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Toyota Hilux or a Ford Ranger?

Who's as torn as I am over here?

There must be a lot of dudes and dudettes out there who's having the same dilemma as I am. The Toyota Hilux have been the best selling UTE in Australia, and for good reason. It's virtually an unbreakable monster that can get the job done.

However.... But... The Ford Ranger is a sight to behold, a powerhouse, and feature packed monster that is attracting a lot of people. It's a workhorse and a Sunday truck at the same time!

Business wise both UTEs can haul and do what they're supposed to although the Ford Ranger can do more based on its specifications but do you really need as much power? I guess it all boils down to preference, what the UTE is going to be used for and how tough those situations will be.

Let's take a look at each of them specs wise and how they're fairing with real life situations... AKA "reviews". The specs and texts below comes from their site so forgive me if it sounds salesy :) I didn't bother rewording them because why should I? :)

Toyota Hilux 2016

The 2.4L Turbo-diesel is available on HiLux WorkMate ute models and delivers up to 400Nm of torque and fuel efficiency as low as 7.1L/100km. On automatic SR and SR5 HiLux models, the 2.8L Turbo-diesel pumps out a grunty 450Nm of pulling power with fuel efficiency as low as 7.3L/100km, making this the strongest, most powerful HiLux engine.

Heavy Duty Suspension

HiLux suspension is specifically developed to handle the demands of the toughest Australian conditions with unbreakable ease while delivering sure handling characteristics that are defined by a surprisingly smooth ride. At the rear, leaf springs are matched with double shock absorbers either side. The leafs have been extended to 1400mm to suppress vibration and the shock absorbers increased in diameter for great damping quality. The double wishbone front suspension benefits from an increased stabilizer bar to limit roll and provide greater stiffness.

Towing Capacity

No matter how tough or demanding the job, HiLux is designed to deliver. When it comes to serious grunt, whether you select diesel or petrol power for HiLux, you can be confident in the knowledge that each engine has been developed to provide optimal performance with impressive fuel efficiency and improved noise suppression. So whatever the situation demands, with HiLux you’ll always have the power to get the job done.

And in the HiLux you can travel in comfort whatever the load, thanks to double wishbone suspension standard across the range, combined with leaf spring and twin tube shock absorbers on the rear to deliver outstanding steering stability, even when it's carrying a heavy load.


Fuel Efficiency

Each of the 4 engines available for HiLux deliver enviable power and fuel efficiency. The 2.4L Turbo diesel available on HiLux Workmate models, develops up to 400Nm of torque, 110kW power and fuel efficiency to 7.1L/100km. On SR and SR5 HiLux ute models, the 2.8L Turbo Diesel pumps out up to 450Nm of pulling torque and 130kW power with fuel efficiency as low as 7.3L/100km, making it the strongest, most powerful HiLux engine.

If you prefer a petrol engine, the 2.7L Dual VVT-I Petrol engine available on the 4x2 Workmate models, develops 245Nm of torque and 122kW power using just 10.4L/100km on the Double-Cab WorkMate with automatic transmission. The 4.0L Dual VVT-i V6 Petrol engine available on the Double-Cab 4x2 SR and 4x4 SR5, provides an impressive 420Nm of torque and 176kW of responsive power and a combined fuel efficiency of 11.5L/100km.

Ride & Handling

The new generation HiLux has not only increased in toughness thanks to local input from Australian engineers, a huge focus for the development team was to significantly improve the ride and handling of HiLux to cater to the evolving usage requirement of the Australian Pick-up customer.

HiLux’s welding points have increased (from 268 to 388) in a measure to improve body rigidity and as a result steering input and rear end grip has been significantly improved. The high-steel tensile upper and lower bodies use high class 590 MPa tensile strength steel plates to ensure body strength.

Noise suppression

Expansion foam is used throughout the HiLux body and seals the cabin to reduce noise. The engine room has been further insulated to prevent noise entering the cabin.

