Like a long serving employee at a US department store, after 30 years of hard working solid service, the Ford Courier Ute has been dropped from Ford’s production line and instead replaced with the Ford Ranger. Admitedly its a better car than the courier ever was, with a towing capacity reaching nearly 3.0 tonnes, (when fitted with a Ford towpack and load leveling kit – as oppose to 1.8 for the courier).
The new vehicle starts from only $20,990, with a choice of 18 models.
“The new Ranger is more powerful compared with Courier, offers improved functionality, significantly increased three-tonne towing ability (when using a 3.0-litre manual transmission model fitted with a genuine Ford towpack and load leveling kit), and maintains a one-tonne plus payload across the range,” said Ford Australia’s president, Tom Gorman.
Ford Australia says that the ranger will come in 4WD and 2WD (4×4 and 4×2) versions which will include a family car like suspension (independent double-wishbone) for the front wheels, whilst the back comes with a slightly outdated yet still required leaf springs, in order to give the ranger its massive cargo hauling capabilities.
Ford Australia took to changing the Courier into a more, socially useful vehicle which became the ranger, as a result of losing market share to the likes of the Toyota Hilux, who have now started an almost mini cult following in the car modification scene.
“The light commercial vehicle sector has changed dramatically in recent years, with customers wanting more from their truck than just a reliable work vehicle, Today’s light truck owner wants the best of both worlds – a dependable, genuine truck for the industrious worker and a great family vehicle with the quality, comfort, safety and modern conveniences they demand. Ranger researched well as a brand name that exemplified all these attributes.
The Ranger brand is used by Ford around the world and, with an all-new vehicle for 2007, we saw this as the ideal time to introduce a new light truck with a bold new name for the Australian light commercial market,” Mr Gorman said.
So apart from the name change, the new vehicle gets a slightly more angrier look as well as a far more eye friendly interior. But thats not the end of it, the Ranger is available with a choice of two new common-rail turbo diesel engines.
Mr Gorman said the common-rail direct-injection system and other engine technology were designed and tuned to increas not only performance but also fuel efficiency:
“The engines are monitored by a 32-bit microprocessor that constantly adjusts all systems to ensure the optimal fuel-air mixture. Power and economy are enhanced by creating the most efficient swirl patterns within each cylinder through use of a swirl control valve.”
The ranger comes with a choice of either a 5-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic transmission. The car also comes in the following bodystyles:
All cab styles are also available in cab chassis or pick-up box.Prices for the Ford Ranger start at $20,990 and go all the way to $47,990 for the 3.0-litre, 4×4 Crew Cab model.