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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

Ford’s play­ing safe with the Ranger up­dates but the changes high­light the push to­wards pre­mium pick-ups. Ex­pect to see the op­po­si­tion try to counter that move.

se­ri­ous car­a­van­ers but the ride doesn’t feel any more plush at the front when tack­ling cor­ru­gated roads.

The lane-keep as­sist does what is says but it light­ens the steer­ing dra­mat­i­cally as it redi­rects the Ranger back be­tween the lines.

We didn’t — thank­fully — test the au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, which in­cludes pedes­trian de­tec­tion at up to 60km/h.

Steer­ing feed­back is up there with the Volk­swa­gen Amarok. The Ranger gen­er­ally feels far more civilised than a work­horse has any right to be.

Off-road progress is limited only by the du­alpur­pose tyres. Fit a de­cent set of all-ter­rain rub­ber with a more ag­gres­sive tread pat­tern and the Ranger will be hugely ca­pa­ble on dirt, clay and rock, aided by its 237mm ride height and (con­ser­va­tive) 800mm wad­ing abil­ity.

New colours, ma­te­ri­als and stitch­ing im­prove the cabin am­bi­ence, though this is among the few ar­eas where the Ranger still shows its util­i­tar­ian her­itage, a trait com­mon to most utes.

Ex­pect to see soft-touch plas­tics roll out on new mod­els in the com­ing years as the pick-up seg­ment aligns with SUVs in terms of com­fort and con­ve­nience.

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