Fraser Stronach previews the results of the 2018 4x4 Ute Megatest to be published in a special edition of Earthmovers& Excavators next month
The dual-cab 4x4 market has just become more competitive with the introduction of Mercedes-Benz’s new X-Class, but how does it shape up in our nine-way fight? All will be revealed exclusively in next month’s Earthmovers
&Excavators featuring the results of our annual 2018 4x4 Ute Megatest.
Over a gruelling five days at the Melbourne 4×4 Training and Proving Ground at Werribee near Melbourne, our expert judging panel put all of the popular 4x4 dual-cabs through their paces on-road – with and without a 900kg total payload – and off-road. The last time we gathered all the utes together was in late 2016 for our Max Load and Tow Test.
Since then, the four of the nine utes have undergone significant mechanical revision, or are new. Only the Hilux, Ranger, Colorado, BT-50 and Triton are effectively unchanged mechanically, although all have undergone equipment or styling changes in that time.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is all new to this class although, at the same time, a little familiar as it uses the Nissan Navara as a starting point in its design. Then there’s the Amarok, which sports a new and much more powerful engine in the form of a three-litre V6 diesel. The Hilux variant tested didn’t actually exist last time we gathered all the utes together as it’s an SR+ model.
The on-road tests involved unladed ride and handling evaluation as well as performance and fuel-consumption tests. The payload test involved a total payload of 900kg. The off-road tests involved set-piece hill climbs, obstacle negotiation and water fording.
To find out how the nine contenders performed – and which one came out on top – grab a copy of the July issue of Earthmovers&Excavators; and visit TradeEarthmovers.com.au to watch all the action captured in high-quality video.