Best ute 2019 comparison: Ford Ranger v Toyota HiLux v Mitsubishi Triton v Nissan Navara v Isuzu D-Max v Holden Colorado v Volkswagen Amarok v Mazda BT-50 v Mercedes X-Class v Ssangyong Musso XLV v LDV T60 | CarAdvice

Best ute 2019 comparison: Ford Ranger v Toyota HiLux v Mitsubishi Triton v Nissan Navara v Isuzu D-Max v Holden Colorado v Volkswagen Amarok v Mazda BT-50 v Mercedes X-Class v Ssangyong Musso XLV v LDV T60

We test 11 of the best double-cab utes on sale in Australia currently, including towing, loading, in the city and suburbs, and off-road.

It’s the very comprehensive test we’ve undertaken: 11 of Australia’s top-selling double-cab utes compared side-by-side across multiple disciplines.

From towing a caravan, carrying a heavy load, to driving them unladen in the city and suburbs – as an increasing number of family buyers do – we’ve understood each of these vehicles across all their liable habitats.

We also tested them off-road, unprejudiced in case anyone decides to use these as their makers intended.

It’s no secret Australians are gorging themselves on double-cab utes accurate now. They have, in effect, replaced Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores in driveways across Australia because they request to our sense of adventure. As the ads say, they’re built for performance and play.

While utes are peaceful not quite ‘car-like’ to drive, they are largely safer and better equipped than afore, and some almost feel like an SUV from late the wheel.

As we discovered, the ute category is one of the few segments where there are smooth stark differences in the way each vehicle strengths – even if they all follow a familiar formula. We distinguished the shades of grey, and found some differences are dusky and white.

It’s worth noting these types of vehicles are beside the hardest for manufacturers to get right.

Double-cab utes are the automotive equivalent of the pentathlete: they essential to have car-like comfort and features, five-star safety, tow up to 3500kg, carry up to 1000kg, and be capable off-road.

No other vehicle on sale today is obligatory to excel across so many disciplines.

After driving them empty, with 650kg in the tray, and towing a 2200kg caravan throughout an entire week, we reckon some customers might already be asking too powerful of some of these utes.

We’ve had to bewitch everything into consideration when comparing these vehicles, though we recognise buyers will favour clear elements over others.

Most models tested are in the $50,000–$55,000 sign bracket, the sweet spot of the ute market. We’ve published drive-away prices that were advertised during our test or available as this article was published.

As we discovered, the RRP is largely academic and not a upright guide to the prices people actually pay because drive-away distributes are often thousands of dollars cheaper.

Here’s how they compare.

for rotund specifications, including power and torque, fuel use, acceleration figures, towing data and more, see the table at the bottom of this story.

Ford Ranger XLT 2.0TT

The Ford Ranger is nearing the end of its model life, with an all-new model due in nearby two years.

However, Ford has invested heavily meanwhile the PXI was released in 2011 and the PXII arrived in 2015 to be affected by the Ranger stays at the top of the class.

The Ranger received its greatest recent update in September 2018 in what we’ve dubbed ‘PXIII’ (the example tested here), and yet there is a minor model-year move imminent for 2020 that will bring better headlights and a USB port come the rear-view mirror for easy connection of drag cams.

The Ford Ranger might be the second-best-selling ute in Australia slow the Toyota HiLux, but it remains the benchmark for comfort, features, drivability and technology – much of which the Mercedes X-Class lacks.

Speed label recognition, multiple fast-charging USB ports, a household authority socket to charge a laptop, digital hurry display, high-resolution infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, large door pockets, a sizeable glovebox, comfortable seats and a roomy cabin add to the appeal.

Other examples of custody to detail: an extendable sun visor that blocks mountain glare, and illuminated central locking switches on both front doors to add peace of mind at what time driving through dodgy areas. No other ute has all these creature comforts.

The 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel plus 10-speed auto is a formidable combination, the second-best performer in words of acceleration behind only the VW Amarok TDV6 – empty, loaded, and when towing – and comfortably quicker and gutsier than the Ranger’s old 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel, despite industry perceptions. (See tables below.)

The lone criticism with this drivetrain is the 10-speed auto isn’t always collected or intuitive between shifts.

