class war­fare

Fraser Stronach pre­views the re­sults of the 2018 4x4 Ute Me­gat­est to be pub­lished in a spe­cial edi­tion of Earth­movers& Ex­ca­va­tors next month

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Product News -

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.

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