on that prom­ise The Ranger looks the goods on pa­per and ably de­liv­ers

4 x 4 Australia - - Driven -

Sep­a­rat­ing the next two – the Holden Colorado and the Mazda BT-50 – is dif­fi­cult. The Colorado has plenty of punch even if it needs more revs than the Ranger or Mazda, and it has the smartest gear­box. For its part the Mazda BT-50 has the same core strengths as the Ranger, just less pol­ish. It’s re­ally a tie.

Close be­hind our top three is the Toy­ota Hilux, pri­mar­ily held back by the con­ser­va­tive tow rat­ing of the au­to­matic (com­pared to the man­ual) and the low­est pay­load on test. Out­side of these the­o­ret­i­cals, how­ever, the Hilux is a top per­former and fully de­liv­ers on its prom­ise, even though it does prom­ise a lit­tle less.

In equal fifth po­si­tion are the Isuzu D-max and the Mit­subishi Triton. The D-max has a wor­thy chas­sis but the en­gine strug­gles both with 3500kg in train and at max­i­mum pay­load. The Triton is the op­po­site – the en­gine is will­ing but the chas­sis is com­pro­mised. The­o­ret­i­cally the Triton could tow its 3100kg max­i­mum and carry an 800kg pay­load at the same time, although we don’t know if we would ever want to give it a try.

By com­par­i­son, all of the other utes have lit­tle pay­load al­lowance left once you have a max-weight trailer hooked up be­hind.

Sadly, the Nissan Navara is the tailen­der. While it does of­fer plenty of en­gine punch, the chas­sis falls well short ei­ther of tow­ing 3500kg or of car­ry­ing its rated max­i­mum pay­load with any sort of author­ity.

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