When you use a car on a daily basis, including parking it, driving it, and loading it with groceries but also kids (usually your own, but sometimes their friends'), you get a good feel for its advantages and disadvantages.
Australians are well-known for this fact. Currently, they are gorging on double-cab utes. As a result of their appeal to our spirit of adventure, they have effectively replaced Ford Falcons & Holden Commodores in parking lots across Australia. They really are as versatile as they claim to be in the ads.
How practical are dual cab utes like the Ranger, Amarok, BT-50, D-Max, Navara, etc., given their increasingly high levels of cruise and handling sophistication, active and inactive safety technology, and lengthy lists of standard features? How big is the cabin, how comfortable is it, and what options does it have? Can you tell me how much space is available for storage? Approximately how many receptacles for 12-volt batteries and USB ports are there?
Each one of these vehicles have been driven in all of their possible environments, from hauling a caravan and carrying a large load to driving them unloaded in the suburbs and city as a rising number of household buyers do.
In case anyone actually intends to put these off-road, designers made sure they could handle it.
Even though driving a ute is still not quite like driving a car, modern models are much more safe and better fitted than their predecessors; in fact, some models even have an SUV-like driving experience.
Even though they all adhere to a similar formula, the ute class is among the few categories in which vehicles have noticeable handling differences. The gradations of grey were clearly differentiated, and certain distinctions were uncovered in black and white.
These automobiles are notoriously difficult to perfect for automakers.
Dual-cab utes are the automobiles equivalent of an Olympic pentathlete, requiring five-star safety ratings, towing capacities of up to 3500 kilogrammes, carrying capacities of up to 1000 kilogrammes, and off-road capabilities.
There is no other car on the market today that can compete on such a wide range of fronts.
We believe some customers may be asking far too much of a few of these utes after trying to drive them vacant, with 650 kilogrammes in the back, and hauling a 2200kilogramme caravan for an entire week.
We took into account every possible factor when evaluating these cars, but we know that some consumers will still prioritise other factors more highly.
The majority of the vehicles evaluated fall within the $50,000 to $55,000 price range.
Ridgeback Service Bodies is a premier ute & truck service body manufacturer for trades vehicles. Based in Melbourne, Ridgeback provides Australia's largest range of tough, quality ute & truck service bodies.
- Lift-Off Ute & Truck Service Bodies
- Fixed Ute & Truck Service Bodies
- General Service Bodies
- Trades & Fleet Solutions
Here are our top five most practical utes.
1. Four-Wheel-Drive Dual-Cabin Ford Ranger Xlt
The XLT ($57,600 plus on-roads) is the best dual cab in this group; the Wildtrak ($60,090 for the automatic, excluding on-roads) is the best in the range, but we don't think it's worth the extra money because its overly-styled interior (while great to look at) would take a beating in daily use.
Getting in and out of the Ranger is a breeze thanks to the wide opening of the doors. There is plenty of space for both passengers' heads and legs, and the leather-trimmed front seats are soft and supportive.
Seating in the second row of the Ranger is similar to that found in other dual-cab utes, but it is more spacious and supportive than in most other vehicles.
There's plenty of room for your belongings thanks to the roomy glove box, coin slot, centre console, two cupholders, bottle holder, door storage in each door, and seat-back pockets.
The vehicle's rear console features a 230V inverter in addition to two 12v auxiliary power outlets located up front and one located in the back. In the front, you will find a USB port.
The 8.0-inch full-color 'SYNC3' touch - sensitive media unit and the 4.2-inch colour displays for the vehicle's instrumentation are both user-friendly from the driver's seat.
Other notable features include front and back sensors, a tyre pressure monitoring, a reversing camera, and dual-zone climate control.
A 3.2-liter inline-five turbo-diesel producing 147 kilowatts and 470 Newton-meters (Nm) powers this Ranger's six-speed automatic transmission.
Claimed fuel economy is 9.0L/100km, and the fuel tank capacity is 80 litres.