On petrol engine variants a dash outer silencer has been adopted which greatly reduces idling noise. On diesel engine variants, the dash outer silencer has been increased by 1.5 times and idling noise has been reduced by 3% as a result. Additional seals have also been added between the front and rear to decrease noise penetration and the application of range of the weather strip has been extended to the rocker to increase noise barrier performance.

Toyota Hilux Reviews from Around the Web


The new HiLux looks and feels more contemporary inside and out. It performs better, drives better, drinks less and has one of the segment's smarter, more functional cabins while maintaining the robust qualities that have made it such a popular choice for the rural, off-road and drive-it-til-they-kill-it sets.

It's a better HiLux, a well-rounded contender that is, as ever, a safe bet for the dual-cab buyer.

Safe bet, though, doesn't mean the best bet for everyone, and those who put a particular priority on the lowest price, the most polished driving experience, the most tech or the most generous array of ownership sweeteners might not be entirely convinced.



There’s no escaping the fact that the HiLux is a ute and is not a sporty drive. If sporty is what you want then the V6-powered 2WD HiLux SR is the pick of the range, thanks to its superior performance and a low-riding stance that brings better roadholding. However, you’re more likely to enjoy the HiLux in 4WD guise, and as an off-road adventure machine in particular. The HiLux is extremely capable off-road, thanks to its long-travel suspension, especially at the rear, and its very effective off-road tuned electronic traction control. It backs that up with excellent underbody protection and – for additional peace of mind – Toyota’s industry-leading remote-area service.


Excellent ute, just wish it had a little more

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 25, 2016

There are many things to love about this ute, however there are a few annoyances that turn you off and leave you wondering why. Extras i added include leather interior, nudge bar, soft tonneau cover, weather shields and bonnet/headlight protectors.

1. Side steps- I feel the side steps are too high and too indented and don't offer proper assistance to comfortably enter/exit the vehicle.
2. no electric seat memory- electric seats are nice but take longer to adjust and should have had memory option.
3. Stereo- lack of android/appl e features, reflects off the back windscreen, should have knobs for certain functions
5. rear seats- rear seats are too flat and do not offer proper storage underneath/behind
6. Drivers sun visor- for some reason the driver does not have a mirror on the inside but the passenger does
7. Storage- Lack of coins storage that can be closed.
8. USB- only x1 USB socket in the whole car. There should have been minimum X2
9. Ute area- Ther are no lights, power sockets, cup holders, in the rear. Also no storage options. its too plain
10. FOB- its huge and expensive to replace.
1. engine- The engine has plenty of grunt and is responsive. Power mode is great
2. Interior- The interior is a huge upgrade and feels modern with plenty of easy access features for the driver
3. Reverse camera- The screen for reversing is huge and the camera placement is excellent
4. Ignition- Push to start option is fantastic
5. Comfort- The hilux is great for long trips and offers good economy and a satisfying ride
Overall the 2016 Hilux SR5 feels like a confident and capable vehicle, it offers modern interior and a good sounding and performing diesel turbo engine. In my opinion it's missing those few features/refinements that would have completed it.


Ford Ranger 2016

Ford Ranger’s advanced technology helps you keep pace with any job, anywhere. Whether on the worksite or the weekend. For example, the fuel efficient 2.2L TDCi diesel engine is powerful, while the next generation 3.2L TDCi is economical.

Choice of 2 great TDCi Turbo Diesel engines – 2.2L and 3.2L

The fuel efficient 2.2L TDCi engine delivers impressive performance whilst our next generation super powerful 3.2L delivers both 470Nm of torque and outstanding fuel economy.

EPAS (Electronic Power-Assisted Steering)

This might be a truck but Ford’s famous driving dynamics still apply. This includes the effortless manoeuvrability EPAS delivers in all types of conditions. Steering is light and responsive for city driving and when parking, and firmer and easier to control at higher speeds on the open road. Because it’s electronically controlled and not hydraulic, it only kicks-in when you need it, helping to save fuel.

