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2020 Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior: Private Fleet Car Review

This Car Review Is About: Nissan’s Navara and its partnership with Premcar. This joint partnership has given Premcar the opportunity to work with Nissan and provide an Australian engineered alternative to Ford’s Ranger Raptor and the former contender from Holden and HSV, the Sportscat.

What Does It Cost?: A not inconsiderable $67,290 on a drive-away basis. However it’s close to $9K cheaper than a Raptor and around $2K cheaper than a Wildtrak X with 2.0L bi-turbo diesel.Under The Bonnet Is: A 2.3L twin turbo diesel. Power is 140kW at a high, for a diesel, 3,750rpm. Peak torque is the critical figure and that’s 450Nm between 1,500rpm and 2,500rpm. In comparison, the Raptor’s 2.0L diesel has 157kW and 500Nm (1,750rpm to 2,000rpm). There is a choice of a six speed manual or a seven speed auto, driving two or four wheels via an electronic selector and a switch to lock the rear diff. Nissan quotes 7.0L per 100km on the combined cycle. We finished at 9.4L/100km on our 70/30 urban to highway cycle. Tank size is 80.0L.On The Outside It’s: Clad in White Diamond (choices are Slate Grey and Cosmic Black), our test car, which highlights the orange hued pieces of trim spread around the outside edges of the steps, mirrors, and front driving lights. There is a blacked-out decal along the flanks that declares the car to be an N-Trek Warrior, and sits nicely between the big tyres fitted. They’re from renowned off-road tyre supplier, Cooper, and are 275/70/17s from the Discoverer AT3 range.For the tray, there is a tub liner, a blacked out roll-bar, a Navara decal on the tailgate, a black rear step-bumper, and a towbar attachment. Heavy duty flared guard attachments add a muscular, no-nonsense, look, with that same take-everything-on ideal up front with a heavier looking front bar complete with LED light strip, and blacked out trim for the grille.

Underneath is increased ride height for the body, and plenty of sheetmetal (3mm thick 302 standard stainless steel) for protecting the engine’s sump, transmission, and vital cables. This is necessary given the angles the N-Trek Warrior can find itself at: approach is up to 35 degrees and break-over of 27.5 degrees. Departure angle isn’t great at just 19 degrees.Overall, the N-Trek Warrior stands 1,895mm tall, rolls on a wheelbase of 3,150mm inside a total length of 5,385mm, and the total width of 1,920 (sans mirrors) adds to the shoulder room inside. Inside the tub is a 1,503mm floor length, and between the rear wheel arches is 1,130mm with extra space either side at 1,560mm on the floor. Depth is 474mm. Payload is 724kg and braked towing is 3.5 tonnes.On The Inside It’s: Aging. Gracefully, but aging. Nissan says a new Navara is on the way for 2021. What it has for now is a dash with an elegant sweep in the style, a bad reflection into the windscreen, a non-DAB tuner (disappointing), fine grains to the plastic on the dash, and a dated use of alloy hued plastics on the tiller, console, and touchscreen surrounds. The seats could use more side bolstering in supporting the body, with a sensation of sitting on but not in them. However the look and trim is high in quality for a mixed material pew.The headrests are embossed with the orange stitched N-Trek Warrior logo that complements the same colour stitching in the floor mats, the rear vision mirror has a simple N/S/E/W style compass, and the upper centre console has a small storage locker with a 12V socket. Down near the gear selector is a solitary USB port. There is no port for the rear seat passengers but there are a pair of vents. On The Road It’s: Surprisingly…heavy. In our drive it felt leaden, weighed down, lacklustre even. Surprising given the amount of torque available as acceleration was ok without being outstanding, both from a standing start and in rolling acceleration. Steering was rubbery in feel on centre but tightened up to be communicative, partly due to the thick off-road tyres, but there is effort needed at low speeds. Body movement in comparison demonstrated the work put in, with a taut ride on tarmac, that “just right” amount of suspension give, even allowing for sidewall flex. The brakes are spot on, in comparison, with an intuitive travel. The auto itself is a solid worker, putting in a performance that was competent if unspectacular.Off-road, it’s a different beast and performed admirably. There is a rear diff lock, a rotary dial for 4WD high and low range, and the fettled suspension has plenty of articulation. The Cooper tyres display why they’re the chosen brand for getting dirty grip, clambering over and through the various surfaces on our test track without a niggle. It’s this environment where the engine’s torque range really works, and the increased ride height (40mm over standard) provided secure and safe driving. Nissan’s paperwork says the N-Trek Warrior’s suspension team spent several months testing various combinations of springs, dampers, and bump stops, and off-road it shows. What About Safety?: Reverse camera is standard and in high definition on the touchscreen. Seven airbags, including driver’s kneebag, are standard, however Nissan’s spec sheet don’t list AEB, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and the like.What About Warranty And Service?: Five years and unlimited kilometres plus five years roadside assist. Capped price servicing is also available and pricing is model dependent.