The tray measures at 1549mm in length, 1139mm in width, 511mm in depth, and features four anchor points. Load height is 840mm (the distance from the floor to the ground). As much as 3500kg can be towed (braked).
The XLT has the highest possible ANCAP rating of five stars, and the 'Tech Pack' ($800) tends to add adaptive cruise-control, lane-departure warning, automatic high beam, and other features to the already impressive roster of safety equipment.
The XLT has two upper anchorages that can be used with child safety seats, as well as two ISOFIX anchor-points.
The current generation of the Ford Ranger will be replaced by a completely new vehicle in about 2 years.
With the release of the PXI in 2011 and the subsequent arrival of the PXII in 2015, Ford has made significant investments to ensure that the Ranger maintains its position as the market leader.
The Ranger we tested, which we've dubbed "PXIII," was introduced in September of 2018, and a minor model-year update is on the horizon for 2020 that will include upgraded headlights as well as a USB port located conveniently close to the rearview mirror for plugging in dash cams.
Check out this post on 6 FACTORS WHEN CHOOSING – SHOULD I BUY A TACOMA OR TUNDRA?
It's possible that, after the Toyota HiLux, the Ford Ranger is Australia's second best-selling ute. The Mercedes X-Class may be newer, but the Lexus RX is still the gold standard in terms of luxury, amenities, manoeuvrability, and technology.
The high-resolution news and entertainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Auto, the speed-sign-recognition technology, the various fast-charging USB ports, the household power socket for charging a laptop, the digital speed display, the roomy cabin, the comfortable seats, the large glove box, the ample door pockets, and the ample legroom all contribute to the vehicle's overall attractiveness.
There are also lighted central fastening switches on the front doors and a telescoping sun visor to block side glare, both of which are nice to have when driving through sketchy neighbourhoods. You won't find all these luxuries in any other pickup truck.
When paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel is a powerful combination, second only to the Volkswagen Amarok TDV6 in terms of acceleration (empty, loaded, and when towing), and easily quicker & ballsier than that of the Ranger's old 3.2-liter five-cylinder diesel.
The only real complaint about this drivetrain is that the 10-speed automatic isn't always seamless or obviously designed.
Due to the PXIII update that was released in September 2018, the Ranger's suspension is the most forgiving over rough terrain than those of the other heavy-duty workhorses.
It's more comfortable to drive when empty, but the rear suspension dips just a bit when carrying weight or pulling a trailer. Although this is not a deal breaker, it is something to keep in mind if you intend to instal a permanent toolkit on the back.
Despite being one of the most off-road capable utes, the departure angle of the Ranger is limited by the location of the tow bar.
The results of the 100 km/h to zero braking test demonstrated that stopping performance could be enhanced. Adding optional heavy-duty rear suspension may also be worthwhile. Maybe there's room for not one but two Ranger XLT trim levels, the luxury and the pro.
Finally, the Ford website shows the price of the XLT dual cab also with twin-turbo 2.0-liter and 10-speed auto - the vehicle users tested - at around $65,000 drive-away, but prices differ wildly depending on supply. Ford tries to pay extra freight prices whenever inventory is low. In June of 2019, however, the price of this model was increased to $55,490.
After receiving some revisions ever since, the Ranger has reasserted itself and was showing promise for a win in 2018 before the Blue-Oval offered a new five-year/unlimited-kilometer warranty for new cars delivered as of May 1st. The announcement came right before our finals week for the entire class began, giving the Ranger an almost insurmountable advantage.
The big Ford drives more like a car and has more refined road manners than you'd expect from a vehicle designed primarily for work and rough off-road terrain. The ride, handling, and steering are all top-notch for the category.
Among Australian car buyers, dual-cab utes continue to rise in popularity. The Ranger XLT is a prime example of the adaptability, drivability, and civility that today's dual cab utes can provide. That's why it's once again establishing its dominance over a group it can claim as its own. Ford has announced new powerful engines delivering up to 500Nm torque, a 10-speed automatic, advanced safety features, and other upgrades for the 2019 Ranger, so it will continue to be a formidable competitor.