The Ranger is the very supple over bumps among the heavy-duty workhorses after a subtle softening of the suspension in September 2018 among the PXIII update.

It’s nicer to right unladen than the others, but the compromise is the rear suspension sags any with a heavy load or when towing. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s worth noting this if you idea to fit a permanent toolbox on the back.

The Ranger is one of the most good utes off-road; however, the departure angle is compromised by the place of the standard tow bar.

As our 100km/h to zero brake testing told, there’s room for improvement with stopping behave. And there could be some merit in training heavy-duty rear suspension an option. Perhaps there’s room for two Ranger XLTs: Luxury and Pro packs.

One continue note: the Ford website lists the XLT double cab plus the twin-turbo 2.0-litre and 10-speed auto – the vehicle we tested – at near $65,000 drive-away, however prices vary dramatically depending on supply. When Ford is low on stock, it tries to promote full freight. However, this model limboed to $55,490 drive-away in June 2019.


Toyota HiLux SR5

The Toyota HiLux is one of the newest utes on the market, with this generation arriving mid 2015. As beside the Ford Ranger, Toyota has made regular updates to attend the HiLux stay on top of its game.

The HiLux has existed Australia’s best-selling vehicle outright for the past three existences in a row, and is on track to notch up its fourth level victory.

Regular updates, discount offers, and a bulletproof reputation acquire helped the HiLux remain almost untouchable.

However, it has hit a few bumps in the road. The HiLux received a more macho-looking front bumper in mid 2018 after a lukewarm reaction to the modern design. And it gained a switch that enables customers to manually activate a diesel particulate filter burn-off.

Toyota is in the place of addressing issues with the 2.8-litre turbo diesel in the HiLux and other models with the same engine.

The intermittent clouds of white smoke show to affect vehicles that are driven shorter distances at suburban speeds; the HiLux (and other diesel utes plus particulate filters) prefer to be driven for extra than half an hour and at freeway speeds from diurnal to time to assist with the burn-off.

While Toyota is tranquil sorting through the issue and urges customers to acquire affected cars back to their dealer, we’ve never recognized it firsthand and know of plenty of customers who haven’t had a drama.

It appears Toyota is sketching on top of the DPF issue, which is a suited thing because the HiLux excels in many ways. Indeed, diehard fans won’t consider any other ute.

Despite the 2.8-litre engine’s modest expert output, it gets the job done whether the HiLux is empty, carrying a load, or towing. Performance is heart of the pack, but it feels effortless.

The front suspension was softened any in 2017 to make it more comfortable in the daily grind – and manufacturing tolerances existed tightened even further this year – but the earlier end remains suited to carrying heavy loads.

In our testing, the HiLux’s rear suspension was the benchmark both beside the 650kg load in the tray and in our 2200kg towing test. So good, in fact, I checked the rear-view mirror to develop sure I had the 650kg weight on board.

Now beside autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control and accelerate sign recognition standard across all models, the HiLux SR5 has fix the technology gap to the Ford Ranger XLT, which unexcited charges extra for radar cruise.

Other much touches: the HiLux’s engine idle speed complains it easy to reverse in small increments while hitching a trailer; it has the biggest front brakes in the class backed up by four-piston calipers; and the the majority precise and reassuring pedal feel among the utes tested.

Off-road, the HiLux is class-leading. Generous clearance angles and genuine wheel articulation give it incredible traction. It feels unstoppable. It also has the best-tuned off-road traction control method in the ute class.

Room for improvement? It unruffled lacks Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a digital speedo. It only has single-zone air-conditioning when many rivals beget dual-zone. Although the cabin has a household confidence socket (as with the Ranger), there’s no auxiliary authority to the rear tray and it lacks a standard tub liner (unlike the Ranger), and the standard tow bar doesn’t include the hitch or wiring.

Towing is only rated to 3200kg with automatic transmission, and servicing is required every six months/10,000km when most other utes gain 12-month/15,000km intervals.

However, as a genuine workhorse that’s gone to finishing school, it’s easy to see why this is Australia’s favourite car.


Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium

The Mitsubishi Triton was given a attractive new suit in December 2018. While this looks delight in an all-new model, it is in fact the 2015 Triton by a major makeover.

