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Which 4x4 dual-cab offers the most bang for your buck?

By Trent Giunco, 26 Mar 2020 Features

2020 Ford Ranger

Want maximum grunt for minimal outlay? These are the utes that have torque for cheap

Let’s face it, when it comes to dual-cab utes, torque is king.

For many buyers, straight-line speed isn’t high on their priority list. Instead it’s about maximising payloads and braked towing capacities.

This got us thinking at Wheels HQ, so we decided we’d crunch the numbers to find out which dual-cabs talk the most torque for your bucks.

We’ve taken the ‘pick of the range’ from every 4x4 dual-cab rated in our recent summary of the market and calculated the rounded cost for every Newton metre the ute produces. Lowest dollars wins.

Where possible we’ve chosen the more popular automatic transmission. However, for the likes of the Mahindra Pik-Up S10 for example, only a manual is available.

Taking out bronze on our pick-up podium is the accomplished Volkswagen Amarok Core TDi550 – a variant that pairs the muscular V6 turbo-diesel with a reduced spec to bring you the best bang for your buck among the Amarok range. Coming in at $52,590 for the eight-speed auto, it’ll cost you $95.60/Nm.

Read next: 2020 4x4 of the Year

Silver goes to the Mitsubishi Triton GLX ADAS. At $41,040 you’ll be paying $95.40 for every one of the Triton’s 430Nm; further proof, if it was needed, that the Japanese brand’s push for price competitiveness is a worthwhile strategy in terms of sales.

But grabbing the gold is the SsangYong Musso XLV. At $39,990 (driveaway), it offers 420Nm from its 2.2-litre turbo diesel, meaning it’ll cost you $95.20/Nm (and that drops to $77.40/Nm if you opt for the $32,490 entry-level EX automatic). The Musso also has a braked towing capacity of 3500kg, which meets the segment average. 

As you’d expect, cheaper offerings fill the top 10, with the likes of the Mahindra Pik-Up ($31,990; $97/Nm), Great Wall Steed ($30,990; $100/Nm) and the LDV T60 Luxe ($37,358 driveaway; $103.70/Nm) scoring well because of their low sticker prices.

Read next: Dual-cab utes for all the family

Taking price out of the equation, the big-brute Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LTZ Midnight’s 6.6-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel takes top torque honours with 1234Nm.

All that grunt means that despite it costing $139,990, the Silverado 2500 still places eighth on the list with $113.40/Nm. The 3500 uses the same engine, but is available by order only and sells in very small units so was exempt from this ranking.

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Interestingly, the popular Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger failed to make the top 10, with the former coming in at $125.40/Nm and the latter $125.60/Nm. The super-capable, Baja-ready Ford Ranger Raptor is $153/Nm.

Unfortunately, the wooden spoon has to go to someone. And in this case, it’s the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon at $220.30/Nm. However, it has to be noted that it is a 3.6-litre naturally aspirated Pentastar V6 and not a torquey diesel, hence it’s at a disadvantage given its Newton count comes to 347. The Gladiator is still an exciting and hugely capable off-road ute that can seat five.

Whichever way you look at it, one thing is for sure – we’re not lacking choice in the market.

Read next: How American pick-ups are set to save Australian manufacturing jobs 


1 SsangYong Musso Ultimate XLV 95.20 $39,990 420
2 Mitsubishi Triton GLX ADAS 95.40 $41,040 430
3 Volkswagen Amarok TDi550 Core 95.60 $52,590 550
4 Mahindra Pik-Up S10 97.00 $31,990 330
5 Great Wall Steed 100.00 $30,990 310
6 LDV T60 Luxe 103.70 $37,358 360
7 Holden Colorado LTZ 105.40 $52,690 500
8 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LTZ Midnight Ed. 113.40 $139,990 1234
9 Mazda BT-50 XTR 116.90 $54,950 470
10 Isuzu D-Max LS-U 118.40 $50,900 430
11 Nissan Navara ST-X 122.80 $55,250 450
12 Toyota Hilux SR5 125.40 $56,440 450
13 Ford Ranger XLT 125.60 $59,040 470
14 RAM 2500 129.00 $139,950 1084
15 Mercedes-Benz X350d Power 144.40 $79,415 550
16 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium Ed. 176.30 $110,000 624
17 RAM 1500 Express 179.80 $99,950 556
18 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon 220.30 $76,450 347