NCAP ratings Ute lifts its game
Ranger is a five-star deal for the working man — and so, finally, is the Tarago
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.