FORD RANGER WILDTRAK
Are you sitting down? The Ranger Wildtrak tops out at $64,900 drive-away once the six-speed auto ($2100) and metallic paint ($385) are factored in. It comes with a rear camera and navigation but the 5-inch screen is too small and the operation of the navigation unit is clumsy. As the flagship, it comes with leather seats, heated side mirrors with puddle lamps, a lockable sliding aluminium cover on the ute tray and 18-inch alloys. Capped price servicing is dear: $1455 over three years if done once every year or 15,000km. The 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel is a powerhouse (147kW/470Nm) but go for the automatic, as the manual has an awkward shift action. As for reliability, early signs are good, although Ford did change a radiator hose to prevent premature wear and possible engine failure. Towing capacity is equal class best: 3500kg. Payload: 1000kg.But it’s thirsty (9.6L/100km). Six airbags, stability control and a rear view camera (albeit displayed via a small screen in the mirror) and one of the highest five-star safety ratings in the class (35.72 points out of 37 versus the HiLux’s 32.86 points out of 37).
Verdict The HiLux is holding its age well and diehard fans won’t be persuaded to drive anything else. But if you want to tow and carry the most gear, Ranger is the pick.