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First look: Ford sends a message with Courier

RAS: Means rear access system and Ford's convinced it's a sales winner.

Ford reveals the new look and pricing of its Courier work truck

14 Nov 2002

FORD'S Courier commercial vehicle has been re-styled to ape the tougher look of the larger F-Series trucks as part of an update that goes on sale December 1.

The "PG" Courier also adds reverse opening doors and jump seats it calls a Rear Access System (RAS) to the slow selling Super Cab, a move which Ford says will provide greater versatility and hopefully boost sales.

But underneath the restyle, the RAS and the inevitable price rise there are only detail changes to the Thai-built Courier range.

Engines continue to be the 2.6-litre petrol engine that produces 92kW at 4600rpm and 206Nm of torque at 3500rpm, wile the 2.5-litre turbo-diesel offers 86kW at 3500rpm and 280NM at 2000rpm. The payload also continues at almost 1.5 tonnes.

"We are confident the Courier will continue to set new standards in this market in terms of style, roominess and customer-friendly features," said Ford's 4WD and commercial vehicle marketing manager, Kevin Lillie.

"The new styling, similar in looks to the legendary F-Series, and the innovative Rear Access System on the four-door Super Cab add to the considerable heritage the Courier has already created," Mr Lillie said.

The exterior styling changes include a new grille, headlights, front bumper and front fenders. The XL gets alloy wheels to replace steel, while the top-spec XLT - which has expanded from one to three models - also gets redesigned alloys and extra chrome on the front and rear bumpers, doorhandles, tailgate handles and mirrors.

The RAS doors - developed for use in both the Courier and its non-identical twin the Mazda Bravo which is also built in Thailand - have no handles and cannot be opened independently.

The pricing doesn't move on some models, only slightly on others and quite dramatically on a few. The range now starts at $19,670 and tops out at $42,560.

The Courier is launched in the midst of updates coming from many of the light commercial players. The HiLux has already been overhauled with a new V6 engine and the option of an automatic transmission, the Bravo update occurs this month, while the new generation Holden Rodeo arrives early in 2003 along with an updated Mitsubishi Triton.

Changes from PE to PG Courier include the addition of a petrol XLT 4x2 Crew Cab Pickup and diesel XLT 4x4 Super Cab Pickup, while the petrol XL 4x2 Super Cab Cab Chassis and petrol XL 4x4 Crew Cab Pickup have been deleted.

The XL and XLT 4x4 models get a bigger 265/70R 15 tyre, while the two XLT 4x4 models pick up twin piston ventilated discs.

The M15M-D manual transmission from the 2.5-litre turbo-diesel 4x2 has been deleted, that model now sharing the R-Type transmission with the turbo-diesel 4x4. Both manual transmissions still in the range have been upgrade with revised linkages.

Ford claims noise reductions thanks to measures including more rigid doors, new body side panels and extra soundproofing as well as increased anti-corrosion measures.

Power steering is now standard across the range and swaps its variable ratio for a new fixed gear ratio.

Inside, mid and high series models get new fabrics, while the sound system has been upgraded with the XLT getting a six-stack CD player.

ABS is now optional across the range, while other safety touches include redesigned seats which have an anti-submarining bar, while the exterior mirrors are larger than the previous model.

Ford Courier 4x2
Single Cab Chassis GL - petrol $19,670
Single Cab Chassis GL - diesel $26,105
Single Cab Pickup GL - petrol $20,730
Super Cab Pickup XL - petrol $26,365
Crew Cab Chassis GL - petrol $24,310
Crew Cab Pickup GL - petrol $25,310
Crew Cab Pickup GL - diesel $31,820
Crew Cab Pickup XL - petrol $26,665
Crew Cab Pickup XLT - petrol $30,135 Ford Courier 4x4
Single Cab Chassis GL - petrol $28,890
Single Cab Chassis GL - diesel $31,490
Super Cab Pickup XL - petrol $35,170
Super Cab Pickup XL - diesel $39,690
Super Cab Chassis XL - diesel $38,690
Crew Cab Pickup GL - petrol $33,630
Crew Cab Pickup GL - diesel $38,060
Crew Cab Pickup XL - diesel $39,990
Crew Cab Chassis GL - diesel $37,030
Crew Cab Pickup XLT - diesel $42,860
Super Cab Pickup XLT - diesel $42,560

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