The Triton has for a extended time had price on its side – in the sub-$40,000 bracket, nothing comes close. However, in this ticket range, the Triton is playing with the big boys. The Triton still has a price clue, but the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux own limboed closer.

The 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine is unchanged, but the six-speed auto (up from a five-speed) fixes make it a little more perky. nonetheless, the official fuel consumption rating is thirstier than it was beforehand the update because of the wider, grippier tyres, and a less aerodynamic front end.

Nevertheless, the Triton punches above its weight performance-wise, largely because it is about 100–200kg lighter than very rivals.

The updated Triton is a big step up in terms of technology. Most variants near with autonomous emergency braking, and the flagship GLS Premium tested has backbone cross-traffic alert and blind-zone warning, both features maximum other utes lack.

The cabin might be a frontier smaller than most peers, but it’s serene comfortable, plus it has the tightest turning circle in the class – near 1m less than most rivals, which invents it easier to manoeuvre in tight spots.

Infotainment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but does not include embedded navigation and there’s no digital accelerate display.

The Triton has a seven-year warranty while most rivals have five-year coverage, and its operating costs are among the best in class, although capped-price servicing runs out after unprejudiced three years.

Room for improvement? The sponsor suspension noticeably sagged with 650kg in the tray, and the Triton can only tow 3100kg. It didn’t feel as sure-footed as mainly others when carrying a heavy load or while hauling, due to both the suspension tune and shorter wheelbase than most rivals.

The Triton remains the only ute in the class available with a switchable four-wheel-drive system that can be driven on filled roads when engaged, which can give peace of will on wet roads.

On-road in day-to-day driving, though, the Triton is not as well rounded as the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux – especially in the wet. But it remains the value champion.

NEWS AND REVIEWS: Mitsubishi Triton

Holden Colorado LTZ

This generation of Holden Colorado has remained around since 2012. As with its rivals, it’s had numerous updates, though they’ve not remained as extensive.

In September, Holden realigned the range and added a spray-on bed-liner to the LTZ ute tub, and added flashes of gloomy to the bodywork to distinguish the model-year change.

Holden too wound back the price of the Colorado LTZ to between $49,990 and $51,990 drive-away among auto, depending on how generous it feels and how powerful stock remains from month to month.

The Colorado maintains to be priced sharply because the custom hasn’t been able to add the unexperienced safety and technology as its rivals beget done.

The last major update was in 2017, when Holden engineers were able to work some of their magic on suspension and gearbox calibrations.

Not everyone is a fan of the Colorado’s 2.8-litre turbo diesel, even though it has been heavily modified from its unusual VM Motori design.

Despite its origins, the engine is cloudless, willing and able. It was the best of the rest late the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok in conditions of acceleration across all disciplines.

That spoke, the Colorado has an unusual driveline vibration during acceleration, the brakes feel a bit iffy (although it pulled up in the focus of the pack in our 100km/h to zero test), and the engine sounds agricultural, even by ute standards.

By way of comparison, since September 2018 the Ford Ranger XLT has had an acoustic windscreen and front enclose glass, plus better sound deadening behind the firewall.

The Colorado handled the 650kg problem and 2200kg towing well. The rear suspension frankly took the weight with little sagging, and it was arrive the pointy end of the field in this regard.

Inside the cabin, the Colorado’s plastics feel cheap, although the layout is straightforward and easy to use. There’s a digital urge display and the infotainment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Among the traditional majority workhorse utes, the Colorado has equal-best aid seat space with the Ford Ranger.

Although individual service damages are competitive, the routine maintenance intervals are 12 months/12,000km (the industry norm is 12 months/15,000km).

Room for improvement? The Colorado consumes advanced safety aids to bring it up to hurry with the class-leaders. It only has forward-collision alert and lane-wander danger, but not autonomous emergency braking. And the Colorado would wait on from further refinement.

NEWS AND REVIEWS: Holden Colorado

Nissan Navara ST-X

It’s a case of fourth time lucky for the Nissan Navara. That’s how many attempts Nissan has reached at getting the rear suspension right, and has finally nailed it.

The in return end no longer sags when loaded. In our 650kg weight test and 2200kg tow test, it was level-pegged with the Holden Colorado for stability.