At The End Of the Drive. It was with mixed feelings that the Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior was handed back to the office. It’s undoubtedly good as an off-roader, but for our tastes it was not entirely suitable for every day tarmac use. And that’s the perplexing part given the background it’s come from and the partnership formed to build it. It leaves the N-Trek Warrior in a peculiar place, and that’s where expectations weren’t met yet should have been.

Info on the 2020 Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior can be found here.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: The long awaited (for Australia) bigger Jeep. The Gladiator has been touted as a Wrangler with a tray and that’s about as good a description as it gets. It’s a two model range, being the Overland and Rubicon, with a limited run Launch Edition. We drive the Rubicon.How Much Does It Cost?: An information sheet kindly supplied by Jeep Australia has the vehicle we were supplied as $88,405. There is a starting price of $76,450, with the exterior clad in “Gator” for a price of $1,035. Options fitted were a steel front bumper at $1,635, the blacked out wheels at $975, a three piece hard top in body colour at $1,950, a Rubicon luxury package at $2,535, and something called the Lifestyle Adventure Group at $3,835.

Under The Bonnet Is: Jeep’s 3.6L petrol fed V6. And only that motor. That’s right, no diesel. The auto is an eight speed and geared to see Aussie freeways speeds turning the drive-train over at just 2,000rpm. Peak power is 209kW at 6,200rpm, and peak torque is a typical petrol high of 347Nm at 4,100rpm. Economy is not a strong part of the equation with none of the three figures, urban/highway/combined being under 10.0L/100km. Our average around the ‘burbs was 13.5L/100km. The official figure is 15.4L/100km for the urban component, the highway at 10.6L/100km, bringing the combined to 12.4L/100km. Tank capacity is 83.0L.

The dry weight of the Gladiator is 2,215kg and a payload of 620kg takes kerb weight to 2,835kg. 2,721kg is the maximum braked towing capacity. There is a four mode transfer case for two- and four-wheel drive including low range.On The Outside It’s: A Wrangler with a tray. Big and bold Jeep front end, four doors, and the rear section is now a tray of 1,531mm in length and 1,442mm in width. Tray height is 861mm and it looks like it could be a bit higher. Tray capacity is rated as 1,000L.

Lights front and rear are LED powered. The rear bumper is steel as standard, and the optionable steel front looks as if it is fitted to allow installation of a winch. Both ends have bright red painted towhooks. The removable roof sections are detached by twisting pivot handles and lifting up and out. They’re a bit weighty and a bit tricky to reinstall.

The tray has a taut canvas-style tonneau There are a pair of pull-straps to unlatch a pair of clamps which allows the tonneau to be rolled forward. The tailgate has a soft-roll pair of hinges which helps lower the gate down gently.Wheels are 17 inch blacked painted and machined alloys. Rubber is 255/70 BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/As. Brakes are big 350mm front and 330mm rear. Fox-branded shockers are visible underneath and hold the Dana front and rear axles with locking diffs.

