Ford Ranger or Navara

Submitted: Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 16:20
ThreadID: 97691 Views:12604 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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Hi we are thinking of changing to a duel cab I have looked around and the 2 that seem to fit our requirements are the Ranger XLT or Navara STX550 (Hilux will not tow our van) any comments on these vehicles would be appreciated either good or bad.
Thanks, Tony
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Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:30

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:30
Do you mean dual cab as in two. Seems like you have a duel between the brands though. So a duel of dual cabs, interesting!
You have to decide if you want a Renault engined V6 Navara or a Volvo engined 5cylinder Ford Ranger.

From a warranty perspective I would favour the Ford. I haven't had experience with either re warranty.
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Reply By: Member - Anthony W Adelaide - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:33

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:33
Ford for mine.

I don't have any personal experience with these vehicles but after reading a couple of reviews the new Ford looks like a good thing. The 5 cylinder engine is a proven unit and it has a slight F-truck look.

Would be just a little cheaper than the others and has a slightly bigger tow capacity as well.
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Follow Up By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:52

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 17:52
Travelled the Gunbarrel in the company of a Navara. Ended up towing it 200k to fit a new clutch. Lots of bits fell off as well. Couldn't really recommend one for outback travel.
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Reply By: phasar - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 18:22

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 18:22
G'day Tony

Better have a look at the Mazda BT50.
Much the same as the Ford but cheaper.
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 19:06

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 19:06
Remember there is a waiting list for Mazda/ Ford [6 months] I know mine is on ship due to dock 0800 01-09-12 in Brisbane.

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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 21:02

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 21:02
Friend has had a Ranger on order since Feb and still hasn't got it. He was told June originally but now they don't know.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew W14 - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:08

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:08
I had a Navara ST-X 6 speed manual Diesel for 5 years and 165,000 kms towing a 22" Scenic (around 2,500 kgs loaded, then a Designer Vans custom built around 2800 kgs loaded). Did about 30,00 km of towing between the two of them.

The engine performance, fuel economy, quality, reliability could not be beaten in my view. The performance of those engines, even when towing is beyond expectations and only those that have not had one would even think about criticising them.

HOWEVER - a repair job before the last trip necessitated in the removal of the tow bar which revealed two hairline cracks in the extension parts of the frame that hold the tub section. Each of these cracks were where the centre of the three retaining bolts for the tow bar holds the chassis ie the pivot pont on the chassis) . No repairer would look at it without an engineers certificate after repair.

The moral of the story - these vehicles are bloody great - until you start to approach their claimed towing limit and then they are simply not up to it. I had to sell mine to continue towing my 2,800 kg van despite it being within Nissans claimed limits.
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Reply By: Sapper D - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:40

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 20:40
Hi Tony
Just finished doing 13.000 kms in a Navara V6 stx 550, and couldnt speak highly enough about it.---We did The Gunbarrell, -The Canning,- then across the Duncan/Buchanan from Halls Creek to the Stuart Hwy, then the Gulf road from Roper Bar to Normanton.------Then we picked up our van which we had left in Qld for the camping trip, and towed it back to Vic.----The ute got a hell of a hammering, what with the load we had in/on it, and it never missed a beat-scratches and marks etc, but mechanical wise, terrific --That V6 is a serious engine, and the 7 sped gearbox is beautiful.----economy and power to match, and a pleasure to drive.----If I had one small critiscim, it would be the comfort of the seats, but everyone has there own feeling of comfort, so it might be fine for you.
Now if this sounds like a diehard Nissan fan talking, I must add I'm a Landcruiser man actually, but decided to get the ute for this one big trip, so I have a neutral outlook on this, and I'll give credit and criticism where it's due.
One of your replies mentioned a negative report about having to tow a Navara back in because of a burnt out clutch,---well, the STX 550 doesn't come in manual transmission, only auto, so that is misleading.
Hope this is of some help in your decision making,
Cheers......Sapper D
AnswerID: 493749

Follow Up By: ljsroslyn - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 08:45

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 08:45
Hi Tony

Have to agree with everything that Sapper D says. We have one also and love it. We have recently towed our camper around Corner Country, Arkaroola and Flinders Ranges as off road as we coould and it performed beautifully. We actually like the comfort of the seats and the ride is very "car like". It did everything we wanted it to do, overtaking was a breeze, forgot the camper was on the back a few times. The fuel economy was excellent although we did not work the figures out (brand new motor).

Our previous manual STX Navara never missed a beat in the 9 years we had it and not one mechanical issue the whole time. I never liked driving that as it felt like a driving a truck but the new 550 from a female perspective is great to drive.

We have also given the Navara a lift and added a canopy and storeage drawers.

Hope that helps
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 07:38

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 07:38
Have tested both StX-550 and Mazda , both autos and the 550 is a 7 speed auto and its the stronger tow vehicle for sure but the Mazda is quite good just a little slower.