The twin-turbo 2.3-litre diesel is relatively refined and makes the greatest of the seven-speed auto, though its perform was middle of the pack when tested empty, with a load, and when towing.

Nissan has rendered continual improvements to the Navara since this generation launched in 2015; it’s one of the few in the segment that has improved among age.

The suspension causes in August coincided with the arrival of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a digital speed display.

However, as with most utes in this segment, modern safety aids such as autonomous emergency braking are calm not available.

Service intervals are generous at 12 months/20,000km; but, the individual costs for routine maintenance are higher than most others.

Room for improvement? The Navara lacks advanced security aids. And Nissan needs to stop playing near with pricing. If the Navara ST-X could finish at its current offer of $49,990 to $51,990 drive-away, it has a chance of challenging the class heads in the sales charts.


VW Amarok TDV6 Sportline

The Volkswagen Amarok is holding its age well. Released in 2011, it’s now one of the oldest vehicles in the segment. However, it remains the benchmark in many ways, largely due to the initial engineering action and improvements along the way.

The turbo-diesel V6 was added in November 2016 to the flagship model, but quickly trickled down to more affordable versions. There’s even a TDV6 Core edition.

The most great engine here combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standing all-wheel-drive have, in effect, created the hot hatch of utes.

This engine feeble to be in the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 SUV. Fortunately, the 550Nm version in this grade of Amarok does not require AdBlue, only the 580Nm version does.

These aren’t supposed to be law cars, but the acceleration times show impartial how potent and effortless the Amarok TDV6 feels to drive.

It is almost two seconds quicker to 100km/h than its closest rival beside a time of 7.8 seconds (behind the Ford Ranger 2.0TT), and it was daylight to the rest of the field.

Whether it had 650kg in the tray or a 2200kg caravan tedious it, the Amarok powered on like it was brushing its teeth.

The sponsor suspension was equal best with the Toyota HiLux for carrying a saddle. If you plan to leave a toolbox on the succor permanently or tow more often than not, sight no further than the Amarok.

The suspension can feel a bit firm approximately town when unladen, but it still corners and handles better than very other utes in this class, and it has above-average capability off-road.

Four-wheel disc brakes in a market dominated by bet on drums are a welcome addition. The braking distance was average in our 100km/h to zero test, but that was largely due to the all-terrain rubber. On highway tyres, the Amarok pulls up almost as short as a passenger car.

Basic creature comforts are covered: digital speedo, tyre pressure monitors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And it has a wide cabin and massive door pockets, although back seat space is a bit tight; you can’t even fit a slab on the fuzz behind the driver.

However, the Amarok hasn’t kept scramble with the ute market in terms of advanced confidence and other technology. For example, there’s no push-button open, no radar cruise control, no rear cross-traffic alert or blind-zone danger – and no autonomous emergency braking. All features available on the top-selling utes.

The Amarok doesn’t equal have rear airbags, but it retains its five-star rating from 2011 because there was no daylight limit imposed on scores back then.

There’s no prospect of the Amarok unsheathing these safety and technology features in this model cycle. We will need to wait until in 2022 when the Ford Ranger joint-venture version of the next-generation Amarok arrives.

In the meantime, if advanced safety and technology features aren’t a priority and you need to haul heavy loads, the Amarok is an epic vehicle.

NEWS AND REVIEWS: Volkswagen Amarok

Mazda BT-50 GT

This generation of Mazda BT-50 went on sale in 2011, about the same time as its twin below the skin, the Ford Ranger.

Many Mazda buyers resolve the BT-50 thinking they’re getting a Ranger at a cheaper notice, but that’s no longer the case. Ford has achieved continual engineering changes to the Ranger ended the past nine years, whereas Mazda has barely put a spanner on the BT-50.

It has a new fascia (fitted in Australia because the factory didn’t deem it needed to update the design) and a new touchscreen that enables Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But that’s about it as far as updates go, and as a death the BT-50 is starting to show its age.

The 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel sourced from Ford sounds chronicle and was once the benchmark of the class. However, our testing shows it’s demonstrably slower than the 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder in the Ranger – and slower than maximum smaller-capacity four-cylinder diesels in the class.

