2018 Mega Ute Shootout

By: Fraser Stronach

Presented by
  • Plant & Equipment

We gather nine of Australia’s top-selling 4x4 utes, and the best reviewers from across the country, to determine Australia’s best ute

We test the Ford Ranger,Holden Colorado,Isuzu D-Max,Mazda BT-50,Mitsubishi Triton, Mercedes Benz X-Class,Nissan Navara,Toyota Hilux,Volkswagen Amarok V6
The Mega Ute Test lineup
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Get ready for the most comprehensive-ever evaluation of all the popular utes on sale in Australia!

Bauer Media’s Transport and Machinery titles, in conjunction with Australia’s leading 4WD magazine, 4x4 Australia, and Australia’s leading car magazine, Wheels, has gathered together all of the popular utes for a week-long knockout to find out just what is Australia’s best ute overall.



• Ford Ranger: Big and brawny and Australia’s most popular 4WD ute in 2017

• Holden Colorado: 500Nm of torque can’t be wrong! That’s more than Ranger.

• Isuzu D-Max: Much loved thanks to its service simplicity and reliability. The mechanic’s favourite.

• Mazda BT-50: Shares much with the Ford Ranger including a 3.2-litre five-cylinder engine but generally cheaper to buy.

• Mitsubishi Triton: Smaller than most competitor utes but Australia’s cheapest mainstream ute and third-best selling 4WD ute overall.

• Mercedes Benz X-Class: The new ute on the block based on the Nissan Navara. This is its first outing.

• Nissan Navara: Its coil sprung rear suspension has been revised after earlier load-carrying shortfalls.

• Toyota Hilux: Australia’s most popular ute (and has been for years) if you add 2WD sales to its 4WD sales.

• Volkswagen Amarok V6: Powerhouse V6 diesel pumps a mighty 180kW, all kept under control by full-time 4WD.


Over a gruelling five days at the Melbourne 4×4 Training and Proving Ground at Werribee near Melbourne, all of the utes will undergo a series of test to determine the winner. The tests include:

• Carrying a maximum payload over a bumpy and demanding road course

• Carrying five people over a different but still demanding road course

• Ride and handling evaluation on a third road course with plenty of corners and bumps

• Off-road testing on steep and rough climbs, moguls, steep ramps, and through deep-water crossings

• Electronically measured acceleration and braking tests in a controlled environment

• Fuel consumption tests via accurate and independent measurement.



No fewer than seven judges, some with many decades of vehicle-testing experience, will conduct and oversee the tests.

Our judges include Cobey Bartels from Owner Driver, Fraser Stronach, Matt Raudonikis and Justin Walker from 4x4 Australia and Ash Westerman, Byron Mathioudakis and Daniel Gardner from Wheels.

The Mega Ute test


Full results will be published both online as well as in special editions of ATN (#382 – on sale July 24), Deals on Wheels (#329 – on sale July 9), Owner Driver (#306 – on sale July 9), Earthmovers & Excavators (#348 – on sale July 23), Farms & Farm Machinery (#361 – on sale July 19), 4x4 Australia (on sale July 19) and Wheels (on sale July 12).

In the meantime, check Facebook to keep up with the action direct from this week’s shootout!


2016 Ute Tow Test


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