Front and rear overhangs on the 5,591mm long Gladiator allow for a 40.7 degree approach angle, a 25.1 degree departure, and the track & tyres provide 18.4 degrees of breakover. Wheelbase is a whopping 3.488mm.

On The Inside It’s: Comfortable, reasonably luxurious, and has a stand-out dash colour. It’s a hot red and matches the stitching in the Rubicon-embossed leather seats. The floor has bespoke rubber mats and they strongly point towards the Jeep’s legendary off-road ability. It’s a topographic map look and really sets off the cabin. Notable is the relatively short depth of the dash’s upper section to the base of the windscreen. Also notable is the lack of a footrest for the left foot, instead being cramped by the drivetrain tunnel.There are a couple of cool surprises in this vehicle. One is the hidden, portable, (optionable) bluetooth speaker that’s tucked away behind the driver’s side rear seat. the other is the storage lockers found underneath the same rear seats, accessed by flipping the squabs upwards and opening the plastic locker cover.In the dash itself is a very clean layout for operating the aircon, power windows, a tab for showing which USB ports (including USB-C) are in operation, and the 8.4 inch touchscreen that controls most of the functions such as climate control, audio, and satnav. In the lower left section is the button to lock the differentials and disengage the sway bars when getting serious in the off-road environment.On The Road It’s: Something that shouldn’t be as much fun as it is on tarmac. Admittedly some of that fun is tempered by the constant roar from the big rubber and the (necessary) looseness in the steering. It’s loose to deal with the off-road ability it has, and that is plentiful.

The tarmac steering is somewhat wayward and does require constant adjustment to keep the big machine in between the white lines. The high sidewall rubber and Fox-sprung suspension move the Gladiator around quite a bit, and having no load in the tray has the rear wallowing noticeably.

On the tarmac drive acceleration is adequate without being outstanding. There’s a faint snarl from the 3.6L V6 as it spins up. The transmission is a pearler, being slick and only juddery when cold. There are no paddle shifts, there is manual shifting via the super short throw gear selector.

Braking is superb and required given the mass. The pedal feel and feedback is spot on, with that sort of intuitive sense of knowing where the pads are on the discs as the foot presses and releases the pedal.It’s off-road, naturally, where the Gladiator’s heritage shines. Looking through the windscreen and seeing the Jeep logo in the outline of the window then peering further to the various rocky or muddy or puddled terrains brings it all together.

We drove the Gladiator on our four wheel drive test track, also known as a major 4WD enthusiasts track and a fire trail. This particular track is ideal to test off-road capable vehicles due to the varying surfaces and changes in topography.The Gladiator has a choice of 2WD, 4WD auto, and 4WD low range. The lever to engage is extremely stiff and requires some real oomph to move and engage low range. The buttons for disengaging the stabiliser bars then offer up a menu screen for off-road information.

When the low range is locked in, and the bars are ready, the Gladiator was given its druthers and in no way did it disappoint. It caught the eye of many on its tarmac travel time and there were some young drivers that stopped and frankly ogled the Gladiator as it worked its way through and over the changing surfaces. Suffice to say they were impressed as were we as it dispatched its challengers without a second thought.Crawling up, down, and at angles guaranteed to raise the heartbeat, the Gladiator’s Jeep heritage proved to be utterly suitable in proving just how good an off-roader this bigger than a Wrangler machine is. Peace of mind underneath comes from a standard skid-plate covering the transmission and fuel tank.

What About Safety?: It’s good. Four airbags come as standard and this is mainly due to the removable panels for the roof not being suitable to fit curtain ‘bags. Blind Spot Monitor is standard as is Adaptive Cruise Control, Engine Stop/Start, and Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus. Park Assist Front and Rear is also standard along with the vital Tyre Pressure Monitoring service.

What About Warranty And Service?: Five years unlimited kilometres along with five years capped price servicing along with roadside assist for life.

