Which Ute Should I Buy: Holden Colorado, Toyota HiLux or Mitsubishi Triton?

QUESTION: John, I am hunting a ute as a contractor for cabling. Normally, I drive everywhere mainly on flat streets for handiwork, but sometimes I drive in the country. I need a dual-cab 4X4 auto ute as I have kids to pick up. You know it is by the end of financial year. I'm trying to decide between the Holden Colorado LT 4X4 auto($38,000 + 5 year warranty + 3 years free serving), Toyota HiLux SR 4X4 auto ($43,000 + 3 years warranty) and Mitsubishi Triton GLX 4X4 auto ($32,000 + 5 years warranty). I have no experience with the ute yet. Which one should I buy? Thank you, Stephen.

ANSWER

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I've covered most of this previously (see links below to more detailed explanations). The short answer is: buy the Holden. All these utes are made in Thailand (in fact, all 4x4 dual cab utes except the Volkswagen Amarok are made in Thailand).

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The Triton is old - crappy four-speed auto, only a four-star ANCAP safety rating, second-rate engine and a low tow capacity. The HiLux only gets a five-speed auto and has a much lower tow capacity and engine outputs than the Colorado. The market has evolved since the current Triton and HiLux were released.

There are only three utes worth buying if you want a six-speed auto, big tow capacity, grunty engine and a five-star ANCAP safety rating: Holden Colorado, Mazda BT-50 & Ford Ranger

Holden Colorado

Holden Colorado is the pick of the dual cab 4x4 ute market right now - ticks every box

SPECIFICATIONS

ANCAP: 5-star
2.8-litre 4cyl
Diesel, turbo
Power: 147kW @ 3600rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 2000-2200
Trans: 6sp auto
Payload: 1029kg*
Towing, braked: 3500kg

* expect minor payload variations depending on model

Mazda BT-50

Mazda BT-50 is also worth considering - it was co-developed with the Ranger by Ford in Australia

SPECIFICATIONS

ANCAP: 5-star
3.2-litre 5cyl
Diesel, turbo
Power: 147kW @ 3000rpm
Torque: 470Nm @ 1500-2750
Trans: 6sp auto
Payload: 1136kg*
Towing, braked: 3500kg

* expect minor payload variations depending on model

Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger, which shares the Mazda's fundamentals, is also an excellent buy

SPECIFICATIONS

ANCAP: 5-star
3.2-litre 5cyl
Diesel, turbo
Power: 147kW @ 3000rpm
Torque: 470Nm @ 1750-2500
Trans: 6sp auto
Payload: 1146kg*
Towing, braked: 3500kg

* expect minor payload variations depending on model

It's that simple: If you want to tick all those boxes these are the utes to get. Everything else is second-rate. And of these three, the Holden is the best. However, the other two are very close. The Ford/Mazda, with their bigger engine, actually makes peak power at lower revs, so is a little more relaxed about its maximum delivery, but the performance of all three in the real world is vers, very close. All other utes in the market have serious deficiencies. (HiLux is way down on power/torque/towing and only a five-speed, Navara and Triton are comprehensively outdated, Isuzu D-Max is based on the Holden but only a five-speed and the engine's not as potent, and the Amarok is made in Argentina, and like most Volkswagens it's a game of Russian roulette when it comes to reliability.)

See also: