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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 28th 2009
12— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au More than just a workhorse Ford’snewRanger Wildtrak responds to the changing role of utes in our market.GrahamSmithreports Once, they were simply work horses. Now Ford’s Ranger is just as likely to be seen hauling dirt bikes, jet skis or mountain bikes. The Ranger has won a following on the basis of its rugged chassis, flexible, fuel- efficient diesel engines and its off-road capability, but that’s no longer enough for buyers wanting to use them for perso- nal transport. A ute, or pick-up as the rest of the world calls them, has to be tough enough to cut it on the job, but it also has to look good around town. Ford’s answer is Tough Style, which gives its once Tough Truck a more stylish face. In effect it’s a facelift of the Ranger released in 2007, with new front and rear styling, and a new highly optioned Wildtrak sports model perched atop the range. A bold new laid-back three- bar grille, flanked by air in- take nostrils and new wrap- around headlamps, and topped by a bulging new bon- net, with a large lower grille opening to feed plenty of air to the turbo intercooler, make for a stylish new face. Down the sides there are new vents on the front guards and mir- rors incorporating turn signal repeater lamps, and new clear tail lamp clusters brighten the rear. New in the face-lifted Rang- er, and to one-tonne utes, are 18-inch alloy wheels and 255/60 R18 rubber, a signature feature on the Wildtrak. Apart from new trim, an MP3 connector and cruise on the XLT and Wildtrak, the interior is little changed. Safety is enhancedwith side airbags now standard across the range in addition to dual front airbags. Mechanically there are few changes to the Ranger. There are two engines on offer, both flexible and easy driving Duratorq common rail turbo diesels. The smaller 2.5-litre engine boasts peaks of 105kW at 3500 revs and 330Nm at 1800 revs. The larger 3.0-litre engine peaks with 115kW at 3200 revs and 380Nm at 1800 revs. Both engines are available with a choice of five-speed manual and five-speed auto transmissions, and the 3.0-litre engine is offered in both 4x2 and 4x4 configura- tions. Four-wheel drive engage- ment on Rangers with the manual gearbox is manual, but electronic when the auto transmission is fitted. Four- wheel drive high can be se- lected on the move up to 100km/h on both manuals and autos. Suspension is a combina- tion of front torsion bars and rear leaf springs across all models, with a blend of front discs and rear drums for retardation. The safety of anti-lock ABS braking, and electronic brake- force distribution for opti- mum braking effect are avail- able on theXLbase model, but standard on all other models. There’s also the choice of 4x2, high-riding 4x2 and 4x4 models, with single cab, ex- tended super cab or dual cab body styles, in either cab- chassis or ute configurations. The range opens with the XL base model and includes XLT and the new Wildtrak sports ute. All have a payload of at least 1000 kg and will tow up to 3-tonne (4WD). Saturday, February 28, 2009 PLAYTHING: Ford’s Ranger is increasingly used for urban and leisure pursuits as well. While the changes are mostly cosmetic the main thrust of the update is the new Wildtrak sports model that seeks to break new ground for Ranger. The Wildtrak is only avail- able as a Dual-cab 4x4 ute, but comes with a raft of stand-out features. The Wildtrak rides on 18x7.5-inch alloy wheels with 255/60 R18 tyres, which is a first for Ranger as well as the Japanese-designed ute class. But there’s much more to it than big wheels. It starts with the chrome three-bar grille embossed with the Ranger name,andcontinuesdownthe sides with body-coloured side cladding, aluminium side steps and vibrant Wildtrak graphics, to the climax at the rear with a tailgate featuring body-coloured cladding. Ontop there are roof rails, a sportsbar behind the cab, rails along the top of the cargo box, and a chromed rear-step bum- per. There’s also a a lockable roller-shutter tonneau provid- ing security and protection. Inside, the Wildtrak fea- tures Alacantara leather trim, leather steering wheel and gearshift knob, and extra dials atop the dash. On