With so many new Dual Cabs on the market today, it can be confusing working out what to buy when upgrading. Manufacturers are spouting claims of astronomical towing capacity and increasing departure and entry angles, as well as all the white noise from aftermarket accessory manufacturers and the ”independent” testing. After 15 years of working in the finance and fleet management industries, I must say I thought enough was enough. What the market needs is a real world test with items that you, as a driver, actually need and what matters to you. So here it is.
The Ford Ranger XLT Auto
|The Ford Ranger XLT Auto|
|· Great looking Truck
· Plenty of power
· Good resale value
· Towbar as standard
|· Delay in delivery for some colours and transmission
· Questionable after sales service
Having driven all three generations of the Ranger I can easily say it is my personal favourite, whilst not the cheapest on the market. It provides a massive on road foot print; it makes you really feel as if you own the road. Whilst the size of the car can make it feel uneasy driving around town and underground car parks can be a hassle to navigate, it’s probably the wrong car for the office dwelling accountant. On the open road and in the bush they are completely at home. That would be the best reason to buy one of these. If you are worried about the turning circle and whether it will fit between the white lines in the office car park it might be time to go back to that 3 door 1.5 litre hatchback and keep dreaming.
The Aussie engineering team that designed the suspension at Ford must get full credit as they knew what the consumer wanted: A Ute that could perform and do it all, without comprise. From towing to filling the tray, the XLT feels comfortable and relaxed whilst moving about. The payload of the vehicle is never questioned even when reaching close to capacity.
The only concern that I see in the Ranger is the delay time in getting the auto transmission model and therefore limiting the delivery time frame. This is no issue for someone planning to upgrade their work or personal vehicle if time is on their side, but if you are forced to upgrade through no fault of your own such as an accident or write off, the Ranger may fall out of favour as you don’t have the luxury off a two month wait.
The manufacturer has also come under the spotlight over the last few months with issues in small vehicles with auto transmissions and the way customer complaints have been handled.
Overall it’s a hard product to beat if you have the money and time to wait. Many fleet companies have transitioned from the staple Hilux to the Ranger for the simple fact that the consumers actually like the car and would prefer to drive it. That speaks volumes in the modern fleet management industry.
Hilux SR5 Dual Cab
|Hilux SR5 Dual Cab|
|· Australia’s most loved Brand
· Great regional service coverage
· Built to outlast Harbour Bridge in Aussie conditions
What hasn’t been written about this adopted icon? It’s topped the sales charts at various times in different guises and most tradies have owned at least one in their life, me included. Previous generations of vehicle have been able to be fixed by any mechanic worth his salt and parts are easy to get. The question is if the Dual Cab buyer in the modern landscape even considers driving 200,000kms in their Ute or if they plan to upgrade at 80,000kms, never getting the real benefits that the decades of engineering have developed. It is the second and third owners of these vehicle that love them more than the initial owners, who have simply had a fleeting romance in essence and then moved on, whilst the 3rd owner eyes down the barrel of 400,000kms without an engine rebuild and takes advantage of what the Japanese manufacturing giant has developed, as its own class of vehicle.
This is the reason why Aussies have fallen in love the Hilux Dual Cab. Why else would a consumer look at a vehicle that compared to others in the market is underpowered and fairly priced for the features offered? The simple fact is it will get the job done every time. In any country town from WA to central NSW, the main street every Saturday morning has at least a dozen at any one time parked in the street whilst locals are getting the supplies and groceries at the local store.
Others will come to play in the market, but never alter the landscape and bring development to the forefront like Toyota has with Hilux
The New SR5 is cut from the same cloth, with many previous owners simply upgrading without even test driving, but the new 2.8L Diesel motor is a gem. Whilst under powered compared to its competitor, it is still responsive and better than the vast majority on the market. It’s the same in the trim department. The Ranger may have it beat but at the end of day you know the seat is built to last and dash isn’t going to rattle the second you travel over 100,000kms.
So to compare the two head to head and come up with winner would seem like a hard task. It really comes down to a question of timing, that being how long you are going to keep your truck for. Short term the Ranger wins hands down. If you want to drive the truck forever, the Hilux wins in a heart beat.
With either purchase no consumer can go wrong. It simply comes down to supply and price. Give me a call at SPA to help on both, not just the initial payment but the amount you pay each week or month. Nothing is worse than getting the Dual Cab of your dreams to only work out that you are paying a $100 more per month than you should be.
A second opinion could save you hundreds, if not thousands along with a few less grey hairs that everyone seems to incur when buying a new car!