At The End Of The Drive. Jeep’s Gladiator has come into a marketplace that is quite well populated with four wheel drive capable, four door body styled, tray-back utes. Immediately it’s “up against it” on price, and it’d be also fair to say, for some the safety factor would count against it.

It doesn’t handle as well on tarmac as the competition and having only a thirsty petrol-fed V6 is also a negative.

Where it wins is crucial; everywhere it was driven heads would swivel. Other drivers from the same brand would smile and give a thumbs up. The interest level from outside the plush cabin was obviously high. Then there is that undoubted off-road ability, and proven on our drive. It really is a superb off-roader but in honesty what else would one expect?Therein lies the rub. To fully exploit what the Gladiator can do would require constant off-road usage, not tarmac driving. Simply put, it’s good on the black stuff but will be constantly outclassed by others of the same type. And that may not be enough to overcome the lack of time driven where it belongs.Towing and payload is another cross. Factor in the fuel usage in normal driving and count on that increasing when towing and/or loaded, and again the Gladiator falls short. In a way, it’s like winning the rights to having your own proper cinema, and using it perhaps once a month. It’s great to have, but…..Talk to your Jeep dealer for a test drive.

Sonata N-Line Unveiled, Mazda Locks Down BT-50 Pricing.

Proving that sedans are still available and there for those that don’t want or need an SUV, Hyundai Motor Company recently revealed the racy design of its highly anticipated 2021 Sonata N Line. It’s a good looking machine and in N-Line specification it ups the appearance ante.Hyundai have a term for their design identity: Sensuous Sportiness. N-Line looks such as the signature grille and bold front fascia, three air intakes and N Line badging, N-Line side skirts, and 19 inch alloys define the N-Line itself. A bespoke N-Line rear diffuser is fitted that houses a pair of exhaust tips underneath a blacked-out bumper.

SangYup Lee, Head of the Hyundai Global Design Centre, said: “The 2021 Sonata N Line will attract more customers to both the rock solid Sonata lineup and our increasingly popular N Line sub-brand. Sonata N Line will appeal to customers who desire sporty styling in a sedan package.”The new Sonata N Line expands Hyundai’s midsize sedan lineup following the launch of Sonata in 2019. N Line provides an attractive entry point to N Brand and gives the new Sonata nameplate a high-performance look, broadening its appeal.Mazda, meanwhile, have provided confirmation of Australian pricing for the recently released and updated BT-50. Not sporting the Mazda corporate look, the BT-50 starts at $44,090 plus On Road Costs (ORC) for the 4×2 XT dual-cab chassis. All versions are a dual-cab design, with the XTR and GT the other two trim models. There are combinations of manual and auto, with the 4×2 available in the XT as mentioned plus the dual-cab pickup for the XT and XTR. These price at $45,490 and $49,470.The 4×4 models start with the BT-50 XT dual-cab chassis manual. $49,360 plus ORC is the starting rate before moving to the auto version at $51,860 plus ORC. From here it’s pickups with the XT manual and auto from $50,760 and $53,260. The XTR starts from $54,710 and $57,210 before topping out with the GT at $56,990 and $59,990 and again all with ORC to be added.

Brand-New Mazda BT-50 customers benefit from a comprehensive five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty plus complimentary roadside assist for the warranty’s duration whilst servicing is at 12 months or 15,000 kilometres.

The new BT-50 has a 450Nm/140kW turbo-diesel four of 3.0L capacity, with the torque on tap from 1,600rpm to 2,600rpm. Consumption is rated as 7.7L/100km (combined) for the six speed auto 4×2 dual-cab pickups and 4×4 manuals. 4×4 Dual Cab Pickup and 4X2 Dual Cab Chassis models with the six speed autos will see slightly more consumption at 8.0L/100km.

