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Ford Courier 2005 review

The new powerplant is Courier's first V6 engine, borrowed from the US light truck, Ranger, and similar to the the 4.0-litre engine in Explorer.

It easily outguns Holden Rodeo's 3.5-litre V6.

Courier underwent a major facelift in early 1999 when the panels were upgraded to give a similar appearance to Ford's F-Series.

In June 2000 Ford replaced the manual front hubs on 4WD models with auto-locking hubs activated by a button on the dash.

The new engine brings Courier into line with most of the other manufacturers that offer V6 petrol engines in their light commercial trucks and 4WDs.

The new V6 Courier will be sold alongside existing four cylinder models starting this month.

It is available in both 2WD and 4WD across Super Cab and Crew Cab body styles and in GL and XLT specification levels.

Recommended pricing starts at $30,990 for both the manual and automatic versions of the 2WD Crew Cab up to $43,190 for the top of the range auto 4WD XLT Crew Cab.

While the new engine is the highlight of the new model, it is not the only improvement.

There's now a new two-speaker, single slot CD player with AM/FM radio on all GL and XL models, while the XLT models pick up the new audio system interface to go with the existing four speaker, six disc CD player.

XL and XLT models receive a new double lid centre console with integrated arm rest as part of the PH model upgrade, while XL and XLT Pick-up models gain a remote fuel-lid opener.

All Crew Cabs now get a triple cup holder for second row passengers.

There are more storage pockets throughout the cabin.

Outside there are minor changes to the styling with a new design for the rear combination lamps, new side indicators and clear lenses, new decals and upgraded wheels on all XLT models.

It was disappointing that Ford did not take the opportunity to also upgrade the antiquated system of engaging 4WD.

Ford says that the 4WD system can be engaged "on the fly" which is only partly true.

In order to engage 4WD the hubs must be locked in and that can only happen if you stop the car, put it in neutral, push the brake, and then hit the hub locking button, oddly named RFW.

Then, with the locking light showing, you can move between two wheel drive and four wheel drive, unless you disengage the hubs, which can be done on the fly.

While the hubs can be left locked, this increases fuel consumption.

The new engine gives the Courier an edge in power over competitors, Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota HiLux and Holden Rodeo.

It also comes at a time of booming sales in the light commercial market, particularly the V6 segment.

The German-built 4.0 litre SOHC V6 produces 154 kW of power at 5250 rpm and 323 Nm of torque at 3000 rpm.

With the new engine comes two new transmissions, a five speed manual and the option of a five speed automatic on Crew Cab models.

Ford says the five speed manual is a heavy duty box.

It's a long throw transmission that is a little notchy, but not out of place in this type of vehicle.

The auto is a smooth transmission well matched to the engine.

In our testing of the vehicle we found NVH levels high in acceleration mode but more than acceptable when cruising speed was reached.

Ford has raised the ride height by 20mm to facilitate the V6 engine, giving the V6 model greater ground clearance than the four cylinder Courier models, and elevating the driving height to give improved road views.

Front dampers have been re-calibrated for improved ride quality and body control over rough or uneven terrain.

"The introduction of V6 Courier will raise the stakes in the ultra competitive light truck market," said Damon Paull, Courier Brand Marketing Manager.

Courier V6 builds on the established reputation of the brand and now has an engine with class-leading power and torque and an optional five speed auto transmission," he said.

In 2004 Courier 2WD sales were up 18.2 per cent over 2003 while Courier 4WD were up 11.9 per cent.

Pricing Guides

Based on 31 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

GL 4.0L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $6,995 – 8,990 2005 Ford Courier 2005 GL Pricing and Specs
GL (4x4) 4.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $6,950 – 9,990 2005 Ford Courier 2005 GL (4x4) Pricing and Specs
XL 2.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $3,300 – 5,170 2005 Ford Courier 2005 XL Pricing and Specs
XL (4x4) 2.5L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $5,500 – 7,700 2005 Ford Courier 2005 XL (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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