Ford_Ranger_frontPickup trucks are all the rage in Australia at the moment and Ford says it’s very keen to be the market leader in this important segment. Toyota HiLux has been a winner here just about forever, but Ford says Ranger can oust HiLux and take top spot on the podium. Ford is certainly coming closer by the month.

A big ambition? Yes, but a smart one as the Ford Falcon will disappear from the Australian market in October this year and something has to fill its place and bring dollars into the company’s coffers.

The biggest strength of Ford Ranger is that, unlike everything else in this class, it was designed and engineered in Australia and a great deal of testing was done in this country. The same thing applies to the wagon version of the Ranger, the Everest SUV. (Okay, so the current model Mazda BT-50 is a Ranger with a different name, so technically it was designed in Australia as well. The next BT-50 will be an overseas design and won’t share anything with the Ranger.)


Appearance is pretty important in this market area and the Ranger 4×4 XLS Special Edition has a sports bar, side steps, bed and tailgate liners.

This is a big pickup and the safety of a rear view camera and rear parking sensors is appreciated.

The Ranger 4×4 XLS Special Edition has a 3.5-tonne towing capacity when the correct towing kit is installed, making it equal leader in its field. More and more baby boomers are retiring and hitting the road on a traditional lap of Australia with big caravans behind them the Ford Ranger can be added to their short lists of tow vehicles.


Ford Ranger 4×4 XLS Special Edition is a double-cab pickup and goes on sale in September as the next shot in the battle of the sales race. It has$4900 worth of Ford Genuine Factory-Fitted accessories, but only $2500 is added to the price of the XLS on which it is based.

Ford has a recommended driveway price on the Ranger XLS Special Edition of $49,990 with a six-speed manual gearbox, and $52,190 with a six-speed automatic transmission.

In the convoluted world of anti-price-fixing legislation in Australia Ford has asked us to point out that, “The selling price of any vehicle is at the discretion of the selling dealer.” Over to you, potential buyers…

Like the other XLT models the Special Edition is powered by the larger of the turbo-diesel engines in the Ranger range, a 3.2-litre unit producing 147 kW of power and 470 Nm of torque at 1500 rpm.

Ford Australia has been a major player in the automotive scene in Australia since 1925. It currently employs over 1100 designers and engineers and will continue to play a major role in Ford’s global design field after the local factory shuts down. Believe it or not, that’s on Bathurst weekend – who dreamt up that weird timing?

Ford tells us it will be the largest automotive employer in Australia after Holden and Toyota cease Australian manufacturing in 2017.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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