Mega ute shootout teaser

We gather nine of Aus­tralia’s top-sell­ing 4x4 utes, and the best re­view­ers from across the coun­try, to de­ter­mine Aus­tralia’s best ute. Fraser Stronach re­ports

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Contents -

In early May, Bauer Me­dia’s Trans­port and Ma­chin­ery ti­tles, in con­junc­tion with Aus­tralia’s lead­ing 4WD magazine, 4x4 Aus­tralia, and Aus­tralia’s lead­ing car magazine, Wheels, gath­ered to­gether all of the pop­u­lar utes for a week-long knock­out to find out just what is Aus­tralia’s best ute over­all.

The con­tenders

• Ford Ranger: Big and brawny and Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar 4WD ute in 2017

• Holden Colorado: 500Nm of torque can’t be wrong! That’s more than Ranger

• Isuzu D-Max: Much loved thanks to its ser­vice sim­plic­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity. The me­chanic’s favourite

• Mazda BT-50: Shares much with the Ford Ranger in­clud­ing a 3.2-litre five-cylin­der en­gine but gen­er­ally

cheaper to buy

• Mit­subishi Tri­ton: Smaller than most com­peti­tor utes but Aus­tralia’s cheap­est main­stream ute and third

best sell­ing 4WD ute over­all

• Mercedes Benz X-Class: The new ute on the block based on the Nis­san Navara. This is its first out­ing. • Nis­san Navara: Its coil sprung rear sus­pen­sion has been re­vised af­ter ear­lier load-car­ry­ing short­falls • Toy­ota Hilux: Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar ute (and has been for years) if you add 2WD sales to its 4WD sales • Volk­swa­gen Amarok V6: Powerhouse V6 diesel pumps a mighty 180kW, all kept un­der con­trol by

full-time 4WD

Test pro­ce­dure

Over a gru­elling five days at the Mel­bourne 4×4 Train­ing and Prov­ing Ground at Wer­ribee near Mel­bourne, all of the utes un­der­went a se­ries of test to de­ter­mine the win­ner. The tests in­clude: • Car­ry­ing a max­i­mum pay­load over a bumpy and de­mand­ing road course

• Car­ry­ing five peo­ple over a dif­fer­ent but still de­mand­ing road course

• Ride and han­dling eval­u­a­tion on a third road course with plenty of cor­ners and bumps

• Off-road test­ing on steep and rough climbs, moguls, steep ramps, and through deep-wa­ter cross­ings • Elec­tron­i­cally mea­sured ac­cel­er­a­tion and brak­ing tests in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment

• Fuel con­sump­tion tests via ac­cu­rate and in­de­pen­dent mea­sure­ment

Test crew

No fewer than seven judges, some with many decades of ve­hi­cle-test­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, con­ducted the com­pre­hen­sive tests.

Our judges in­cluded Cobey Bar­tels from Own­erDriver; Fraser Stronach, Matt Raudonikis and Justin Walker from 4x4 Aus­tralia; and Ash Wester­man, Byron Mathioudakis and Daniel Gardner from Wheels.

The results

Full results will be pub­lished both on­line as well as in spe­cial edi­tions of ATN (#382 – on sale July 24),

Deals on Wheels (#329 – on sale July 9), Owner Driver (#306 – on sale July 9), Earth­movers & Ex­ca­va­tors (#348 – on sale July 23), Farms & Farm Ma­chin­ery (#361 – on sale July 19), 4x4 Aus­tralia (on sale July 19) and Wheels (on sale July 12).

Get ready for the most com­pre­hen­siveever eval­u­a­tion of all the pop­u­lar utes on sale in Aus­tralia!

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