Safety and basic equipment are of a high standard in the XT, with 17 inch alloys, LED headlights, Cruise and Adaptive Cruise for the manual and auto versions, DAB with Android and Apple apps, and a rear seat USB. Safety has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Emergency Lane Keeping – Overtaking, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention, as standard. XTR has 18 inch alloys, self leveling LEDs, leather seats and gearknob, and satnav via the 9.0 inch touchscreen. GT has 19 inch alloys, heated wing mirrors, heated front seats, and a powered driver’s seat. Front parking sensors and an engine remote start feature add to the value. All are rated as 3.5 tonnes towing and over 1,000kg payload.

 

Isuzu D-Max: Reborn And Ready For 2021.

It’s been a long time coming, a decade or so, in fact. Isuzu’s durable D-Max has received its long overdue overhaul, and from the information released, it’s in a real position to take on Toyota’s recently revamped HiLux and Ford’s strong performing Ranger.

Range: There are 20 variants, starting with the D-MAX SX Single Cab Chassis 4×2 high-ride. D-MAX SX Space Cab Chassis/Ute, D-MAX SX Crew Cab Chassis/Ute follow from this. D-MAX LS-M Crew Cab Ute, D-MAX LS-U Space Cab Ute, D-MAX LS-U Crew Cab Ute, and D-MAX X-Terrain round out the list.

Engine. All models will have the same “4JJ3-TCX” 3.0L turbo-diesel. Power is upped to 140kW, and torque a very handy 450Nm between 1,600 to 2,600rpm. 400Nm is available through a broader range of 1,400 to 3,250rpm. At 1,000rpm 300Nm is available, making driving a breeze. Transmissions are a six speed manual or auto. Economy for the combined cycles, depending on the model chosen, is quoted as 7.7L to 8.0L/100km.

It’s virtually a new block. There’s a new cylinder head, aluminuim pistons, and a new crankshaft. A revised turbo, with a quicker response time, is fed though a new intake system, with delivery now improved through a new high-pressure direct injection fuel system. Pressure gets up to 250MPa, which finely atomises the fuel thanks to a new set of high efficiency injectors. The turbo is electronically controlled and has Variable Geometry Control. Isuzu’s tried and proven Diesel Particulate Diffuser (DPD) is located on the rear of the VGS Turbocharger and has been further revised to increase efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

Inside are aluminuim pistons and crowns, with the piston skirts and gudgeon pin having a coating that is as strong as diamond and drastically reduces friction as well. They’re kept in time thanks to a new stainless steel timing chain. Weighing in at a svelte 8.6kg is a new exhaust system including muffler, for a weight savings of 26% over the outgoing model.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX Diesel

Improvements, too, for the transmissions. The manual selection lever now has a “pull ring” for the reverse gear with the auto now gaining a Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) warmer and cooler system for swifter transitions in reaching the right operating temperatures. 4×4 models receive a new electronic actuator for transitioning from two to four wheel drive, at velocities of up to 100kph, in under a second. Weight reduction happens with the tailshaft, with a one piece aluminuim unit replacing the heavier all-steel unit.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

Cabin. Interior trims depend on the model, with the LS-M, for example, having the ever popular “hose out” flooring. The LS-U upwards has carpet floors, and a 9.0 inch infotainment screen, up from the 7.0 inch in lower specced models, however all variants do get digital audio. Top spec X-Terrain has an eight way adjustable powered driver’s seat.

Safety is a solid improvement across the board, with Isuzu slotting in their IDAS, the Intelligent Driver Assistance System with all variants being fitted with a Hitachi stereo camera system that Isuzu says: “it can precisely detect and measure distance, size, velocity and depth of vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other potential obstacles around the D-MAX. ” The system comes with a TSR setup, or Traffic Sign Recognition which has been tuned for Australian conditions. It works side-by-side with the Intelligent Speed Limiter, which if or when it reads a sign for a lower limit will automatically apply a speed reduction regime.

Autonomous Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Assist are standard, as is Turn Assist. This works like AEB if the sensors detect the D-Max turning across the path of other traffic. Adaptive Cruise Control is also standard, as are eight airbags, including a driver’s and centre kneebag.

