On the all-new Ranger we did more crash sim­u­la­tions than any of our prior pro­grams to en­sure all parts of the ve­hi­cle’s safety per­for­mance were op­ti­mised,’’ says Ford Asia-pa­cific and Africa chief en­gi­neer for dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion Adam Frost.

‘‘ This was backed up by a com­pre­hen­sive phys­i­cal crash test pro­gram. The end re­sult is a world-class out­come we are all very proud of.’’

Mean­while, a safety push at Toy­ota Aus­tralia has brought a five-star ANCAP rat­ing for the Tarago. The peo­ple-mover is get­ting a much-needed up­grade with a driver’s knee airbag, ESP sta­bil­ity con­trol and side-cur­tain airbags as stan­dard equip­ment. The newly equipped Tarago has just sailed through the es­sen­tial ‘‘ pole test’’ re­quired for a max­i­mum score, join­ing toprated Toy­otas led by the Camry and the lat­est Yaris.

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