As beside the Ford, the brakes feel a puny underdone and the BT-50 was back of the pack at what time it came to pulling up in an emergency from 100km/h to zero.

That revealed, it’s a solid vehicle for towing and carrying a heavy saddle due to its heavy-duty rear suspension. Indeed, the BT-50 handled the 650kg weight better than the Ranger as Ford softened the rear end.

Room for improvement? The BT-50 produces advanced safety tech and other creature comforts. It lacks tyre pressure monitors, digital speedo, push-button start, and radar cruise control, for example.

Unfortunately, these features will need to wait pending the next Mazda BT-50 arrives some date in 2021 as a joint venture among the new-generation Isuzu D-Max.


Mercedes-Benz X250d Power

We tested the Mercedes X250d confidence four-cylinder over the TDV6 as that lines up closest on brand in this comparison.

We all know it’s a Navara underneath and built in a Nissan factory in Spain, but that doesn’t do justice to the important changes Mercedes has made to the X-Class.

The chassis has been strengthened, the footprint has been widened, and Mercedes has fitted four-wheel discs even to models powered by Nissan’s twin-turbo 2.3-litre four-cylinder.

The inner gets classy Mercedes instruments and infotainment from the waistline up, and it’s one of the few utes in the segment by autonomous emergency braking.

However, it lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and cabin storage is limited. The door pockets are bigger than in the Nissan, but oddment storage near the centre console has been conquered up by Mercedes’s cabin control system.

On this model’s 18-inch wheels and tyres, the X-Class is comfortable to drive, although acceleration is blunted some by approximately 200kg weight added due to the changes.

Riding on highway tyres attractive than all-terrain rubber, the X-Class has one of the shortest stopping distances in the ute segment (a car-like 35 or so metres, about 5m less than the rest of the pack).

Even though the bet on suspension sagged heavily when loaded, it detached drove pretty well with 650kg in the abet and when towing the 2200kg caravan.

Unfortunately, however, the Mercedes price premium remains an impediment. And the world is truly upside consume when Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi utes fill safety and technology features that Mercedes lacks.

NEWS AND REVIEWS: Mercedes-Benz X-Class

SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate

This is the surprise packet of this test. If it had a more conventional or extra macho appearance – and didn’t have an curious badge – the SsangYong Musso would be a serious warning to the main players.

SsangYong has recently returned to the ute market among two variants: a standard wheelbase and a itch wheelbase.

We tested the Musso XLV Ultimate long wheelbase, which lines up closest to these rivals on equipment and yet pulls up shorter than most on price: $41,990 drive-away with auto.

Another advantage: it has a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, the best in the ute class, and competitive capped-price servicing costs.

You can resolve between coil rear suspension with an 880kg payload or a leaf spring bet on that can handle 1025kg. We tested the 880kg payload version as our 650kg weight would be inside the limit. Plus, it’s still rated to tow 3500kg and our caravan weighed 2200kg.

Powered by a relatively runt 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel matched to a six-speed automatic transmission by an off-road-only four-wheel-drive system (as per greatest in the class), the SsangYong is cluster of the pack in terms of pretense when unladen, carrying a load, or towing.

It was one of the greatest comfortable and car-like to drive around town in this test, aided in part by its highway tyres pretty than all-terrain rubber. Equipped with four-wheel discs, it had the second-best braking performance behind the Mercedes X-Class.

The cabin is noticeably roomier and extra upmarket than most rivals, and the Musso has a itch list of standard safety tech, including autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-zone warning.

Unfortunately, however, it’s the only vehicle in this test minus a five-star safety rating – in fact, it hasn’t even been tested – because it has merely a lap belt in the centre earlier seat position. Until ANCAP conducts a series of smash tests, we don’t know how well the Musso want protect occupants in a collision.

The reverse suspension sagged badly with 650kg in the befriend, even though it was rated to 880kg. The Musso has the power to tow (its behave was middle of the pack despite the relatively slight engine), but if you’re planning on hauling heavy loads, you’re better off with the leaf reverse suspension as the steering was too light while we had the 2200kg caravan in tow. In this regard, the Musso is more of a lifestyle vehicle than a go-anywhere ute.

