The Road Ahead : April May 2012
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 48 THE ROAD AHEAD APR/MAY 2012 MOTORING ROAD TEST support could be better. Lateral support is reasonable, though. There's a driver's foot rest, the pedal layout is satisfactory and controls are generally logically laid out. Neither vehicle has steering reach adjustment. Rear passengers will find their seats comfortable and not as upright as many others, though foot and leg room is not as good as Ranger. There's a fold-down rear arm rest (an omission on the Ford), two child restraint mounting points behind the seat along with a seat back pocket and four door pockets. Rear vision is only average, particularly with the rear head rests up, emphasising the need for a reversing camera or sensors. Engine performance is line ball from 0-80 km/h and over the standing 400 m. Elsewhere, our test figures show Triton to hold an advantage, except in roll-on from 50-80 km/h. It gets a second wind about 3000 rpm which comes on with a rush and an increase in engine noise. At 100 km/h, though, it cruises relatively quietly and smoothly. The five-speed auto transmission with its tip-tronic shifter is a bit clunky at times, particularly on downshifts, otherwise it does the job nic e ly. Tr iton's steering is fairly well weighted and has adequate feel, though it's a bit dead around centre. The suspension is softer all round, which makes for a more comfortable ride. However, handling is compromised by this softness to some degree. Rebound damping is lacking and there is more body roll. The Mitsubishi feels not as well planted in slippery going, though this can be negated somewhat by switching to its Super Select 4WD option on bitumen. Off road, Triton showed itself to be sure footed and capable under most conditions. There's significantly less engine braking ability than Ranger, though, even with first gear, low range, selected. With no hill descent control, you need to rely more on the brakes to check speed. Wheel articulation is about the same for both. Although its brake pedal felt soft, Tr iton pulled up only marginally 'longer' than Ranger (28.0 to 27.8 m, from 80 km/h). CONCLUSION There is no doubt Ranger would be the better choice if heavy towing is a primary requirement of ownership. The Ford's 147 kW of power and flat torque curve are ideal for this. Ranger also has a higher maximum towing capacity. On road, the Ford is a clear winner, with exceptional handling and manners that would do justice to a passenger car. In contrast, the Mitsubishi isn't disgraced, despite the model being three years old. Off road, Ranger does it so easily and without fuss, while Triton has to work much harder at it. All up, the Mitsubishi Tr iton is a competent vehicle in its own right, but as our test showed emphatically, Ford has moved the game on with its new Ranger. RANGER STATS MLP: $53,390 WARRANTY: 3 year/100,000 km. SERVICE INTERVALS: 1 year/15,000 km. SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags (DFSCA), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC). KEY FEATURES: Rear diff lock, dual climate control airconditioning, bluetooth, voice control, CD with four speakers and two tweeters, MP3 compatibility, USB/iPod integration, cooled console, cruise control with steering wheel controls, auto dim interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers, privacy glass, tow bar. ENGINE: 3.2-litre, turbo-diesel 5-cyl. MAX. POWER: 147 kW @ 3000 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 470 Nm @ 1500-2750 rpm. FUEL: Diesel. CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Handling, towing, load carrying ability, standard features. AGAINST: Physical size, price. TRITON STATS MLP: $51,490 (5spd auto) WARRANTY: 5 year/130,000 km. SERVICE INTERVALS: 1 year/15,000 km. SAFETY: DFSCA, ABS, electronic brake distubution, ESC, traction control. KEY FEATURES: Auto airconditioning, map lamps with sunglasses holder, 17" alloys, nudge bar, fog lamps, privacy glass, side steps, left front van mirror, trip computer. ENGINE: 2.5-litre, turbo-diesel 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 191 kW @ 4000 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 350 Nm @ 2000 rpm. FUEL: Diesel. CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Ride quality, long warranty, price. AGAINST: Lack of torque off boost, engine noise.
February March 2012
June July 2012