Battle of the Bakkies: The Hilux- Ranger Face-off

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With practically equal levels of performance, the Toyota Hilux vs Ford Ranger debate is one that will go on for eons. The market is flooded with faithfuls of either brand so we ran through a quick comparison on the specs of two comparable variants to help neutrals make that big decision.

We compared the 2.8 GD-6 double-cab 4×4 Raider Auto (which is the flagship Hilux in the range) with the 3.2 double-cab TDCI XLT 4×4 auto which isn’t top of the Ranger range but the most comparable in terms of specifications.

Exterior

Hilux:

With its standard grille and wrap-around headlights, the vehicle is recognizably Toyota. Although the elongated bumper has received some negative feedback with many holding the view that it lacks aesthetic value, the protruding front exists with good reason. It assists in cooling the engine bay as well as ensuring a sturdy approach angle when off-roading. The Hilux boasts a fresh look with its aerodynamic V shape styled roof and slanted windows.

Ranger:

The Ranger is an undeniably attractive vehicle. Its distinctively muscular build and chrome-laden grill is reminiscent of the Ford’s American F-series pick-up. It’s modern and bold, with striking projector headlights and an eye-catching hood.

Interior

Hilux:

The Hilux has undergone significant refinement since its preceding model with a new flat touchscreen audio system. The inclusion of cool toned blue luminaires throughout the cabin adds to the luxurious feel. The seating is comfortable, with standard black material though leather is available at an extra cost. Though attempts to free up space have been made since earlier models, space is still a concern in the Hilux.

Ranger:

The interior combines style and durability whilst being the only bakkie that provides leather upholstery as a standard. There have been improvements in insulation which account for its notably quiet cabin. It has a central 8-inch touch-screen and the latest Ford in-car connectivity system, Sync 2. Overall, the Ford offers a spacious, comfortable interior.

Dimensions:

Hilux: The height of the vehicle is around 1815mm with a length of 5335mm and a width of 1855mm. The Hilux has a braked towing capacity of 3 500kg and an unbraked capacity of 750 kg.

Ranger: Though height is similar to the Hilux at around 1851mm, the Ranger is slightly wider and longer with dimensions of 2163mm and 5354mm respectively. It also has a 200mm longer wheelbase. In terms of towing capacity, the Ranger matches the Hilux with 3500kg (braked) and 750 (unbraked).

Drive and Performance

Hilux: With a 2.8-litre DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder inline GD engine the Hilux pushes out 130kW, 429Nm. The 0-100km time stands at 11.2 seconds on the manual and 10.8 seconds on the auto version. Emissions on this vehicle are a class-leading figure of 199g/km and consumption is low at 7.6litres per 100kms.

Ranger: In terms of its outputs the Ranger boasts an impressive 147 kW, 470 Nm which is attributed to its 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder turbodiesel engine. A winning 10.3 seconds is the 0-100km time of this bakkie which overcomes its greater weight with its advanced powertrain. Fuel consumption is an area of concern however at a figure of around 8.5litres per 100km.

Offroad

Hilux: The Hilux range is exceptional at off-roading, and with the inclusion of an electronic rotary dial which selects two or four-wheel drive it allows selection of 4WD high at speeds of up to 50 km/h. It provides all round driver comfort. It has a ground clearance of 286mm and a wading depth of 700mm.

Ranger: The Ranger bakkie faces limited front wheel articulation as a result of its heavier engine. This, in addition to the longer wheelbase can be compromising in extreme conditions. There is also the higher sensitivity of the accelerator pedal when in low range. The Ranger has a ground clearance of 237mm and a wading depth of 800mm.

The verdict:

Whilst it appears that the Ranger offers the most powerful and luxurious double cab on the market, its superiority to the Hilux is only slight. Though the Ranger has an edge in several areas, the newer Hilux has lessened the gap greatly with its new boasts of features, efficiency and refinements. Considering aspects such as after-sales service and overall reliability are integral when choosing a car and its common knowledge that Toyota comes out top in both aspects. Brand preference is likely to kick in despite attempts to stay neutral and deciding between the two will come down to personal needs rather than general specs.

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