The Road Ahead : April May 2012
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 46 THE ROAD AHEAD APR/MAY 2012 MOTORING ROAD TEST DUAL, OR DOUBLE, cab four-wheel- drive utes are being warmly embraced by the Australian car buyer in ever- increasing numbers. For many, these heavy-duty machines are the ideal one vehicle compromise -- a workhorse during the week, and personal or family transport at the weekend. Late last year, Ford upped the ante, its new PX Ranger earning a five (out of five) star Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash test safety rating for all variants except the base model. With an XLT Dual Cab booked in to road test, we decided to see just how far the new Ranger had also improved in other areas by putting it up against the 2012 model of Mitsubishi's Triton GLX-R Double Cab. Our Triton test vehicle came equipped with optional five-speed auto, so at $51,490 there was less than $2000 difference in price between it and the six-speed manual Ranger ($53,390). RANGER XLT Ranger is clearly much bigger and therefore has more interior space than probably anything in its class. It's also well thought out, Ford designers having 'cherry picked' the best features from its competitors. As well as items listed in the separate stats' panel, standard features include hill launch assist, trailer sway control, load adaptive control, brake assist, rollover mitigation, side steps, sports bar, fuel tank guard, auto headlights, fog lights, rear park sensors, powered and heated folding mirrors and alarm. The cabin is much wider than Triton's and there's plenty of rear seat leg and shoulder room. The rear seat is more comfortable than most dual cabs, being marginally better than Triton. It's a practical beast. Storage solutions include a lockable glove box, chilled console bin, under rear seat storage, four big door pockets and two seat back pockets. Like Triton, there are two child restraint mounting points behind the rear seat and a driver's foot rest. Ranger takes the win in the workhorse stakes, able to carry a bigger maximum payload (1148 v 935 kg) and boasts a larger braked towing capacity (3350 v 3000 kg). This makes it acclaimed best in class. Although only marginally larger (no more than 50 mm), Ranger's tray is much deeper, making for increased volume and there are six tie-downs, a plastic liner and 20 amp power outlet OFF ROAD TESTING CONDUCTED AT AUSTRALIAN 4WD AND ADVANCED DRIVER EDUCATION. WWW.AUSTRALIAN4WD.COM.AU STARTERS: Ford Ranger XLT Dual Cab 4WD ute, Mitsubishi Triton GLX-R Double Cab 4WD ute.
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June July 2012