The Musso imparted relatively well off-road in terms of traction, even though it only has highway tyres and a limited-slip differential pretty than a rear diff lock. However, the extended tray and long wheelbase mean its clearance angles aren’t as capable as the class leaders.

The ute tray is by the biggest in the class. According to our tape measure, the Musso XLV ute tub is 158cm in length, 107cm from wheel arch to wheel arch, and 58cm high (compared to the 148cm/118cm/50cm in the VW Amarok, 155cm/110cm/49cm in the Toyota HiLux, 140cm/110cm/50cm in the Ford Ranger, 151cm/110cm/49cm in the Holden Colorado, and 137cm/104cm/46cm in the Mitsubishi Triton, to name a few examples).


Isuzu D-Max LS-T

The Isuzu D-Max has a valid following of diehard fans whose passion for their utes is rivalled lone by Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger buyers. Despite its age the D-Max is the fourth best selling ute in this segment.

Part of the appeal is the tough-truck result and the 3.0-litre turbo diesel. Let’s not forget this engine also has novel life in a 4.5-tonne Isuzu delivery truck, so it gets the job done.

Although the expert and torque figures are modest, our 0–100kmh times present whether unladen, carrying a 650kg load, or towing a 2200kg caravan, the D-Max’s acceleration is surprisingly strong.

The leaf spring backbone suspension was changed last year in an effort to find a better blend between cargo carrying and comfort; it’s skewed additional towards comfort now.

However, with a new model just around the corner, the D-Max is starting to show its age in other ways.

While it has a five-star rating from 2013, it lacks the latest safety aids obliged to earn that score today. It doesn’t dusk get automatic headlights.

Isuzu buyers might eat gravel for breakfast, but the D-Max could definitely benefit from better sound insulation – it’s a bit rowdy dusk by ute standards these days – and a few extra creature comforts.

There’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, no digital speed display, and the reverse camera is a bit fuzzy by current standards. The infotainment screen isn’t bright enough if you drive plus your headlights on during the day (as an increasing number of defense signs advise drivers to do in remote areas).

The cabin is roomy and practical, although larger door pockets and more charging points would be welcome.

The D-Max must be epic off-road given its clearance angles, and it performed well on our test but in the cross-axle exercise where it struggled for traction. The D-Max doesn’t get a rear diff lock or smooth a limited-slip diff. It’s an open diff, so can’t tackle really gnarly obstacles.

The off-road traction regulation system isn’t so great on the D-Max, either, which is another reason it fights on such terrain.

The Isuzu warranty of six years is better than average, though the coverage runs out once you hit 150,000km and servicing injuries are middle of the range.


LDV T60 Luxe

The LDV T60 was the chief Chinese ute to score a five-star confidence rating, and it remains a lot of ute for the cash. We tested the top-of-the-range LDV T60 Luxe automatic that injuries from $35,490 drive-away.

This invents the LDV T60 Luxe $10,000–$15,000 cheaper than maximum others here.

It has the largest infotainment mask in the class, and has some technology – such as Apple CarPlay and blind-zone danger – the Mercedes X-Class lacks.

The LDV T60 received a lukewarm reception from slightly sections of the media when it went on sale in 2018, but the company has since updated the vehicle by Australian-tuned shock absorbers.

It hasn’t suddenly transformed the LDV T60 into a vehicle to rival class front-runners, but the net result of this suspension cause is that the driving experience is now closer to, say, an Isuzu D-Max.

The LDV T60 is one of the few utes among four-wheel disc brakes, and it pulled up focus of the pack in our 100km/h to zero emergency braking test.

Unfortunately, however, the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel is underdone in this company. A newer, more powerful engine would transform this vehicle.

In addition to being noisy and lacking permission (even by ute standards), the LDV version of this 2.8-litre has a narrow permission band. Our 0–100km/h testing showed it struggled beside big loads (see table). That said, the six-speed auto performs a good job of disguising the permission deficit.

The cabin is roomy and visibility all throughout is excellent, although unfortunately the 360-degree camera expose is fuzzy.

The LDV T60 has a decent-sized tray and the vehicle was surprisingly sterling off-road. For example, it didn’t get stuck on the same cross-axle obstacle that left the Isuzu hanging.