The 550 has a few weak plastic panels underneath and its still hard to get a bar for it , but now longer range tanks are available just for it - my mate had a previous long range development tank and has just returned it to have another 15lt capacity added to it and this should be the final market version.

While both cars are good , I'm not convinced yet that they will take the heavy bush driving off road as a few weak spots are emerging.
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Reply By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 09:31

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 09:31
Hi Tony,

I have a 2010 dual cab Ford Ranger. I have had no experience towing with it, but have just got back from a 6,000 (ish) km round trip from Sydney, up the Oodnadatta Track to Mt Dare, across the Simpson, from Birdsville down to Innamincka, up to Eulo through Lightening Ridge & back to Sydney & it didn't miss a beat.

The vehicle I have was an ex demo with about 10,000km's & was fitted with front & rear bars, snorkel, AT tyres & canopy. I have added roof racks to the canopy & a dual battery system in the back. I plan on upgrading the suspension before a trip to Cape York next year, but apart from the accessories it was stock standard.

The fuel economy across the Simpson was quiet good considering the amount of weight I had in the back, from memory it ran at about 16ltrs per 100km's, not bad for 5 days sand driving....

Ford have been spot on with their servicing & customer service has been excellent. My decision was also between a Navara & a Ranger, but I am more than happy with my decision & highly recommend the Ranger.


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Follow Up By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 09:32

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 09:32
Need to change my profile pic - that was my old Nissan X-trail. Nissan servicing left a lot to be desired - part of the reason I chose the Ford!
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Reply By: Isuzumu - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 18:43

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 18:43
We are buying a new Isuzu D.Max, have it in two weeks. So I thought I would do a comparison between the Ranger and the D.Max, so I looked up the Wildtrax as we are getting the LS-Terrain, which is the top of the line as well.
So in the Wildtrax you get a diff lock, 18" rims, trailer sway and a few other things you do not get in the D.Max. The Isuzu gets leather seats, a GPS with Hema maps. Now the Ranger has more power, but honestly you would not know
I know the Ranger can tow more but the D.Max has better economy, so your all saying what the fuss is? Well, the Wildtrax is around $65K and we have just paid $50K for out new LS-T, just my two bobs worth.

AnswerID: 493808

Reply By: Mad Habits - Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 21:17

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 at 21:17
I have been on the road since October pulling a 3,500kg 5th wheeler with an STX550 It does it with ease, though I will say I don't like using the auto for towing as it bogs on hills then drops 2 cogs and revs high and fuel consumption goes up.

That said I use the manual change when towing it is smooth, easy and effortless. The temp guage has never risen above normal even up a 9km steep incline it did not move enough to notice and I was watching it and expecting it to heat up. Drove past a few cars with their bonnets up and steam pouring out of them.

I average 18lt per 100km but on freeways I can get it down to around 15.8lt per 100km tugging 3500kg in 7th gear @ 95kph doing 1500rpm.
110kph @ approx 1700rpm

I would not like anything with less than the 550nm torque this thing puts out and I would buy another one if I was pulling a big van 5th wheeler or a large horse float full of donkeys.

However if I was pulling say around 2800kg I would get the 6peed auto STX 450nm model and save around 20K as it would do that wieght easily but if you are pushing the envelope get the power.

ALL the power you can afford! You won't regret it when you are overtaking people up steep hills pulling small vans with weak cars.

Towing a van the max tow rating is 3000kg, 5th wheelers can be more check the GCM I'm about 200kg under the max.

Cheers Nigel
AnswerID: 493817

Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 06:20

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 06:20

Good to see the vehicle is performing well.

Just one thing. That engine will be getting hotter with the load on a climb, it is just the fact that the manufactures set the gauges up so they don't show the rise. The downside of this is when they do start to move the temp by that time will be quite high. Lets say if you install a 0-150c gauge you will see what I mean.

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Follow Up By: gbc - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 11:09

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 11:09
I don't often stick up for the colorado, but mine has temp guage which is very quick to respond. Having been a toyota/nissan man my whole life it scares the bloody pants off me to see the temp rise up hills and when doing a bit of work offroad after having been 'lied' to after all those years.
FollowupID: 769499

Reply By: Burnt Damper - Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 09:22

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 at 09:22
I have a Mazda Bt50 latest model with 18864km on the clock it has had a 3 inch exhaust and Roo's system chip installed. I towed my 22 foot van plus boat on roof and camping equipment from Brisbane to Mount Molloy ( near Mareeba) fuel economy 14.1 lt per 100 km . Then I have done 4860 km since touring the Cape , Lakefield National Park, Bathurst Bay , Cooktown, Bloomfield Track, Daintree etc grossing 3.2 ton which is right on the vehicle GVM and averaged 11.2 lt per 100 km this is with my 3.5 mt boat on top of canopy. The only major problem I have encounted is spring fade which I am hopefully fixing with an old man emu spring upgrade. I am not a 4WD enthusiast or a extreme driver just a semi retired truck driver cruising around. As you know the BT50 and the Ford Ranger are basically the same vehicle I thought this may help
AnswerID: 493841

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