The Ultimate Utes
It’s clear Australians are gorging themselves on double-cab utes today. They have, in effect, changed Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores in driveways throughout Australia because they attract our sense of adventure. As the advertisements say, they’re constructed for work and play. While ute trucks are still not quite ‘car-like’ to drive, they are mainly safer and better geared up than previously, and some nearly feels like an SUV from behind the wheel.
Dual cab utes are a true Aussie favourite. And for good reason. When you picture a dual cab ute, a few things instantly occur rugged, dependable, effective, refined, and, above all else, a genuine workhorse.
It’s this final point that really began to drive a wedge between the front-runners on the test. Where many of the utes were happy to tow, haul or perform off-road, there were only a few that offered the ergonomic advantages and animal comforts provided in the household SUV.
Here are our leading most useful utes.
Ford Ranger XLT dual-cab 4×4
Back-row seats are really much in the straight-up-and-down mould of dual-cab utes’ second-row accommodation, however, the Ranger’s are comfier than many. Cabin storage consists of a spacious glove box, centre console and coin storage, 2 cupholders, bottle holder and door storage in every door, seat-back pockets, and more.
The aging Amarok has actually been left behind in regards to lots of safety and convenience equipment– it does not have a push-button start, radar cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, blindspot monitoring and AEB– but still installs a case for itself based simply on bump-absorption, smoothness, and tranquillity capabilities. Its 3.0-litre V6 leads the class (in addition to the top-spec Merc X-Class) for punch, refinement and real-world frugality relative to performance. Long-wheelbase XL and XXL versions are being provided for purchasers who prioritise tray area. Plus there’s the on-road security of consistent four-wheel drive, a beaut eight-speed car, and accommodating (if austere) interior. All of which keeps the VW up the pointy end of a section bereft of lustre.
Toyota HiLux SR5
With the VW Amarok once again in the mix alongside Ford Ranger, the HiLux SR5 – a class winner in 2015 – has actually been relegated to the 3rd action of the podium. Our judges found cabin area in the rear not rather as generous as the Ranger, but they liked the recent addition of rear console air vents, something missing from the Ford.
Unlike numerous of its competitors, the Nissan Navara features a coil spring back, which is sure to be a good perk for buyers who invest a lot of time behind the wheel. On the road, the Navara integrates a power-packed engine with sharp steering, making for a captivating driving experience. In other words, the Nissan Navara has everything that a solid, reputable double cab ute should!