HEAVY LIFTERS TRIM THEIR PRICES
TWO utes are the year-to-date best sellers, showing the dominance of four-door pickups over large sedans and wagons.
Last month, the Toyota HiLux SR5 and Ford Ranger XLT duked it out with almost identical drive-away prices — $56,390 (HiLux) and $56,490 (Ford). The battle for supremacy, along with these prices, continues to the end of the month.
Ford is hitting Toyota hard and has closed the gap to outright nameplate leadership. In fact, the Ranger outsells the HiLux in the 4WD category — the HiLux’s 2WD dominance has kept it ahead but that margin is narrowing.
Toyota won’t show it publicly but it has hit the panic button on HiLux, so be sure to talk a deal.
With prices this close, which one would we choose? Tough call. The Ranger has more grunt and is more comfortable to drive unladen but the HiLux has better fuel economy and reliability — and the SR5 is comfortable once you load 200kg or so.
Every other competitor in the ute class is holding up a banner that says, in effect, “don’t forget us”.
Holden has ripped up the price of the Colorado LTZ four- door 4WD until June 30. It’s now $49,990 drive-away, a massive $7800 off — that’s a hot price.
The 2.8-litre diesel has plenty of grunt but the vehicle overall is not as refined or as pleasant to drive as the Ford or the Toyota.
Mitsubishi has moved its discounts to the dearer Triton variants, so the base model isn’t as much of a bargain as it was previously. Get a top of the range Triton Exceed for $44,990 drive-away with auto, a $6000 saving.
The Triton GLS is also a good buy (as with the Exceed, it comes with Super Select, so you can use 4WD on sealed roads if needed) at $41,490 drive-away with auto — use the maker’s $2000 Eftpos card and it drops to just $39,490 drive-away ($5000 off RRP).
Best to drive and roomiest in the class, VW’s Amarok Core with eight-speed auto is $42,990 drive-away (about $4500 off). The 2.0-litre turbo diesel is no ball of fire but it gets the job done and is super economical.
It might sound like a bare bones model (it comes with a vinyl floor) but it has the modcons covered, such as Apple Car Play, Android Auto, rearview camera and rear sensors.
Picking up: Clockwise from top; Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton, and VW Amarok