Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter: @JoshuaDowl­ing

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.

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