2. Dual Cabin Mazda Bt-50 Xtr
For $50,890 (not including on-road fees), you can get the XTR, which is a fantastic combination of passenger-car luxury and everyday usability. The only BT-50 with a better specification is the GT, but we find this one to be just as good.
Those in the front or back rows will appreciate the comfortable seating and spacious cabin. The front seats are bolstered and cushioned, providing a level of comfort comparable to that of the Ranger, while the back seats are the standard issue "sit up straight" variety.
A lockable and illuminated glove box, cupholders, side bottle keepers (front and back), door pockets (front row), an overhead sun glasses storage box, and other storage options are available inside the cabin.
There are three 12V auxiliary outlets as well as a USB charging port.
Controls for the 7.8-inch colour interactive media touchscreen, digital instrumentation (with dimmer), and the vehicle's audio system are all conveniently located on the driver's steering wheel. Other features include dual-zone climate control, satellite radio, and a rearview camera.
The 3.2-liter turbo-diesel inline-five powering the BT-50 generates 147 kilowatts and 470 Newton-meters of torque.
It has an 80-liter fuel tank and a claimed fuel economy of 9.7 litres per 100 kilometres.
Dimensionally, the tray measures in at 1549mm in length, 1560mm in width (1139mm between both the arches of the wheels), 513mm in depth, and features no less than six "interior rope hooks." The height of the load is 841mm. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3500kg (maximum, braked).
The BT-50 has been awarded a perfect score of five stars by ANCAP, and the second row of seats is equipped with two top-tether anchor points rather than ISOFIX for child safety seats.
Check out this post on MOST FUEL EFFICIENT 4×4 TRUCKS
3. LS-T Isuzu D-Max
The D-Max fills the niche for a practical dual cab ute because it can handle the roughhousing, messiness, and incidental minimal injuries of daily life without flinching.
Starting at $54,200, this D-Max is fully loaded and ready to serve its purpose. Also, it is unabashedly and thoroughly a ute, and it is very useful.
The cabin is just the right size, with enough legroom for the operator and all passengers, however the 'leather-accented' seats are not quite as supportive or as comfortable as those in the Ranger/BT-50.
Upper and lower glove compartments, numerous cupholders (two around driver and the front passenger, 1 below each of the 2 in-cabin front-side air ducts, and 2 fold-down cupholders inside the centre ground console for back seats), door bulges, tool space underneath the flip-up rear seats, seat-back pockets, and a few small slots for parts and pieces are all included.
In addition to the standard 12 volt power socket in the glove compartment, there are two USB access points in the console and one in the rear of the centre ground console for passengers' use.
There is a leather steering wheel (with audio, Bluetooth, and other controls) and a 7.0-inch colour digital touchscreen for the driver. There is also dual-zone climate control, satellite radio, and a rearview camera.
Recently updated, the D-Max now offers a choice between a new six-speed automatic or manual transmission and a new engine (a 3.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 130 hp and 430 Nm, meeting Euro 5 standards).
It is said to use 7.9L/100km of fuel, and its fuel tank holds 76L.
The tray on the D-Max is 1552mm in length (measured from the floor), 465mm in depth, 1530mm in width throughout the top, & 1105mm in width between the wheel wells. Each of the four corners of the tray serves as a secure attachment point. The maximum permissible height of the load is 800mm.
Optimum braked towing capacity for the D-Max is 3500kg, with an unbraked capacity of 750kg.
It is rated as a five-star vehicle by ANCAP and has three tethers for child seats (in the back, on the sides, and in the middle).
When it comes to sales in Australia, Isuzu is a real powerhouse. It has outsold industry giants like BMW despite offering only two models, both of which are essentially variants of each other.
