Looking for a new Ute? Well, nothing screams Australian culture like off-roading in an indestructible, ragged Ute. In fact, Utes are so Australian that in 2019, they dominated our new car sales market with the three best-selling Utes listed as the Toyota Hilux, the Ford Ranger, and the Mitsubishi Triton respectively. Consequently, we understand that new cars are not a buy that you should take lightly. Unless you have millions of dollars at your disposal, buying a new car to drive for a couple of days and dropping it like a hot potato is virtually unheard of.

When looking to buy a Ute, you should think about exactly what purpose you’ll be using that bad boy for! To make this task easier, we have broken the top four Utes into categories to aid you in your decision making; Toyota HiLux SR5Ford Ranger XLTMitsubishi Triton GLS Premium, the Isuzu D-Max LS-T (which was released recently in Australia).

In terms of force, the Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium owns a 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that dishes out 133kW of power via a six-speed auto transmission. It’s got a modernized design, performs quite well, and gives a smooth and refined ride for the daily drive. In regards to towing capacity, 3,100 kg is the limit, and the payload of this Ute is 855kg.
The Toyota HiLux SR5 possesses a bigger 2.8-liter turbo diesel but gives off slightly less power at 130kW, through a six-speed auto transmission. Nonetheless, the towing capacity and payload for the Toyota HiLux are at 100kg more than the Mitsubishi Triton; at 3,200kg and 955kg. It is said to be quite accommodating on the roads for the daily drive and has a well-deserved reputation for being tough (flashback to the Top Gear crew failing to destroy this brute).
The latest car news, the Isuzu D-Max has a powerful 3.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine paired with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. It is said to give 140kW of power. It has a high towing capacity of 3,500kg and can carry an impressive 1,024kg in its tray, even more than its rival the Ford Ranger XLT
However, if you’re looking for the biggest and most powerful engine, the Ford Ranger XLT holds its own with a 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbo diesel engine, mated to a six-speed auto transmission giving 147kW of power. It can hold 1,003kg in its tray and is among the highest range of towing capacity at 3,500kg. 

Ute Driving and Off-Road Capabilities: 

Utes aren’t just known for their ability to carry large loads, half the fun of owning a Ute is knowing you can explore rougher terrain and unknown territory in these beasts. 

The Ford Ranger XLT has light steering and good traction for off-roading, with dual-range gearing. It’s got a decent 800mm wading depth to accommodate those muddier adventures. Its features include:
–        Hill Launch Assist making short work of hills and slopes
–        Electronic Stability Control to help control sliding in your slippery adventures
–        Locking Rear Differential to get a better grip during those harsher conditions
People in the back of this Ute who accompany you on your adventure have adequate head and legroom but you won’t want to include more than two mates. However, it is quite a large vehicle and is more difficult to drive in city conditions. Finding car parks for this mammoth Ute could prove to be difficult.
The Toyota HiLux SR5 is an excellent off-roader. It’s quite nimble and can handle itself on tougher terrain. It has slightly less wading depth at 700mm but is still a reasonable amount. It also features Hill Start Assist, Electronic Traction Control, and superior underbody protection which comes as no surprise considering the Toyota HiLux is most well-known to be the most durable Ute in general. People in the back seats have ample legroom and can rest assured they finally have air vents!
The Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium is lighter than most Utes with a sportier feel. On the city roads, the Mitsubishi Triton trumps its rivals partly due to its 11.8m turning circle, making it easier to maneuver in tighter spaces. Despite this, Mitsi still has the ability to tread where other vehicles cannot. This Ute includes the following car features:
–        Electronic Stability Control
–        Electronic Traction Control
–        Trailer-sway Control
–        Rear Diff Lock
The Mitsubishi Triton manages a tight grip in near-impossible conditions and the tires hold surprisingly well in the face of adversity! It is also unique in its Air-circulating Roof Pod that recycles cool air to its passengers. 
The latest car news, Isuzu D-Max LS-T has been improved to ensure the vehicle is not as “heavy” as the previous model, by tweaking the steering to require less effort. There is also a smaller turning radius. Its wading depth has gone from 600mm to 800mm, which is on par with its opponent; the Ford Ranger XLT. It also includes Rear Diff Lock, and the rear suspension has been fine-tuned for driving stability. Lastly, the cabin has been beefed up and rivals that of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, making trekking with mates more comfortable.
Ute Safety:
When it comes to car safety, you can trust the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, and Mitsubishi Triton to boast a 5-star ANCAP safety rating; which is the highest rating available. All three of these Utes have important car safety specs such as:
–        Lane Departure Warning
–        Adaptive Cruise Control
–        Traction and Stability Control
–        Rear Traffic Alert
–        Rear Parking Sensors
–        Autonomous Emergency Braking
–        Hill Start Assist
Due to the Isuzu D-Max LS-T recent release through the latest car news, it is hard to give a definitive answer on this Ute safety specs. However, Isuzu is definitely aiming for a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and have upped their game when it comes to car safety tech, incorporating features such as:
–        Front sensors
–        Rear Parking Sensors
–        Hill Start Assist
–        Hill Descent Control
–        Emergency Stop Signal
–        Auto-parking
–        Auto-locking
There are also subtler characteristics at play that make the Isuzu D-Max more appealing such as integrating “low-rebound MDI polyurethane into the seat cushions, which for reasons not yet known to us, has been aimed at lessening driver fatigue on longer commutes. 
The Toyota Hilux SR5 and Ford Ranger XLT both have rear cameras whereas the Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium has a 360-degree camera, which comes in handy when you want to make sure there are no obstructions around the Ute not just in the rear. However, the Mitsubishi Triton does not come with an impairment alert monitor like both of its rivals; which will be convenient on those interstate commutes and you need to be reminded to take a break. Lastly, The Toyota HiLux and Mitsubishi Triton both have seven airbags, whereas the Ford Ranger has six, which shouldn’t impact car safety, in any big way. When it comes to safety, all Utes are dependable, safe, and definitely built to code.
Extra Ute Features:
Entertainment features are more important to some more than others. However, when planning to buy a new Ute, it is important to remember these vehicles are worker bees; built for tough labor and heavy lifting and not for entertainment purposes.
The Toyota HiLux SR5 features a 7.0-inch touch screen and a color display screen in the dash. It also has privacy glass to help shade in warmer weather, side steps to help us shorties into the Ute, satellite navigation, and rear air vents for back seat passengers’ comfort. However, it does not come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

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