Best 4x4 Dual-Cab Ute

Australia's Best Cars 2016/17

Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 – Australia's Best 4x4 Dual-Cab Ute

This is Ford Ranger’s third win in four years, aided by a model refresh and some extra kit being added in 2016. It excels in the things these utes are bought for, such as towing, as well as having a practical design that makes it easy to live with.

The list of standard features in Ranger is the benchmark in this market. A rear-view camera and reversing sensors has become standard across most of the line-up, and the XLT also has front parking sensors as standard.

The update also saw the XLT get Ford’s new SYNC 3 in-vehicle communications and entertainment platform that has faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, smartphone-like touch-screen and an improved graphics interface.

Inside the cabin, Ranger was equal best in class for space, and outside tray space was equal to or better than any of the other contenders. The seating comfort was also equal best in class, and during the upgrade Ford put more sound deadening in the XLT. As such the cabin is relatively quieter but it’s still not as good as the HiLux.

Even loaded with three judges in the cabin and half a tonne in the tray, Ranger easily lugged its way up a steep 4WD test track as the 470Nm delivered by the 3.2-litre 147kW five-cylinder turbo-diesel powerplant was well and truly up to the task.

Ranger topped the list here for towing, with a more-than-useful 3500-kilogram rated capacity. Supported by trailer sway mitigation and tyre pressure monitoring, it is also the only ute in the class to have a towbar as standard.