Best 4x4 Dual-Cab Ute in 2016

Moving Well | RACV | Posted on 21 February 2017

Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 is Australia's Best 4x4 Dual-Cab Ute.

Winner: Ford Ranger XLT 3.2

This is Ford Ranger’s third win in four years, aided by a model refresh and some extra kit being added in 2016. It excels in the things these utes are bought for, such as towing, as well as having a practical design that makes it easy to live with.

The list of standard features in Ranger is the benchmark in this market. A rear-view camera and reversing sensors have become standard across most of the line-up, and the XLT also has front parking sensors as standard.

The update also saw the XLT get Ford’s new SYNC 3 in-vehicle communications and entertainment platform that has faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, smartphone-like touch-screen and an improved graphics interface.

Inside the cabin, Ranger was equal best in class for space, and outside tray space was equal to or better than any of the other contenders. The seating comfort was also equal best in class, and during the upgrade, Ford put more sound deadening in the XLT. As such the cabin is relatively quieter but it’s still not as good as the HiLux.

Even loaded with three judges in the cabin and half a tonne in the tray, Ranger easily lugged its way up a steep 4WD test track as the 470Nm delivered by the 3.2-litre 147kW five-cylinder turbo-diesel powerplant was well and truly up to the task.

Ranger topped the list here for towing, with a more-than-useful 3500-kilogram rated capacity. Supported by trailer sway mitigation and tyre pressure monitoring, it is also the only ute in the class to have a towbar as standard.

Best 4x4 Dual-Cab Ute

Best 4x4 Dual-Cab Ute

WEIGHTING

Silver Ford Ranger driving on a dirt road

Ford Ranger XLT 3.2

Impressive features and attention to comfort complement the Ford ute’s sturdy work credentials.
Red Toyota HiLux SR5 parked on a dirt track

Toyota HiLux SR5

Excellent suspension and a quality feel back up HiLux’s reputation as unbreakable.
Red Holden Colorado LTZ parked on the side of the road

Holden Colorado LTZ

Value for money and drivability – even up the steepest 4WD track – are Colorado’s main attributes.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Pricing

Medium

3

3

5

Cost of depreciation ($)

Medium

5

5

3

Running and repair costs

Medium

6

5

4

Fuel consumption

High

3

4

3

Warranty and dealer access

Medium

4

4

4

Insurance

Low

1

6

6

Standard features

High

8

7

8

DESIGN AND FUNCTION
Safety

Critical

7

7

8

Environment

Critical

4

4

4

Seating comfort

High

7

7

6

Space - cabin

High

7

6

5

Space - tray

High

8

8

6

Practicality

High

8

8

8

Ergonomics

High

8

8

6

Build and finish quality

High

8

8

6

ON THE ROAD
Rated towing

Critical

9

7

8

Payload

Medium

6

6

5

Performance

High

8

7

9

Ride

Medium

7

6

7

Handling

High

8

8

7

Braking

High

7

7

7

Smoothness and quietness

Medium

7

8

7

OFF ROAD
Engine gearing and traction

High

8

8

7

Clearances and articulation

High

7

7

7

OVERALL AVERAGE

1082

1052

1008