the road recently the updated Ranger showed it had lost none of the smoothness and refinement for which the old model was noted. It rode comfortably and qui- etly over all sorts of road surfaces, capably handled a testing four-wheel drive course, and both engines showed they had lost none of their impressive easy driving flexibility. Latest offering is a pure delight to open up Australia loves its utesandHolden’sSSisno exception. With technologicaladvancementsand newsafety features,youget your old-school grunt, withamoderntwist.BruceMcMahonreports HOLDEN SS UTE Public Auctions Tuesday3 March Vehicles are located inHobart&Launcestonwith on-line bidding available. Call 1800 001 278 for registration details and conditions. Featuring damaged vehicles fromInsurance Companies. 12 NOON Salvage Auction TO FOLLOW Clearance Auction Featuring vehicles from$500-$10,000. All “best bids” referredtoseller. 2:00 PM Government, Financiers, Corporate, Lease and Others Featuring late model, low km, Passenger,4x4 & Commercial vehicles. TRUCK&MACHINERYPUBLICAUCTION For further details go to the auction section of today’s paper. TUE 10MAR Preliminary Notice SELL YOUR CAR WITHOUT A FUSS! Free auction estimates. *Terms&conditions apply* Enquiries: 03 6263 3833 For full auction details, download a free catalogue manheimfowles.com.au 349 Midland Hwy,Brighton TAS Tel 6263 3833 Huge Range, Save Thousands HR TUESDAY Auction 11:00am Government & Fleet Vehicles TUESDAY 3 March 1:00pm Damaged Vehicle Auction SATURDAY,MONDAY,THURSDAY & FRIDAY Fixed Price Vehicles 56 Sunderland Street, Moonah, Hobart Ph: (03) 6108 8444 www.pickles.com.au For photos & listings visit LD10319 Price:$43,490 Body: 2-door ute Engine: 6-litreV8 Power:260kW@5700rpm Torque:517Nm@4400rpm Transmission: 6-speed automatic Dimensions(mm):5040(l),1899(w), 1480(h) Towing:1600kg WELL-EQUIPPED: Holden’s new ute has all the technological tom-foolery at its beck and call. IT glides this thing. Moves away with a quiet confidence. Slips down the road with imperious ease. Yet, when stirred with the right foot, the Holden ute lets rip a muted bellow and storms away. This sends the trip computer figures well out of kilter, sends those red figures up and around 20 litres for 100km. But now safe in a gap in the traffic, or safe from a highway overtaking move, the ute settles back to cruise and the fuel numbers drop dramatically. For the bigV8has technological tom-foolery at its beck and call, the lazing eight cylinders dropping back to four when the running is easy. Thing is, this happens even around the town and suburbs. One minute the six-litre engine is drinking at a fair old rate, the next the trip computer tells us it’s dropped back to 6 litres for 100km and all’s sweet on four cylinders. Around the city this is a bit up and down; down the freeways and highways it’s easy enough to be riding at a steady 100km/h and recording high fives in fuel consumption. The results — best on longer runs — can surprise; overall fuel use can drop below 9L/100km, better than the old 30mpg bench- mark. Nowthis is pretty good for a very handsome sports truck, arguably one of the finest shapes to grace Australian roads. Aside from this Active FuelManagementon this V8-engined, six-speed automatic SS ute the rest is pretty familiar. There are comfortable seats, with reason- able room behind for a briefcase, lunchbox and such. There is the usual array of comfort and safety features, from air conditioning to six- stacker CD/MP3 player and dual-stage front airbags. There is a full stack of instruments and comfort features with the only gripe being a hard-to-read speedo needle though this can be circumvented by bringing up a digital display. The ute is quiet, comfortable and, for the most part, well-mannered. Those 18-inch alloy wheels and the sports suspension are excellent partners for pointing the Holden in the right direction and having a little sports truck fun; sometimes this package can appear a little harsh on rougher stretches. Anunladen backendcansendalittle judder back through if it hits a big hole. On a smooth surface the big ute can be a delight to open up. More power to Holden for keeping the flame alive. No one needs know the thing runs for a a fair part of the time with a fuel-saving four- cylinder. 09-7-01/08
February 21st 2009
March 7th 2009