The D-Max is a straightforward workhorse that has earned a solid reputation for its dependability and longevity on farms and construction sites.
The current generation model is now eight years old, and in that time, only cosmetic updates have been made, the most recent of which occurred earlier this year as the LS-T received new matte black 18" alloys with a corresponding sports bar that is a pleasant change from the ordinarily chrome.
The LS-cabin T's has been updated with piano black accents and provides adequate comfort thanks to its leather seats and door armrests.
When compared to the Triton, the dash design is plain and functional, while the central screen as well as driving info readouts are dated. The rear camera is blurry and there is no digital speedometer or heated seats. The rear does not have air vents, however there is a USB terminal for the kids' electronics and an audio system with 8 speakers (some located in the roof lining).
Unfortunately, the D-Max does not have any driver assistance features. Competition is increasing installing AEB in high-end models, but we can't get it here.
Optional blind-spot monitoring and back cross-traffic alert can be purchased for $955. The price of the front sensors is $545.
Contractors will appreciate a lockable, hard, tonneau cover to protect their expensive tools, and families will value a vehicle with sufficient space for their passengers' heads and legs in the back.
Unfortunately, the D-Max is showing its age on the road. The engine has a rough throttle response and is slow to reach its optimum speed, and the transmission occasionally shunts at low speeds.
Although it is a comfy vehicle on the open road, its somewhat heavier steering makes it less suited to life in the city.
The Isuzu compensates for its antiquated features with an interesting backstory. It comes with free roadside assistance and a warranty that covers you for six years or 150,000 kilometres.
Check out this post on WHAT IS THE BEST SECOND-HAND UTE TO BUY?
4. Hilux SR5 Dual-Cab
HiLux's earned reputation, high-quality engineering, and Toyota fans' steadfast brand loyalty allow it to consistently rule the sales charts, often competing head-to-head with Ranger.
Since the Volkswagen Amarok is now competing alongside the Ford Ranger, the 2015 class winner, the Toyota HiLux SR5, has fallen to third place.
The HiLux and the Ford are pretty evenly matched in terms of cost-effectiveness. In contrast to Ford's recently announced five-year/unlimited-mileage coverage, Toyota's coverage is significantly shorter.
The rear seats were not as spacious as in the Ford Ranger, according to our judges, but they did appreciate the recently added air vents in the centre console. The vehicle's ergonomic merits are enhanced by features such as grab handles installed on the B pillars for rear passengers, proximity entry with a push of a button, and a tilt and reach adjustable steering wheel (tilt-only is the standard on most in the class).
The 2.8-liter turbo-diesel provides adequate performance on and off-road and has a more refined feel than the Ford. Based on the data, it's clear that the Toyota HiLux is a competent vehicle on rough terrain; it climbed steep, muddy hills without a problem while carrying 500 kilogrammes in the back and seating four people.
The perennial favourite Toyota HiLux SR5 shocked the judges by edging out the perennial foe Ford Ranger XLT for the win this year. The Ranger has dominated the ute segment in Australia's Greatest Cars programmes since the category was introduced in 2013. It has lost the title only once, in 2015, to the eighth-generation Toyota HiLux. The new and improved Mitsubishi Triton GL-S kept the sales powerhouses honest this year.
From sixth place last year to third place this year, only 10 points separated the top three finishers. This was among the closest races of the year across all categories, and the Triton demonstrated to be a true dark horse. The Ranger was getting there, trailing the HiLux by only six points at the most. That's after each vehicle's performance on all 24 criteria has been calculated.
In comparison to last year, the HiLux is now a better value than the Ranger, which saw its price go up in comparison to the HiLux, though both still lag behind the less expensive and more feature-packed Triton. The costs incurred by HiLux owners in the service department are the lowest, and the recent, much-appreciated shift by Toyota to a five-year/unlimited-kilometer warranty puts it in line with its competitors.
