Toyota Hilux Vs Ford Ranger – This is a battle between two performance-oriented pickup trucks that are not available in the United States. To make it even more interesting, the race does not take place on a track, but on a flat strip of desert.
The Toyota Hilux Legend 2.8 GD-6 RS is a pickup truck with a long name. Power comes from a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 201 horsepower (150 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. It is driven through a six-speed automatic, and there is also four-wheel drive. In South Africa where this test is taking place, this truck costs 876,800 South African Rand ($60,745 at the current exchange rate).
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Another contender is the Ford Ranger Thunder. It has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder bioturbo diesel engine that develops 211 hp (157 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). It has a 10-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. The truck costs 839,900 South African Rand ($58,181).
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In the first race, both trucks are in rear wheel drive. They are next to each other at the beginning. However, when the Ford shifts gears, the wheels spin and the traction control reduces power. This allows Toyota to succeed and stay there. At the finish line, Hilux has more than one car ahead.
For the second run, the trucks go into four-wheel drive. This time the race is even closer. Ford manages to get ahead, but Toyota is there. Eventually, the Hilux starts to close in, but there isn’t enough room for the truck to pass the Ranger.
With every vehicle winning, it would be nice to see another race as a final. It seems like the Hilux could win with better launch, especially if the Ranger has another issue with traction control activation. Although July ended a long time ago, we finally have an indication of how the double cab race is going in South Africa with regards to the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux in particular. The information is based on what Lightstone Auto reported.
Including double-cab, extra-cab and single-cab body configurations, Lightstone confirms that the Toyota Hilux leads the race with total sales of 2,836 units, while the Ford Ranger is slightly behind with a figure of 1,620 unit.
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The double cab variant was the Toyota Hilux sales driver with a figure of 1,355 units sold. It was followed by the single cabbage with a yield of 1,043 units and the extra-cab with 438 units. The most popular body style of the Ford Ranger was the double cab with reported sales figures of 1,303 units, while the single and extra cabs sold 165 and 152 units, respectively.
Year to date, Hiluk is well ahead with a total of 22,654 units sold. The Ranger challenges this with a score of 13,134 units.
With a combined sale of 933 units in July 2021, the soon-to-be-replaced Isuzu D-Max sold 488 double cabs, 387 single cabs and 58 additional cabs. The annual figure for this model is reported to be 9,049 units.
Mahindra Pik-Up ended the month with a small volume of 190 units consisting of 70 double cabs and 120 single cabs. A figure of 2,336 units has been reported so far.
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Other one-tonne vehicles sold in South Africa, such as the Nissan Navara, Mazda BT-50 and Volkswagen Amarok, are not specified in Lightstone Auto.
Journalist for CAR Magazine since 2015. I strive to tackle the ever-changing automotive landscape while keeping you up to date with all the important stories. Toyota’s Hilux and Ford’s Ranger are battling it out to be not only Australia’s most popular ute and 4×4, but – more importantly – Australia’s most popular vehicle overall, ahead of the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.
Hilux sales so far are 17,917, while Ranger is close at 16,587. Both are ahead of the Corolla’s 15,624 and the Mazda3’s 14,562.
More importantly, Ranger sales are growing faster than the Hilux, and the Ranger is already leading in 4×4 sales, where most sales are in the ute market. If current trends continue, the Ranger will overtake the Hilux as Australia’s best-selling vehicle before the end of the year.
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Within the wide range of Hilux and Ranger models, which range from entry-level work vehicles to well-equipped family transport, the high-spec 4×4 Double Cabs are a hot property on the showroom floor. So it’s no surprise that Toyota and Ford have steered these two models in that direction.
For Toyota, the TRD model sits above the range-topping SR5, and for Ford, the FX4 sits between the popular XSLT and the range-topping Wildtrak. So how do they compare and which one is worth your hard earned dollars?
It’s almost ten years since the TRD nameplate was put on a Hilux. It was the previous generation of Hiluk – and it had a gasoline engine
V6 at that. TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development, the division within Toyota that deals with racing and performance parts.
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The previous Hiluk TRD (launched in 2008) was a Toyota Australia TRD product and came with a supercharged 4.0-litre petrol V6, Bilstein sports suspension, larger front brake calipers and rotors, body kit and many styling touches.
Thanks to the supercharger, the power is increased by almost 30 percent – to 225 kW – and the torque by 20 percent to 453 Nm. Nice on paper, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to its promise and was withdrawn from sale after 18 months. Now that’s probably a collector’s item!
Fast forward to 2017 and this latest TRD is diesel only and has nothing you’d traditionally associate with a TRD, as there are no performance upgrades.
However, you get additional equipment in the form of a prominent red skid plate, custom 18-inch wheels, leather, tow bar, ute trim, soft tonneau cover and details such as new wheel arches, grille, lower bumper covers and taillight. Comes in black or white.
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Powering the Hilux is the now familiar 2.8-litre diesel familiar to the Fortuner – that’s what’s under the hood of the Prado, although the 2.8-litre Prado has counter-rotating balance shafts for even smoother operation .
Despite the reduction in capacity compared to the previous Hiluk 3.0-litre diesel, the 2.8’s maximum torque is significantly higher (now 450Nm) and about the same power. So, while the engine is generally more responsive in ‘touch and take’ driving, it’s definitely not pedal-to-the-metal power and it’s far less than the Ranger’s performance.
It’s a shame the TRD badge didn’t come with a performance chip, a bigger exhaust and a bit more grunt.
The six-speed automatic that replaced the five-speed behind the 3.0-liter doesn’t help performance either, only adding a second overdrive ratio rather than tightening the ratio width.
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Worse, the extra-high-six engine doesn’t behave well at highway speeds on bumpy roads, so there’s a bit of shifting back and forth between fifth and sixth. At least the shift quality is good.
Still, for all that, the 2.8 is an enjoyable engine. Smooth, quiet and low torque, but also willing to accelerate when asked. Compared to the rather rugged Ranger, it’s much quieter, more refined and slightly more economical, but lacks the grunt and classy performance of the Ranger.
The Hilux feels pretty nimble for a modern ute, partly because it’s now one of the smaller utes in most dimensions – it certainly feels smaller than the Ranger.
Toyota has also done well with steering feel, overall handling response and road noise reduction, clearly learning something from the refined and enjoyable VV Amarok that appeared early in the development of this generation of Hilux and which Hilux engineering approached later with the team.
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In any case, its general road manners are a vast improvement over the previous Hilux, even if the rear ride is a little harsh when unladen – something that’s hard to avoid with a ute.
The TRD’s trump card on the ground is its much longer rear wheel travel. At more than half a metre, it is an improvement of almost 70mm on the previous Hilux and represents the best figure in the class.
Supporting that wheel travel is a highly effective Terrain-Specific Traction Control (A-TRC, in Toyota parlance) system to provide 4×4 capability that is as good as it gets in this class. Compared to the Ranger and many others, the Hilux’s more compact dimensions can also be a bonus in tight situations.
Interestingly, the TRD has a driver-adjustable rear lock, like the SR and SR5, but since its activation cancels the traction control on both axles, leaving the front differential “open” to effective, it is mostly a disadvantage.
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In contrast, the Ranger’s locker leaves the front axle’s traction control active, which is a bonus. This would likely put the Ranger ahead of the Hilux in terms of overall towing capacity, if it weren’t for the Hilux’s extra rear travel.
It is worth noting that in addition to the standard corner plate, the TRD red corner plate remains in place, and although it can provide additional protection, it can also reduce the approach angle
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