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Driven: Ford not chasing HiLux sales with new Ranger

Updated Ford Ranger brings added safety, biturbo engine and extra spec to range

Ford logo10 Oct 2018

FORD Australia has said it has no plans to try to knock Toyota’s HiLux off its perch as Australia’s best-selling vehicle, despite finishing second in overall new-vehicle sales in recent years.
 
The Blue Oval has updated the Ranger for the second time in its life-cycle, adding extra safety equipment, tweaked styling, reworked suspension and the choice of the 2.0-litre biturbo diesel engine that debuted in the tricked out Ranger Raptor.
 
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the updated Ranger, Ford Australia LCV product and retail marketing manager Peter Zikas said the Ranger loses sales to the HiLux in the entry-level 4x2 segment, but the car-maker was satisfied with its model mix.
 
“From a 4x2 perspective, our product starts at circa $29-30,000, a lot of the volume if you take Toyota for example, that (sales) gap will come from the Workmate space which was five or six thousand last year, and we don’t play in that area,” he said.
 
“We’re pretty comfortable where we play in that sense. It would always be lovely to fly that number one tag but I think with what we have we’re super happy and impressed with where Ranger’s been getting us.
 
When asked whether Ford would like to lower the point of entry to the Ranger line-up, Mr Sikas said 
 
“Ultimately playing where you can win is important, playing and having a line-up that is actually something that people expect is important.
 
“Right now we feel we’ve got the right balance of product to be something for everyone, or as many as we can at least.”
 
Five variants – mostly versions of the 4x2 XL – have been deleted from the updated range, bringing total choice to 29 offerings.
 
Three turbo-diesel engine choices are available in the updated Ranger, starting with the 118kW/385Nm 2.2-litre four cylinder found on entry-level 4x2 and select 4x4 versions.
 
The carryover 3.2-litre five-cylinder continues to output 147kW/470Nm teamed to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, while the new 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre biturbo engine is offered on the 4x2 XLT dual-cab, 4x4 XLT extra-cab and dual-cab, Wildtrak and Raptor. Opting for the biturbo adds a $1200 premium over the equivalent 3.2-litre.
 
All variants have gone up in price between $300 and $1000 in exchange for upgrades to equipment and chassis improvements.
 
Pricing for the updated 4x2 Ranger line-up kicks off at $27,990 plus on-road costs for the manual  XL single-cab low-rider equipped with the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder, and tops out at $51,490 for the XLT dual-cab high-rider powered by the bi-turbo engine and ten-speed auto.
 
The 4x4 range starts at $41,890 for the manual XL single cab-chassis, while the new Ranger Raptor performance model sits atop the range at $74,990 – an $11,000 premium over the $63,990 Wildtrak dual-cab pick-up with the bi-turbo engine.
 
Exterior styling has been given a light tweak, including a more pronounced front bumper with a wider lower air opening, and a revised grille with twin horizontal bars found in place of the single bar in current versions.
 
Ford’s engineers have tweaked the Ranger’s suspension setup, moving the front stabiliser bars to reduce bodyroll and focusing on improving driving characteristics when towing or hauling a full load.
 
The entry-level XL gains new equipment including rear parking sensors and an easy-lift tailgate on pick-up versions, as well as a darker interior trim with a decorative finish
 
This adds to existing specification that includes 16-inch steel rims, 4.2-inch display with Sync1 audio (Bluetooth, MP3, Aux, USB, AM/FM radio), rearview camera on pick-up variants, manual air-conditioning, power windows, cruise control, locking rear differential for 4x2 Hi-Rider and 4x4 models, and safety features such as dynamic stability control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, hill descent control (4x4 only), load adaptive control and roll over mitigation.
 
The mid-spec XLS, offered only in dual-cab 4x4 guise, gains front parking sensors as new in addition to 16-inch alloy wheels, front foglights, carpeted floor coverings and front floor mats.
 
For the first time, buyers will have the option to purchase the $1950 Sync3 pack, which adds an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, sat-nav, DAB+ digital radio, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, chrome exterior grille and chrome door handles.
 
The second-from-top XLT trim level adds new features including the re-styled front grille and bumper, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights with LED daytime running lights, push-button start, auto stop-start (not on 3.2-litre auto), and a restyled cabin.
 
Other standard kit includes 17-inch alloys, towbar, chrome exterior trim, privacy glass, rear step bumper with chrome accent, power-fold mirrors, bedliner with a 12V socket, 8.0-inch Sync3 system, rain-sensing wipers, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, electrochromatic rearview mirror and tyre pressure monitor.
 
A number of options are available on the XLT, including leather upholstery for dual-cab versions ($1650), black 18-inch hoops from the Wildtrak ($750), and a $1700 tech pack which adds safety kit including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with vehicle and pedestrian detection, semi auto active park assist, traffic sign recognition, driver impairment monitor, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning and auto high beam.
 
AEB, active park assist and traffic sign recognition are being offered in the Ranger for the first time, while active park assist is a first for the segment.
 
Stepping up to the top-spec Wildtrak nets buyers new features such as LED foglights, power lock tailgate and the safety features from the tech pack as standard.
 
It also gains with 18-inch hoops, side steps with brushed inserts, Wildtrak-specific sportsbar, rear step bumper with coloured accent, puddle lamps, roller shutter, decorative interior finishes new partial leather upholstery with front seat heaters.
 
All variants can be optioned with prestige paint for $600.
 
Through the first half of the year, Ford has recorded 31,799 combined sales of the Ranger – a 2.5 per cent dip compared with the same period in 2017 – placing it second overall behind the HiLux.
 

Ford Ranger 2018 pricing*

 
4x2  
XL Single C/C 2.2L Low Rider $27,990
XL Single C/C 2.2L Hi-Rider (a) $33,690
XL Super C/C 2.2L Hi-Rider (a) $36,190
XL Double C/C 2.2L Hi-Rider (a) $38,190
XL Double P/up 2.2L Hi-Rider (a) $39,690
XLT Double P/up 3.2L Hi-Rider (a) $50,290
XLT Double P/up 2.0L Bi-Turbo Hi-Rider (a) $51,490
4x4  
XL Single C/C 3.2L $41,890
XL Single C/C 3.2L (a) $44,090
XL Super C/C 3.2L $44,390
XL Super C/C 3.2L (a) $46,590
XL Super P/up 3.2L (a) $48,090
XL Double C/C 2.2L (a) $46,090
XL Double P/up 2.2L (a) $47,590
XL Double C/C 3.2L $46,390
XL Double C/C 3.2L (a) $48,590
XL Double P/up 3.2L $47,890
XL Double P/up 3.2L (a) $50,090
XLS Double P/up 3.2L $49,190
XLS Double P/up 3.2L (a) $51,390
XLT Super P/up 3.2L (a) $56,190
XLT Super P/up Bi-Turbo (a) $57,390
XLT Double P/up 3.2L $55,990
XLT Double P/up 3.2L (a) $58,190
XLT Double P/up Bi-Turbo (a) $59,390
Wildtrak Double P/up 3.2L $60,590
Wildtrak Double P/up 3.2L (a) $62,790
Wildtrak Double P/up Bi-Turbo (a) $63,990

*Excludes on-road costs


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