Hill Descent Control

Designed to automatically apply braking, as needed, to slow the vehicle to a set speed in off-road downhill conditions. Speed can be adjusted through the accelerator and the Cruise Control buttons on the steering wheel.

Up to 800mm water wading
It’s not only on dry land that Ranger 4X4 proves that it can take you just about anywhere you need to go. A river-taming 800mm makes sure there’s very little that can come between you and getting the job done.

Ford Ranger Reviews from Around the Web


What might bug me?

Manoeuvring in city carparks – this is a big vehicle. And only the most expensive Ranger, the Wildtrak, has a reversing camera. (You can option one on the XLT, but on the lower grades it’s no dice.) The bouncy ride when unladen. But all truck-based utes are like that – they are sprung stiffly at the rear so that they can handle big loads.


How comfortable is the Ranger?

Inside, XL Rangers feel basic and in some parts cheap, but the main controls fall easily to hand, the seats are comfortable, and head and leg room is generous for front passengers. For the steering column there is only height adjustment, and no reach adjustment.

Buttons on the steering wheel make accessing major functions easier on the run. The colour central screen is small, but with Ford’s SYNC1 connectivity it is much more useful than those on previous Rangers.

The XLT is much more welcoming, with its carpeted floor, much bigger screen and the upgraded SYNC2. The Wildtrak ramps it up another notch with leather accented trim and a quieter cabin (there is more insulation keeping engine and road noise out). And the 3.2-litre diesel in these versions is quieter than the smaller diesel, thanks to a range of improvements for the 2016 model year.

Underneath, the Ranger has a truck-like ladder frame chassis and stiff leaf-springs at the rear, to handle the one-tonne-plus load it’s designed to carry. It’s a good, rugged combination, but when unladen the Ranger will shudder and buck on rough roads. With a load on board it settles but the steering still lacks the precision of a passenger car.

Steering on the Ranger feels very light at parking speeds but firms up nicely on the open road.



Purchased new 2015 Ford Ranger twin cab 3.2 auto-won't start-stalls in reverse

2 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 23, 2016

Hi, hope some one may help.
The only issue i have, a few weeks ago in the city, the Ford refused to start [had only stopped for a minute]
Called NRMA , 2 hours later they arrived and the vehicle started. Drove to my ford dealer. 2 hours lated they said it was all checked and fixed.
Yesterday 22/7/16 it reluctantly started , put it in reverse and it stopped. Tried twice same problem. Waited 5 minutes and it appeared ok. Very concerning, imagine if it stalls at traffic lights etc.
Has any one got advise on the problem.
Gary Ross



Only Paint Dissapointing

5 out of 5, reviewed on May 06, 2016

Almost 10/10 but I have to agree with the comment regarding the paint work. Theres almost no clear coat because the paint in places scratches so easy. This is my first ute so I expect the paint to be at least as good as a sedan. I'm talking about minor scratches that go right through the colour. Otherwise it's one hell of a vehicle, comfortable, plenty of torque, great tide and quiet. I've had mine since July 2015 and towed my 2500 kg caravan up from Melbourne effortlessly. I am surprised and saddened some people have had mechanical issues. Mines done 15k and my only complaint is the paint and both inside front door handles have peeled their chrome away.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to both UTEs and there are some unfortunate ones who got lemons. I guess we just need to pray that we don't get a problematic one.

The best way to determine which one to choose is to test drive each of them and see how it feels. Most of the time you will feel a connection with the vehicle. It's like... you're family even if it's your first time to see other. You know what I mean? When you feel that connection, the specs becomes second priority. You will spend a lot of time in that UTE so you better be comfortable with it.

But, of course, consider what you will be using the UTE for especially if it's for business and there may be many of you who will be using the vehicle. If that's the case functionality will come first and all else secondary.

Well... after all that I'm still torn. Better head to the dealerships for a test drive.

Cash or car loan? hmmm... that's a whole new topic to think through.

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