Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -

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.

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