Top 5 Utes in Australia

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on June 9th, 2023       

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There’s no better companion to the tradie than the ute, or utility vehicle. For hauling big and cumbersome loads, tools and equipment, it’s an essential part of the job of a tradesman. But which ute is the best? Here are five of the top utes in the Australian market for 2014.

5. Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux is Australia’s highest selling utility vehicles, now in its eighth-generation. The current and “unbreakable” Hilux has taken on a more solid-looking front, reminding one of an SVU or 4WD. It comes in a 2.7L four cylinder and 4L V6 petrol versions as well as a 3L turbo diesel. The back is narrower compared to most utes, but overall it’s a rough and ready machine capable of tackling the hard jobs.

4. Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger is a premium dual-cab ute with an interior as plush and comfortable as any similar sized car. It comes in a 2.2L TDCi six-speed manual and the “Wildtrack” 3.2L auto. Aimed at commuters as much as tradespeople, the ute arrives with rain-sensor wipers, Bluetooth audio streaming, reverse-parking sensors and satellite navigation. Those looking for a ute modeled on the American style “pick-up truck” will find a lot to like.

3. Nissan Navara

The new model Nissan Navara has one of the easiest and most carefree rides in this lot of utes. It’s 3L V6 turbo blows some of its rivals with similar sized petrol engines out of the water. It’s unbelievably quiet for a ute that grunts up 170kW and 550Nm! Suspension absorbs nearly everything that runs underneath the tyres and grips surfaces with ease, even when hauling a brake-trailer rated 3000kg.

2. Mazda BT-50

The Mazda BT-50 is the most masculine looking ute in the list, looking tougher with optional bulbar and stand-offish angular lines dominating the front. The 3.2L turbo diesel shifts between gears effortlessly and only takes 9.2L/100km on both city and country use. The interior is modeled on SUV style comfort and combines 5-inch colour screen with music streaming, climate control, and a 6-speaker audio system. The only things keeping it from the 1 spot are sluggishness at low revs and a rather noisy power plant.

1. Volkswagen Amarok

The Volkswagen stands out from the pack as it’s the only ute with a full-time all-wheel drive, while others are part-timers or controlled via in-dash switches. On paper, it seems the weakest, bearing a 2L four cylinder engine. Two turbochargers really up the torque, spinning 420Nm suiting it for towing the biggest and meanest loads. Handling is smooth and consistent going up or down gradients. If you’re carrying people as well as materials, the Amarok fits three adults comfortably in the back. It’s also the only ute with a complete five-star ANCAP safety rating. This all adds up to the best ute in the shootout.

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