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Australia’s cheapest one-tonne utes for 2020, revealed
Moving Well | Tim Nicholson | Posted on 16 November 2020
Driving Your Dollars survey reveals what it really costs to own and run a ute in 2020.
Australians have fallen in love with one-tonne utes. In fact utes – or pick-ups – are now the second-highest-selling vehicle type behind medium SUVs, according to official sales figures.
While most 4x2 utes are used as work vehicles, a growing number of families are opting for 4x4 utes that double as a practical workhorse and versatile family car. But while they have many positives, RACV’s annual Driving Your Dollars survey reveals that they can be expensive to own and run.
Mitsubishi’s Triton-based Pajero Sport GLX costs less to own and run than its off-roading rivals at $1485.22 a month.
The 2020 survey compares what it costs to own and run 79 of Australia's top-selling cars, taking into account purchase price and loan repayments, fuel costs, servicing, tyres and on-road costs, including registration, insurance and auto-club membership, averaged over a five-year period. It found all-terrain wagons, many of which are based on the same underpinnings as Australia's best-selling utes, are by some margin the most expensive cars to own and run, costing an average $1804.61 per month to own and operate. That's close to double the average monthly cost of owning a small car.
When it comes to utes, 4X2 pick-ups cost an average $1367.26 per month, while their 4X4 siblings cost $1590.56. One manufacturer has the most affordable vehicle in each category - 4X2 utes, 4X4 utes and all-terrain wagons. And that's Mitsubishi.
The Triton GLX (ADAS) is the cheapest 4x2 ute to own and run, costing $1242.73 a month. The Triton has the lowest purchase price and servicing costs in its category. Following closely is the Isuzu D-Max SX High Ride on $1286.20 per month. The second-highest-selling vehicle in Australia – Ford’s Ranger – is third in the 4x2 category at $1331.03 a month for the 2.2-litre XL Hi-Rider.
Following the fourth-placed Toyota HiLux SR Hi-Rider and fifth-placed Mazda BT-50 XT Hi-Rider is the Nissan Navara ST on $1482.98 – the most expensive 4x2 ute in the survey to own and run.
Australia’s most affordable 4x4 utes
Mitsubishi’s Triton GLX tops the 4x4 category as the most-affordable model at $1340.98 a month, again followed by the Isuzu D-Max on $1465.68. Interestingly, Volkswagen’s Amarok TDI420 Core – seen as a more premium offering in the 4x4 ute segment – lands in third place with a monthly cost of $1486.28.
The Ranger, HiLux and Navara follow, but the most expensive 4x4 ute surveyed by far is the long-running 70-series Toyota LandCruiser Workmate pick-up at $2087.38. It is the third-priciest vehicle overall to own and run in this year’s survey.
Mitsubishi’s Triton GLX is the cheapest 4x2 ute to own and run, costing $1242.73 a month. .
The second-highest-selling vehicle in Australia – Ford’s Ranger – comes in third at $1331.03 a month.
Australia’s most affordable all-terrain wagons
In terms of all-terrain wagons, Mitsubishi’s Triton-based Pajero Sport GLX costs less to own and run than its off-roading rivals at $1485.22 a month. The Toyota Fortuner GX isn’t far behind on $1488.66. Isuzu’s D-Max-based MU-X LS-M takes third spot at $1551.94 a month and Ford’s Ranger-based Everest Ambiente is fourth with a monthly spend of $1617.16.
The two priciest all-terrain wagons in the survey are not mechanically related to cheaper utes – they have their own unique underpinnings.
The big 200-series Toyota LandCruiser GX diesel will set you back $2320.27 a month, which isn’t helped by a higher purchase price and fuel costs. But the hulking petrol V8-powered Nissan Patrol Ti takes the title of the most expensive vehicle to own and run in this year’s Driving Your Dollars survey with its monthly cost of $2447.43.
It’s worth noting that in the past three months, Toyota launched an updated version of the HiLux and Fortuner, and Isuzu and Mazda have introduced all-new versions of the D-Max and BT-50 respectively. The variants listed in the survey refer to the recently replaced models. The new versions of each of these popular models have copped price increases due to a boost in standard safety and in-car tech.
See the full results from our 2020 Car Runnings Costs survey