OFFICIAL list pricing, which doesn’t include on-road costs, has the Ranger Wildtrak ($62,190) and the Amarok Highline V6 ($61,880 inc. leather) as the two more expensive utes here. The Colorado Z71 ($57,190 list) brings up the rear behind the Hilux TRD ($61,540, but that’s a drive-away figure).
What’s probably more significant than the price difference is the way these four feel and perform both on and off the road and what they represent as an ownership proposition.
Of the four, the Colorado and the Ranger are the most alike, while the Hilux is off on its own (smaller; less performance; more refinement), as is the Amarok with its V6 performance and full-time 4WD.
Price aside, it’s hard to make an argument for the Colorado given it can’t match the other three in more difficult off-road conditions, particularly on steep, gnarly trails. Stepping away from that context, the Colorado is a fine general-duties dual-cab ute and, in terms of what it does on-road (towing included), is very much a viable alternative to the marketleading Ranger.
The Hilux’s strength in this company is its refinement, build quality and promise of reliability and durability. It’s also as good as it gets off-road in this company, while its remote-area service support is also second-tonone. Best real-world economy, too, though the Colorado and the Amarok aren’t far behind. However, it trails the field in performance and has the smallest cabin.
Conversely, cabin size, especially its classleading cabin length, is a Ranger strong suit. As is its big, torquey engine, excellent road manners, towing and load hauling ability, and class leading off-road ability. Feels tough, too. In fact, there’s very little to criticise about the Ranger except its higher fuel use.
As a ute to drive, the Amarok Highline V6 is the best thing here, thanks to its performance, handling and grip. As noted by Editor Raudonikis on our test: “It feels like a rally car compared to the other three.” Given its refinement, it also feels like a “luxury car” in this company. Throw in its excellent 4x4 ability, ease of operation, spacious cabin, big tray and 6000kg GCM, and you also have a very practical ute. No rear-cabin airbags, the position of the engine air intake, and no low range to cover difficult off-road towing are its main shortcomings, while the relatively thin dealer spread in country areas may count against it as an ownership proposition.