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Thread: Ford Tickford Ranger 2016 Review

  1. #1
    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Jan 2012

    Ford Tickford Ranger 2016 Review

    Ford Tickford Ranger XLT
    Road Test

    Muscled-up pick-ups are all the rage in the US, so it was only a matter of time before a big local player decided to capitalise on Australia’s love affair with one-tonne utes and introduce some American-style performance and dress-up kits for one of Australia’s top-selling models. But while the off-road accessory market for dual-cabs is booming, is there sufficient demand for an in-your-face, bitumen-blasting ute costing as much as $75,000?

    With the number of utes sold in this country - almost 175,000 last year alone – it’s no surprise more local automotive companies are turning their attention to upgrading and enhancing these now 24/7 workhorses.

    Brands like ARB have made millions selling snorkels, bull-bars and other off-road accessories to recreational ute owners, so it makes sense there’s also a significant market for showy, on-road-oriented enhancements. One of the first aftermarket tuners to get in on the action was Walkinshaw with its tricked-up Colorado XTreme, and now reborn Ford hot-shop Tickford is offering a range of suspension, engine and cosmetic tweaks for Ford’s top-selling Ranger ute.

    Largely designed and developed in-house at the racing and engineering facility of its Prodrive parent company at Campbellfield in Victoria, the Tickford range of ‘personalisation products’ is focused on beefing up the looks as well as on-road performance and handling of the Thai-built workhorse.

    Although targeting owners of the latest PXII Ranger crew-cab models, many of the Tickford upgrades can be fitted to pre-facelifted models as well as different ute styles. They’re available as three main kits costing between $3905 and $7995 fitted, or as individual items, so Ranger owners can add as little or much as their tastes or budgets allow.

    With the aim of “improving on-road feeling while adding to the utility’s ‘tough truck’ looks” the suspension package includes new Bilstein dampers and King springs, 20x9.0-inch ‘Tickford’ alloy wheels with 265/50R20 Goodyear Wrangler AT tyres, a tyre pressure monitor, bolt-on black ‘fender flares’ and the option of a two-inch lift kit.

    The visual enhancements extend to a Tickford front grille, side steps, headlight surrounds tail-light covers and other matte-black exterior trim, while inside there’s new leather trim available for the seats, steering wheel, centre console and door inserts, not to mention a dash-mounted badge and aluminium door sill plates with the Tickford logo.

    The powertrain upgrade adds an air-filter, intercooler, pipe kits, 2.5-inch cat-back exhaust with side-exit dual carbon tips, an ECU recalibration (custom diesel tune) and Tickford rear decal to deliver up to 15 per cent more power and 20 per cent more torque (147kW/470Nm to approximately 169kW/564Nm).

    The test vehicle supplied by Tickford is literally a ‘burger with the lot’, fitted with most of the upgrades currently available apart from a couple of minor trim items for a total cost of almost $21,000 (fitted), on top of the $55,000 XLT Ranger base vehicle.

    There will be opportunities to spend even more when Tickford introduces additional items like a sports bar and hard tonneau cover in the near future.

    As it is, the high-riding, Tickford-enhanced Ranger is certainly eye-catching on the road, with its bold Tickford grille and massive bolt-on guards sitting high above striking 20-inch wheels shouting ‘look at me’ like few other one-tonne utes.

    It’s clear Tickford has tried to replicate some of the tough-truck styling cues of ‘hero’ models like the Raptor F-150 and RAM Rebel. There are even some party tricks, like the custom black side steps with cut-out lettering that cast a reverse ‘Tickford’ shadow on the ground when the sun is shining.

    The upgrades inside are fewer and subtler, with the dual-tone white-stitched leather seats and classy suede and leather steering wheel adding some upmarket ambience to this $75,000 ute.

    Behind the wheel, the suspension mods certainly transform the Ranger’s corner-carving abilities on bitumen. Defying its jacked-up stance, the Tickford Ranger turns in more keenly and with less body roll than the standard ute. The vehicle only loses some poise when pushing hard, as the road-biased rear tyres lose grip and slip into a controllable slide.

    However, the downside of this stiffer set-up is a much less forgiving ride. Unlike the standard Ranger’s class-leading compliance over a variety of surfaces, the Tickford-tuned version fidgets on rougher surfaces, delivers more road shock to occupants and crashes harshly over potholes. If you plan to spend considerable time on the dirt we recommend you stick with the factory suspension tune.

