RANGER V HILUX: THE NEW FRONTIER
FORGET Commodore versus Falcon, there is a new rivalry gripping the heart of the nation and it’s likely to lead to stand-up blues.
Ford Ranger or Toyota HiLux?
Now that the first all-new HiLux in 10 years has arrived, the ute market is finally a level playing field. We are no longer comparing new with old models after five new ute arrivals in the past five months.
This is as new as the current crop of utes has ever been, especially so close together. We will find out in a few weeks which is the best of the modern bunch.
Meanwhile we’re predicting a close call between the Ranger and the HiLux.
The HiLux is better equipped, slightly cheaper to buy and much cheaper to run. The Ranger has a stronger engine and feels just that little bit more planted on the road.
But, boy does Ford know how to charge for it — even though 36 of the 37 variants lack a rear camera — and that is likely to weigh against it in the back-to-back tests in coming weeks.
A tip if you’re in the market for either: wait until early next year when some of the initial hype has died down.
You may even grab a modest discount as dealers clear 2015-built examples. But don’t expect sharp driveaway prices until June next year. If you’re lucky.