Four Door Ute Comparison – Ranger, Hilux, Triton and D-Max

I have just been on a weekend trip testing some four-door, four wheel drive utes.
We had the Ford Ranger, The Toyota Hilux, the Isuzu d-Max and the Mitsubishi Triton.
These cars are not just minor niche players, they sell in big numbers.
So far this year the 4 wheel drive Hilux is the fifth best selling car in Australia. If you include the two wheel drive version it is the 3rd best selling car out pacing every SUV for starters.
The weekend was organised by Rob Fraser, an expert in off roading and of oz roamer web site.

Mitsubishi Triton
Quite good features – leather seat, electric seats but no reversing camera.
Looks a bit funny in its proportions. The rear tail looks lower and wider than other vehicles which I like but from the side it looks a bit disproportioned.
I thought it was less harsh on the dirt road (but that could be the extra weight)
Not strong in power and it struggled on hills but that could be the load.
Fuel consumption is poor compared to the others
Showing its age. Noisy engine. Transmission was not as smooth as the others
Interior looks dated especially around the gear lever.
Only 4 star crash rating (showing its age??)
Steering vibrates more than most when driving over rough roads.
Re-sale value may not be high
Smallest engine but highest fuel consumption
But undoubtedly the best value-for-money of the four. It is easy for motoring journalists to say “just pay the extra $12,000 to $14,000” but that is a lot of money. The other cars were 26% to 32% more expensive!!!! If you go to the top of the range Ranger with Leather and electric seats you pay 41% more than the Triton.

Toyota Hi-Lux
Good, strong and dependable
Good features (leather and electric seats and reversing camera).
Lowest in power and torque of the four but not a big issue to me (might be more important if you are towing). Torque is over a good rev range.
Lowest pay load rating.
Interior is modern although it still has the old handle to change to four wheel drive and low ratio. I like the centre console as it doesn’t have protruding parts that look like tack-ons.
Not class leading in its performance but still not bad.
Presume good re-sale value.

Isuzu LS Terrain
Good features (leather, electric seats and reversing camera) – If I remember correctly
Performed well.
I felt the steering was more comfortably light particularly on the sand which it handled well.
Good interior – modern with dial for high and low range FWD
Very good fuel consumption rating
Second best torque
Good warranty
Hard to find anything that was noticeably bad.
Pick of the cars without going to maximum price.

Ford Ranger
Very small screen in the console.
Lack of features (no leather, electric seats or reversing camera)
Significant more power and torque
6 speed gear box
Leading pay load
Biggest Good fuel consumption rating (except when compared to Isuzu)
Good interior

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