We video test six 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.
Ford’s face-lifted and refreshed Ranger XLT and Toyota’s new Gen 8 Hilux anchored the lineup alongside Nissan’s new Navara NP300, Isuzu’s D-Max, Mitsubishi’s Triton and Volkswagen’s Amarok.
This year we took to the hills of long-time magazine contributor Duncan Munro’s farm near Kawakawa Bay in south-east Auckland for a day’s testing, most of it in full 4WD/low-range mode.
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? Check out the video to see how the contenders lined up, and the June issue of NZ4WD magazine to see which one won, and how the rest ranked in the pecking order.
Editor NZ4WD magazine.