Everywhere you look, there is some element of design or functionality that is shared between the three. The HiLux, on the other hand, outshines its competitors in terms of safety, as evidenced by its five-star ANCAP collision rating according to the most recent and rigors 2019 test protocols. Both of the others also have five-star ratings, but those are based on older, 2015 standards.
These three haulers have the standard safety features, including airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control. Recently, each has received a slew of upgrades to their driver assistance technology that collectively place them at the cutting edge of their respective ute categories. Both the Ranger and the HiLux feature active cruise control systems, while the HiLux also recognises speed limits and other road signs. The Triton also has a misacceleration mitigation system and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
While the seats in all three vehicles are comfortable, the new front seats in the Triton are particularly well-received. The new Ford has a better cooling system for the backseaters than the HiLux, which only has vents in the centre console.
The new Triton's interior has been updated to look much more premium than the previous model, bringing it closer in quality to the HiLux & Ranger. The Triton received a top score for ergonomics thanks to its modern, user-friendly cabin and advanced driver-assistance features. Judges prefered Ford's SYNC voice-control system to the Ranger's comparatively complicated controls. Additionally, the tilt-only adjustability common to most utes (including the Ranger) was praised, as was the steering reach adjustment found on the HiLux and Triton.
These three dual-cabs performed admirably on bitumen & second-class uninsulated roads, whether they were empty or carrying four judges and 500 kilogrammes of cargo. With its updated six-speed automatic transmission and other mechanical upgrades, the Triton is now a formidable rival in the market. The 2.8-liter turbo-diesel in the HiLux provides respectable on- and off-road performance, and it also feels more refined than the Triton does. However, the larger-capacity engine in the Ranger does feel a little bit stronger. Our off-road test course included some challenging inclines, but all of the vehicles were able to make it up them without any trouble. The judges, however, pointed out that the Ranger was the most likely to massage its belly.
Because the final results for this courageous trio are so close, you can rest assured that whichever one you choose will be a fantastic illustration of what the present ute has to offer. The HiLux, however, has proven its superiority this year, which is why it is once again Australia's most popular vehicle.
The HiLux's highest usable capacity of 3200 kg when fitted with an automatic transmission is lower than the 3500 kg rating of the Ford. A good example of a 4WD dual cab, the ever-popular Toyota HiLux SR5 still has a lot going for it.
It's also quite functional, falling short of being a perfect package like the Ranger or BT-50 but not being as endearingly rough around the edges as the D-Max.
In the SR5 4x4 vehicle (starting at $56,390 excluding on-road costs), passengers will find a clean, roomy cabin with plenty of space for their heads and legs as well as comfortable, well-padded seats.
Although with leather accents (optional) or 'deluxe fabric' everywhere, the interior is not as flashy as its competitors', but it is also not a hose-out situation. In keeping with the HiLux tradition, it has resilient plastic surfaces and what some might call cynically minimal interior amenities compared to rivals. Indeed, it appeals to us.
Instruments with a dash are unquestionably retro (no digital flashy stuff here). In spite of this, there are features such as a leather steering wheel (with audio, Bluetooth, etc. controls), a 7.0-inch colour interactive media display, dual-zone climate control, a navigation system, and a rearview camera for the driver.
There are numerous places to put your belongings inside the vehicle, such as the lockable glovebox, the middle console box with cap, the 6 cupholders (4 for the front, couple for the back), the 4 bottle holders (two for the front, couple for the back), the 2 bottle bearers in the doors, the two seat-back pockets, etc.
The tray features two 12 V outlets, a USB charging port, and a 240 VAC accessory socket.
A 2.8-liter inline-four turbo-diesel producing 130 kilowatts and 450 Newton-meters of torque powers the SR5, which is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
It has an 80-liter fuel tank and is said to use 8.5 litres per hundred kilometres.
The floor dimensions of the tray are 1550 mm; the side dimensions are 1515 mm; the width is 1110 mm (between the wheel arches); and the depth is 495 mm (from the floor to the top of the deck). Each of the four corners of the tray doubles as a secure attachment point. This load has a height of about 860 millimetres.
