We video test five of New Zealand’s top-selling 4WD utes
Today’s double cab utes are literally all things to all people; farmers, tradespeople, recreational users and those with a need to regularly tow a caravan or ‘toy’ trailer.
Where once a ute was just that - a ‘utility’ vehicle primarily used by farmers and rural contractors - a new-generation of rural AND urban buyers have been won over by the double-cab platform’s versatility and ever increasing mechanical and electronic sophistication.
This time of the year is ‘ute time’ at NZ4WD magazine, the massive industry spend around the annual Fieldays at Mystery Creek focusing the nation’s attention on new models, run-out specials and deals.
To that end this year’s annual multi-model comparison test featured a mix of new and existing models.
Having won both our Ute of The Year and overall 4WD of The Year title last year Ford’s Ranger XLT anchored the line-up.
Sister magazine Company Vehicle’s Ute of The Year, the Holden Colorado LTZ was next, followed by Mitsubishi’s all-new Triton, Toyota’s ubiquitous Hilux and Volkswagen’s Amarok.
Over two days our five-ute sample group covered almost 1000kms on and off the road, including taking on a dedicated bush loop in the Bay of Plenty’s TECT Park (www.tectallterrainpark.co.nz).
The big surprise, despite their similarity in basic spec (mid/high-grade turbo-diesel automatics) was just how different each one felt, on as well as off the road.
Which one is best? That’s for the video – and magazine article – to reveal.
What we can tell you is that four of the five earned an ‘I’d buy one’ vote from at least one of our judges, and that the new Triton is a significant improvement over the model it replaces.
Ross MacKay, Editor NZ4WD magazine.