G’day, WhichCar, please help me. I can’t decide on a dual-cab ute. I’ve been on the various Facebook pages and have watched heaps of comparisons and tests on YouTube, but I’m still not sure. Price is important, or at least a good deal. I'm into camping, but have outgrown the hard core off-roading. I like the current technology in some of the utes and on-road comfort and handling is important too.
Mark (via Facebook)
There is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes it comes to dual-cab utes, but four-wheel-drive capability is probably the main thing that sets them apart. The fact that isn’t a priority is good news as it allows you to go for models that offer good value while being great Jacks of all trades.
The Ford Ranger is a great all-round package, with the XLT 4x4 being our pick of the bunch. It comes standard with a tow kit, dual-zone air-con, and the excellent SYNC3 connectivity suite with sat-nav and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. You also get the option of adding the Technology Pack that includes driver aids such as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
The Ranger XLT comes standard with the 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel engine, but there is also an option to go with the zippier 2.0-litre bi-turbo powertrain that’s standard for the Ranger Raptor.
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That said the starting $55,590 retail price is pretty steep and can grow to about $60,000 if you tick the Technology pack and 2.0-litre bi-turbo engine options.
If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, the Holden Colorado is also worth a look.
As it so happens Holden has just updated it and added a features-packed LSX version to the range. It’s priced at $49,190 with auto transmission and could well be the new sweet spot. You can read 4X4 Magazine editor Matt Raudonikis' review here.
But for all-round value, technology and on-road comfort it’s difficult to go past the recently updated Mitsubishi Triton with upper-spec variants feeling more like an SUV than one-tonne workhorse. Autonomous emergency braking is standard in all dual-cab variants, and the 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine is relatively light on fuel use.
We like the GLS with the six-speed auto. It’s priced at $46,990 and is very well equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, leather-trimmed steering wheel, carpet, dual-zone air-conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels, full-time 4WD capability, hill descent control, and additional active safety features including blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic alert, and automatic high beam.
It's also worth mentioning that the Triton, Ranger and Colorado were finalists in Wheels Magazine Gold Star awards for best-value dual-cab ute. The Triton took the prize.
And for further reading, you should definitely check out the nine-ute megatest that Wheels conducted last year. Compared with all the main contenders in the segment, the Mitsubishi, Ford and Holden performed very strongly.
We hope this helps.