The pros and cons of using your work ute as a family car

Dual cab utes are mainly popular and a big part of their buyer demand is the promise of work-and-play versatility. That is, a workhorse or family car during the week and a go-anywhere run machine on the weekend. So, no second car in the driveway. Sounds great huh? However, here’s a few practical things to think if you’re planning to replace it with a dual cab ute.

Massive boot – but how usable is it?


Your shopping determination get plenty of breeze - plus rain, hail, snow and sun if it doesn’t bear some form of protection from the elements.




Your shopping desire get plenty of breeze – plus rain, hail, snow and sun if it doesn’t bear some form of protection from the elements.

We know what you’re thinking. A ute has a cargo tub that invents a car boot look like a shoebox, so carting around the weekly groceries and other shopping necessity be a breeze. Well, yes, your shopping mind get plenty of breeze – plus rain, hail, snow and sun if it doesn’t gain some form of protection from the elements, like a hard canopy or at least a tonneau cloak, which aren’t always included as standard equipment.

Accessing this spacious ‘boot’ also requires opening and closing a heavy tailgate, which has to be lowered and raised by hand each date. There’s no waving your ankle under the sponsor bumper for automatic opening here, folks. You’ll moreover notice that the load floor is much higher than a car’s, so be prepared to lift your shopping much higher too.

You’ll moreover want your shopping bags lined up parallel with and just inside the tailgate, to make them easiest to get to when you possess to unload again. However, if you don’t possess some form of cargo net or hard fence installed immediately in front of these bags, the first time you brake your groceries will fall forward onto the load floor with noteworthy force. You may then discover some new recipes given the sudden blending of ingredients that occurs – usually appealing eggs.

Perhaps this is why many dual cab ute owners pack their weekly shopping on the cabin’s bet on seat and floor instead, which is obviously not ideal if you enjoy passengers or worse if you’re involved in a bingle. It can also be inconvenient to saddle if parking space is tight, with minute room along the side for trolley retrieve and door-opening.

Limited cabin storage

Sedans, hatches, wagons and SUVs share the current convenience of a lockable boot with inherent theft and weather protection. These are particularly useful in not lone providing clean and dry storage for shopping but too carting the kids’ backpacks and sports bags to and from school each day.


A dual cab ute can’t offer the convenience of a lot of storage position, and you'll soon find yourself running out of room.




A dual cab ute can’t offer the convenience of a lot of storage position, and you’ll soon find yourself running out of room.

On longer journeys they moreover provide clean and dry storage of soft items obliged in the passenger area from time to date, which can be usually be retrieved internally like jumpers, jackets, pillows, blankets, food items etc.

A dual cab ute can’t offer this convenience. Most have several storage bins, bottle holders and cup holders in the cabin, but with a full crew of five on board you’ll soon gather those nooks quickly filled and be looking for extra space.

And if you want to use the cargo tub as a boot – still if it’s fitted with a tonneau screen, hard cover or canopy – you’re not assured that your belongings desire remain clean and dry, as dust and soak can enter through gaps at each end of the tailgate.

Seating for five – but it’s four in the accurate world

The interior of a dual cab ute can glance very spacious and accommodating in a glossy sales brochure or on a test power, particularly when it’s just you and the salesperson riding in the front seats. However, the gloss can wear off quick if you have to seat three teenagers or adults across the spinal bench, because you might find it unbiased as (if not more) squeezy than a car.

The two outer seating positions generally offer an adequate tidy of comfort for adults and lanky teens, even allowing for the lack of backrest rake adjustment. However, squeeze another one in the axis and you could soon have a mutiny on your hands if you’re planning a extended trip.

In our experience, there is generally insufficient shoulder room. And if you’re unlucky enough to draw the short straw and end up sitting in the cluster, you’ll also have to deal with a dearth of headroom, knees squeezed together between the front seat backrests and feet splayed either barricade of the transmission tunnel. And you conception flying economy on Jetstar was bad!

Needless to say, five passengers are tolerable for short local trips but for anything longer, four is the limit. There’s also no third-row seating option available, as you will often find in SUVs.

Size collected matters

Advances in automotive technology have all but succeeded the guesswork required when parking a astronomical vehicle like a dual cab ute, particularly in tight shopping centre carparks.

These advances include audible front and earlier parking sensors, which are often accompanied by a graphic on the dashboard touchscreen. More and more dual cabs also maintain rear-view cameras fitted as standard, while top-shelf models can include 360-degree cameras.