It can pull up to 3200 kilogrammes when braked and 750 kilogrammes when not.
The second row of the HiLux has two ISOFIX anchor points and 2 top-tether child-restraint anchor points, and the vehicle has a five-star rating from the Australian New Car Assessment Program.
5. St-X Model Nissan Navara
The top-tier Navara Series-2 dual-cab 4x4 costs $54,490 (not including on-road fees), and it rides stiffly but smoothly (thanks to its coil-sprung rear suspension) and comes with a tonne of features as standard.
Although some features, such as the heated and electrically adjustable front seats and handbrake accented with leather, may not be necessary, others, such as the rear air vents, the rear power-sliding glass window, the slide-adjustable load-securing structure in the tray, and so on, are very convenient.
The interior is luxurious, so long road trips are no problem at all. A 7.0-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an automatic transmission all come standard in the ST-X. While it is understandable why some people might be frustrated by the absence of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Auto, many find it to be a non-issue.
The vehicle has numerous places to stow your belongings, such as a large glove box, 4 cupholders, bottle holders, and storage compartments in each door, as well as pockets in the seatbacks.
A weatherproof 12V accessory socket is located in the tray, and there are three regular 12 volt sockets inside.
ST-X models come standard with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel(140kW/450Nm) and seven-speed automatic transmission.
It has an 80-liter gas tank and supposedly uses only 7.0 litres per hundred kilometres driven.
The ST-X has a tray that is 1503mm in length, 1560mm in width (1130mm between the wheel arches), and 474mm in depth. There are four tie-down rings for cargo on the tray. The height of the load is 805mm.
It can pull up to 3500 kilogrammes when braked and 750 kilogrammes when not.
The ANCAP safety rating for the ST-X is five stars; there are 3 top tether anchors and yet no ISOFIX anchors for child safety seats.
Dual-cab utes are like the car version of a five-event Olympic gymnast. All around Australia, you can no longer find Ford Falcons or Holden Commodores in parking lots. These days' versions are far superior than their forebears in terms of security and comfort. The driving dynamics of certain versions are even comparable to those of SUVs. The vast majority of the automobiles considered cost between $30,000 and $35,000.
You can store all of your items in the spacious glove box, and there are also two cupholders. The XLT is the greatest dual cab for the money ($57,600 plus on-roads). The 'Tech Pack' (about $800) adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, and other technologies to the already excellent list of safety equipment found on the XLT, which has received the maximum possible five stars from ANCAP. In around 2 years, a whole new version of the Ford Ranger will replace the outgoing one. You wouldn't think it from looking at it, but the large Ford handles like a car and drives more like a car than you'd think from a vehicle built for work and harsh off-road terrain.
The ride quality, manoeuvrability, and steering are all above average for this class. When empty, driving is more pleasant, although weight causes the rear suspension to drop somewhat. According to ANCAP, the BT-50 is a 5-star vehicle. It is unfazed by the normal roughhousing, messiness, and minor injuries of everyday living. There's plenty of space in the cabin for the driver and everyone riding along.
Isuzu's D-Max is a trusted work truck that has shown itself time and again on farms and in the construction industry. The current generation model is eight years old, and aside from minor cosmetic changes, it hasn't been significantly revised in that period. When comparing prices, the Toyota HiLux SR5 and the Ford Ranger are rather close. What the Isuzu lacks in modern conveniences it makes up for in its fascinating history. There's no cost for the included roadside support, and the guarantee lasts for six years or 150,000 kilometres.