    The powertrain upgrades should have more wide-ranging appeal, with noticeably sharper throttle response and more muscular feel up to 3000rpm, making it feel quicker to 100km/h. The good news is that in conjunction with the quick-thinking six-speed auto it retains the smooth, linear power delivery of the standard 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

    Those hoping for a ‘sportier’ exhaust or engine note will be disappointed though, with a mostly familiar diesel thrum and impressive NVH levels also retained in the Tickford-tweaked ute.

    While a few extra neddies are always appreciated, we imagine grey nomads, boaties and others who tow big trailers or carry a lot of gear will derive most benefit from the $7995 powertrain upgrade, with the extra 22kW and 94Nm helping to maintain speed up hills or when overtaking.

    Back in the 1990s the Tickford name was best known for a series of hot Falcon sedans, and it’s clear the new business is again targeting the on-road performance crowd willing to pay a premium for quality, compliant OEM-spec products that have been properly engineered and tested and come with solid, after-sales back-up.

    The powertrain upgrades are covered by Tickford’s own drivetrain warranty, with the Melbourne-based outfit providing a guarantee that it will cover “for the balance of the new vehicle warranty, any failure that occurs as a direct result of the functionality and fitment of our products.”

    Many would argue the Ford Ranger already offers sufficient grunt, on-road poise and tough looks straight from the factory but, for those who don’t, the Tickford tweaks offer an enticing if somewhat pricey solution.

    2016 Ford Tickford Ranger XLT
    Price: $75,000 (approx – donor car plus $20,835 supplied and fitted
    Engine: 3.2-litre, five-cylinder turbo-diesel
    Outputs: 169kW/564Nm (estimated)
    Transmission: Six-speed automatic
    Fuel: 8.7L/100km (ADR Combined)
    CO2: 229g/km (ADR Combined)
    Safety rating: Five-star ANCAP end
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

  2. #2
    7753 - 5030 HSE2's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    A pretty decent review.
    History is a statement, the future is a question.

  3. #3
    Validated User WASP's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Yes an interesting account. I got the impression the value presented in terms of actual improvements in drive-ability is questionable. The value placed of the more cosmetic enhancement is always a personal thing. Personally I think the TickFord stuff looks much less tacky than alot of the aftermarket gear I have seen. Its always harder to improve on what is already a smart and good looking base.

    My biggest detraction on the drive train side would be dealing with the handling of warranty. I know they cover this, but what is the consumer experience in activating claims? Ford are not known for making this easy and you don't want to be caught up in the middle while your vehicle is laid up. In the end if there is an inconvenience as a consumer you would have to ask yourself if the enhancement difference in performance is worth it.
    Lifetime Ford Falcon enthusiast and previous owner of the following models XR, XY, XB, XC, XD, EB, AU, BA and FG.
    Current owner of a BA Mk2 FPV GT and a FG XR6 Turbo

    Mustang enthusiast and current owner of a 1969 Mach 1 351 4V 4-barrel M-Code + 2018 Mustang GT 10 speed

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to WASP For This Useful Post:

    FTe217 (2nd November 2016)

  5. #4
    Mr Aftermarket :) FTe217's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Driving my cars as much as I can
    I concur Colville.
    Lets face it, its a percentages game regards to those wishing to put their toes in the water.
    YNWA ! off to CL 2018.
    Sydney is Sky Blue HAL Premiers/Champions 2017 - the Double.

  6. #5
    Senior Member andrewforbes's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Not that I'm trying to start a new war, but I reckon Ford (wildtrack) were upstyling dual cabs before walkforsure n the Colorado. Its funny how they write about a enhanced Ford ranger by prodrive n bring tickford back they have to mentioned walkforsure. Seems like the same old tired story. Didn't really want to mention it, but it's just shits me that these so called journalist can't help but plug Holden. Wished they'd get over it, it's been a gm product for years. Holden my have started here but that's all they can claim. I challenge any reporter to write an article about a Ford product without a mention of a gm one.
    Otherwise it's a fair review n I'm hope the sell quite a few.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to andrewforbes For This Useful Post:

    FTe217 (3rd November 2016)



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