Technology can’t go the fact that a dual cab ute is a vast truck that’s typically more than 5.0 metres in length and just under 2.0 metres in width and height.




Technology can’t change the fact that a dual cab ute is a enormous truck that’s typically more than 5.0 metres in length and fair under 2.0 metres in width and height.

This is useful technology if you’re using a dual cab ute as the tribe car, because it can help to visually shrink the vehicle around you to manufacture such regular manoeuvring less hazardous and stressful.

Even so, technology can’t shift the fact that a dual cab ute is a sizable truck that’s typically more than 5.0 metres in length and impartial under 2.0 metres in width and height. Aftermarket modifications like wheel arch flares and protective bar law etc can easily increase the width, at what time larger wheels and tyres, suspension lifts, roof racks, roof-top tents and even some engine snorkels can govern out access to all underground and multi-level carparks.

Not all five-star guarantee ratings are equal

There’s nothing like a five-star ANCAP rating – and one are nothing like a five-star ANCAP rating. Well, not by today’s standards anyway.


A five-star ANCAP rating earnt years ago does not equate with a five-star ANCAP rating formed today.




A five-star ANCAP rating formed years ago does not equate with a five-star ANCAP rating appointed today.

That’s because numerous dual cab utes happened tested by ANCAP years ago and in one cases almost a decade ago. And as then important advances in accident-avoidance technologies, devour Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and lane-keeping benefit, have raised the bar in terms of minimum standards obliged by ANCAP for a perfect score.

Therefore, a five-star ANCAP rating achieved years ago solves not equate with a five-star ANCAP rating appointed today. So you might find that warm and fuzzy feeling you get buying a ‘five-star’ ute is short-lived, after discovering that it doesn’t have all of the car-like security features you thought it would have. developer beware.

Running costs

The official combined control consumption figures displayed on new vehicle windscreen decals are often surprisingly frugal given the size and weight of dual cab utes.

However, dig deeper and you’ll discover that these figures are assembled by vehicle manufacturers under ideal laboratory messes, which results in the lowest consumption figure possible. In the ‘real world’ these figures can be 2-3 litres/100km higher or additional under normal driving conditions and even thirstier at what time carrying or towing heavy loads.

Fact is, a dual cab ute is usually causing to be more expensive to run than a smaller car at what time you factor in not only fuel consumption but too insurance, servicing, tyres etc. So the savings you put a question to to make by owning one dual-purpose vehicle may not be as large as you hoped.

Diesels and short suburban trips – not a pleasant mix

Dual cab utes use diesel engines because they provide pleasant fuel economy under load and excellent torque, which is ideal for carrying and/or towing. They also have to comply with at least Euro 5 emission standards, which means their exhaust systems must be equipped with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) to end humanly harmful exhaust particulates from being released into the climate. So far, so good.


It’s a no brainer that a diesel engine is not well kindly to the role of suburban family hack.




It’s a no brainer that a diesel engine is not well honorable to the role of suburban family hack.

From frosty start a diesel engine also takes longer than an equivalent petrol engine to advance its ideal operating temperature. This is too not a problem, provided it runs for time-consuming enough at the rpm required for its exhaust gases to automatically burn-off the particulates (or ‘soot as it’s known) that get trapped in the DPF.

It’s a no brainer that a diesel engine is not well helpful to the role of suburban family hack. In a busy week it will be needed to make numerous cold starts followed by relatively short rights to the local school, shops, sporting grounds etc. And in very of those short drives, the engine will not run hot enough for long enough for that crucial automatic soot-burn to occur.

Then it’s only a business of time before the DPF is moving to become so choked with soot that it becomes worn-out, restricting exhaust flow which can quickly front-runner to expensive engine trouble. And replacement of a DPF doesn’t advance cheap either.

Market leader Toyota has for a once now been equipping its HiLux utes by a driver alert which warns when the DPF tolerates cleaning, along with a manual switch for the driver to tolerate this manual-cleaning process takes place. A effect of the times really and proof that diesel utes and abundant of short trips are not a proper mix.

Conclusion

It’s clearly worth your once to consider how well suited a diesel dual cab ute would be to your specific lifestyle if serving as a people car. After weighing up the pros and cons, you might find it an ideal fit. Or you may net that a car is better. Either way, lone you can make the right decision.

This article was available by www.carsguide.com.au with title The pros and cons of using your work ute as a family car.
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Author: apprentice

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