Travel around Brisbane, utes are as common as any other car – even in the suburbs.
But what’s the best ute for the family and the work site?
The days of commercial vehicles with air-conditioning as an optional extra and one driver airbag are long gone. Where cloth seats and vinyl floors were once the requested specification of utes, they now are available with leather seats and an audio system with elaborate options such as satellite navigation and digital audio.
This is partly because more and more people are buying utes not just for work, but to ferry the family around. VFACTS in October 2016 showed that, for the first time since the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) started recording car sales, the two top selling cars for the month were utes – the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.
4WD utes are now, consistently, some of the most popular vehicles to find a home on driveways around Australia with over 10,000 on average sold every month in 2016.
There are a few reasons for their sudden uptick in popularity. One is that 4WDs and SUVs in general have become more attractive to buyers wanting a little more room; while others see the benefit of having a car that can serve more than one purpose able to work during the week, head off-road and capably trundle around town.
So what are the best deals available on a ute?
The best selling ute in Australia is taken out by the company that claims a lot of the top spots in car sales, the Toyota HiLux. The entry level model, the petrol-powered HiLux 4x2 Workmate Single Cab Chassis is available fitted with a general-purpose alloy narrow tray, making it a smart buy for workers looking to get that Toyota badge onto their work site for $23,990 driveaway.
Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range HiLux 4x4 SR5 Double Cab turbo-diesel makes it easier than ever to get on the road in a ute that carries a heritage of off-roading prowess, durability and, thanks to upgrades in comfort and convenience, a new reputation for family transport. Until the end of 2016, the Hilux SR5 is available from $52,990 for the manual SR5, and $54,990 for the automatic. Read our drive review.
The other best-selling ute on sale is the Ford Ranger – aims to tackle the Hilux head on with the 4X4 XLS Special Edition manual diesel on sale for $49,990 drive away, with over $4,900 worth of extras including tow bar, sports bar, bed liner and side steps. Read our drive review.
Holden’s Colorado has just been updated to overhaul it’s entire drivetrain; a massive upgrade over previous models. A classy interior, combined with more safety features takes the Colorado to a new level of comfort and refinement. The easiest way to get into a dual cab, four-wheel drive version is the LS Crew Cab with a drive away price of $36,990. Read our drive review.
The Mitsubishi Triton renewed itself in 2015 with upgraded safety features, new styling and more sophisticated driving experience. The GLX+ Special Edition available as a double cab manual with Mitsubishi’s tough Super Select II four-wheel drive system is on road for only $36,990 drive away; with $2,000 worth of factory bonuses before you leave the showroom. Read our drive review.
The Nissan Navara is the quiet achiever of utes in Australia. Often mentioned third when talking about utes from Japanese brands, the Navara is nevertheless a reliable workhorse that impressed with sharp new styling and impressive driving characteristics when the NP300 model launched earlier this year.
Until the end of the year, Nissan has driveaway deals on a great range of Navaras with the DX 4X4 Single Cab Chassis available from $30,990. Read our drive review.