When compared to the Ford Ranger XLT and the Mitsubishi Triton GL-S, the Toyota HiLux SR5 was the clear victor. In every category, this race was one of the tightest of the year. A total of 24 criteria were met by each vehicle, with only 10 points separating the first, second, and third place finishers. The Triton's sleek, user-friendly cabin and cutting-edge driver-assistance technologies earned it high marks for ergonomics. The Ford D-Max has a higher maximum towing capacity of 3500 kg, while the highest useable capacity of the HiLux is 3200 kg with an automatic transmission. In the range of $54,490, you can get your hands on a Navara Series-2 dual-cab 4x4 (not including on-road fees).
It comes equipped with a 2.8-liter inline-four turbo-diesel engine that generates 130 kW and 450 Nm of torque. The Australian New Car Assessment Program has given the car a perfect score of five stars for its quality. The ST-X is equipped with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel (140kW/450Nm) and a seven-speed automated transmission. A big glove box, four cupholders, a bottle holder, and storage compartments in each door provide ample space for your items.
- Currently, they are gorging on double-cab utes.
- The majority of the vehicles evaluated fall within the $50,000 to $55,000 price range.
- Ridgeback Service Bodies is a premier ute & truck service body manufacturer for trades vehicles.
- The current generation of the Ford Ranger will be replaced by a completely new vehicle in about 2 years.
- The Mercedes X-Class may be newer, but the Lexus RX is still the gold standard in terms of luxury, amenities, manoeuvrability, and technology.
- Ford has announced new powerful engines delivering up to 500Nm torque, a 10-speed automatic, advanced safety features, and other upgrades for the 2019 Ranger, so it will continue to be a formidable competitor.
- It is rated as a five-star vehicle by ANCAP and has three tethers for child seats (in the back, on the sides, and in the middle).When it comes to sales in Australia, Isuzu is a real powerhouse.
- Unfortunately, the D-Max does not have any driver assistance features.
- Optional blind-spot monitoring and back cross-traffic alert can be purchased for $955.
- The Isuzu compensates for its antiquated features with an interesting backstory.
- Since the Volkswagen Amarok is now competing alongside the Ford Ranger, the 2015 class winner, the Toyota HiLux SR5, has fallen to third place.
- The perennial favourite Toyota HiLux SR5 shocked the judges by edging out the perennial foe Ford Ranger XLT for the win this year.
- The Ranger was getting there, trailing the HiLux by only six points at the most.
- The new Triton's interior has been updated to look much more premium than the previous model, bringing it closer in quality to the HiLux & Ranger.
- The Triton received a top score for ergonomics thanks to its modern, user-friendly cabin and advanced driver-assistance features.
- The 2.8-liter turbo-diesel in the HiLux provides respectable on- and off-road performance, and it also feels more refined than the Triton does.
- The HiLux, however, has proven its superiority this year, which is why it is once again Australia's most popular vehicle.
- A 7.0-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an automatic transmission all come standard in the ST-X. While it is understandable why some people might be frustrated by the absence of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Auto, many find it to be a non-issue.
- ST-X models come standard with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel(140kW/450Nm) and seven-speed automatic transmission.
- The ANCAP safety rating for the ST-X is five stars; there are 3 top tether anchors and yet no ISOFIX anchors for child safety seats.
FAQs About Top Utes
#1 Ford Ranger – 5,628 sales
Selling over 5,600 models in October, Ford's flagship is stilling proving to be quite a popular vehicle for Aussie motorists to get behind the wheel of.
On paper, the 2022 Toyota HiLux SR5 and Ford Ranger XLT are a close match for output, the HiLux's 2.8-litre four-cylinder with auto producing a claimed 150kW/500Nm versus 154kW/500Nm for the Ranger 2.0L BiT.
The Toyota Land Cruiser has one of the strongest Ute Chassis, and the Mitsubishi Triton would be the most likely to bend, purely because they've kept the rear axle so much further forward than other Utes.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (313kW)
With 313kW of power, the 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine in the Silverado is the most powerful on offer in a dual-cab ute in Australia.
AWD and 4WD provide better handling, but you'd want AWD if you ride on rough roads during harsh weather, while 4WD is better for those who have heavy hauls on the jobsite.