Towing capacity is petite to 3000kg and the warranty of five years/130,000km is less than all other utes tested. Capped-price servicing is not yet available, though the intervals are the industry average of 12 months/15,000km.


Towing test

For our towing test we dilapidated a 2200kg Manta Ray 16-foot Ensuite Series 3 Luxury caravan supplied courtesy of New Age Caravans.

New Age has recently get entirely owned by the Walkinshaw Automotive company, the same outfit that operates Holden Special Vehicles and remanufactures Ram and Chevrolet vehicles from left- to right-hand-drive in Clayton.

The Manta Ray 16-foot Series 3 range starts from $58,690 in basic build. The next model up is the $69,290 Adventure version. The caravan used in this test is the $72,600 luxury version.

It comes furnished beside an ensuite with shower and toilet, a gas cooktop, air-conditioning, a 110-litre water tank, a 164-litre fridge, two 9kg gas bottles a 150W solar panel, a lithium battery, reverse camera and a front loading washing machine.

The 16ft, 18ft & 19ft models are designed for couples or solo travellers but the 20ft and 22ft models reach with triple bunks to fit the whole family.

The Manta Ray tested was 2500mm wide (the mainly allowed), 7285mm long and 3050mm high.

It was equipped among a DO35 hitch designed for more robust use than a standard 50mm ball hitch. Although we didn’t go off the beaten track, the universal joint was handy even after pulling over on the side of the road; some of the spots we ended at had steep approach or departure angles from the main roadway.


This test told us there are three main groups of utes: the top of the pack, the middle of the pack, and those with any work to do.

The Ford Ranger XLT 2.0-litre twin turbo won this test because it has the best blend of capability, comfort, and advanced technology. No other ute has as great on its standard equipment list as the Ranger, and it’s clear Ford has sweat the details.

It might be a workhorse, but it’s the closest to an SUV to drive unladen. And, contrary to perception, that engine is the second-fastest here, beaten only by the VW Amarok TDV6.

The Toyota HiLux ranked binary in our test because it is finally crammed by the latest technology to complement its broad-reaching controls. The HiLux’s power and towing numbers might seem modest in comparison, but it more than gets the job done.

The Mitsubishi Triton pulled up in a well-deserved third place because it is well equipped and sharply priced, but can’t quite match the big boys for overall capability.

We didn’t outrageous the middle group of utes because, as we spoke in the introduction, individual tastes and obtains will play a big role for very buyers.

However, you can throw a blanket above the Holden Colorado, Nissan Navara and Mazda BT-50 in periods of load carrying and off-road ability. Personal tastes beside the appearance of the vehicle – and the stamp you can negotiate – will likely be determining factors for many.

The Volkswagen Amarok TDV6 is unbeatable if you really privation to haul heavy stuff, provided you can live deprived of some basic and advanced safety and technology features.

The Mercedes X-Class is a better ute than it gets credit for, but the effect is a deal-breaker unless you can pinch one at the just money.

The biggest surprise was the SsangYong Musso XLV. Badge-snobs may turn up their noses, but this is a more capable ute than we happened expecting. If SsangYong could get its guarantee score sorted and work on a extra conventional design, it would be a no-brainer at this price.

The Isuzu D-Max proved to be gutsier than many people realise, but it’s in real need of security and tech upgrades, even by ute standards.

The LDV T60 shows a lot of promise now it has Australian-tuned suspension – and it has a five-star security rating and a massive price advantage over its rivals – but it devises a more powerful engine, and better infotainment and spinal camera technology.

Heading off-road? The order at the top of the charts changes any. If four-wheel-drive ability is your highest priority, the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Amarok be in the lead the pack.


Note: this table scrolls horizontally. See bottom scrollbar on desktop, or scroll by finger on mobile. (If on mobile, you’ll see more detail in landscape view.)

This article was available by with title Best ute 2019 comparison: Ford Ranger v Toyota HiLux v Mitsubishi Triton v Nissan Navara v Isuzu D-Max v Holden Colorado v Volkswagen Amarok v Mazda BT-50 v Mercedes X-Class v Ssangyong Musso XLV v LDV T60 | CarAdvice.
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Author: apprentice

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