Auto-on headlights and auto-wipers are range standard, with auto dimming. The SX features conventional halogen globes, with the LS and X-Terrain having crisp bi-LED self-leveling headlamps. The pair also receive integrated LED foglamps and are paired with the turn indicator lights.

A category-rare feature is the installation of the Intuitive Flat Wiper Blades. These combine the wiper fluid dispersion system in the arms along the blades, for a quicker and more efficient clean. A new design, too, for the blades, being a more aerodynamic shape, and there is also a motor that flexes the blades periodically to dislodge accumulated dirt. These will be available on the LS-U and X-Terrain models.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

The exterior changes are a noticeable refinement of the front end. It’s familiar yet different with a nod towards the brand’s commercial vehicle history thanks to the horizontal bars in the restyled grille. The bodywork has an assertive style with bulges on the front and rear wheel wells, a Superman-tough chin, and changes to airflow that result in a 3% reduction in drag. A broad colour palette is available to highlight the exterior changes and include: Mineral White, Basalt Black mica, Cobalt Blue mica, Mercury Silver metallic, Obsidian Grey metallic, Marble White pearl (LS-U and X-TERRAIN exclusive), Magnetic Red mica (LS-U and X-TERRAIN exclusive), Volcanic Amber metallic (X-TERRAIN exclusive).

Isuzu have backed up the new D-Max with a comprehensive warranty package called Service Plus 6-7-7. There is 6 years (or 150,000 kilometres), 7 years roadside assistance when serviced at Isuzu dealers, and 7 years capped price servicing. This lays out a full cost over those seven years of $3,373 with a maximum cost of $749 at the 90,000 kilometre mark.

Pricing starts from $32,200 for the 4×2 single cab chassis 2WD manual SX, with the 4×4 version starting from $40,200. the LS-M Crew Cab ute manual starts from $51,000 with the range topper X-Terrain at $62,900. Prices are manufacturers recommended price, with a on-sale date of September 1, 2020.

21MY Isuzu D-MAX X-TERRAIN

 

 

‘Automotive Mana’ and 2020 Dual-Cab Utes

The rise of the SUV is a noted phenomenon, but an equal marvel is the greater numbers of large dual-cab utes on our roads.  The popularity of the dual-cab ute in Australia shows a trend that ain’t about to end just yet.  On any given day if you take a drive down a popular road in Australia you’re sure to come across some pretty awesome super-size pick-ups.  So what makes these vehicles so attractive? And what are the better dual-cab utes one can buy?  Let’s have a look.

Let’s ‘cut to the chase’ and quickly realise that a large number of the dual-cab utes we see are driven by people with bigger egos.  To use the Maori definition ‘Mana’ offers a politer label to go with the big ute ego.  ‘Mana” means to have great authority, presence or prestige, and so if you are seen driving these massive utes, you’re likely to satisfy your larger ego with some real ‘Automotive Mana’ and add mud plugging tyres, a raised suspension, tinted windows, a snorkel and spot lights, too.  Any big ute name like Toyota Hilux, Mazda BT-50, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger or Mitsubishi Triton can have their utes equipped with these big ticket items.

Of course, if your work requires your need to own a big, beefy dual cab ute, then all the showy looks can be forgiven. Builders, landscapers, boat builders, contractors, farmers, engineers, they all need one!  But hey, we’d all love one!

This leads me on to what makes these road behemoths so nice to own and drive.  Here’s a short list of their great traits:

  • Load carrying ability
  • Towing ability
  • Space
  • Comfort
  • Off-roading ability
  • They’re built tough
  • They’re safe
  • Automotive Mana

Here are the best new Dual-Cab utes you can buy in 2020 that offer all the bells and whistles (Note there are other models in their line-up, but these would generally be more Spartan).  All of the following models come with premium safety, 4WD capability, big towing prowess and premium luxury:

Ford Ranger: XLT, Wildtrak, Raptor, ($57–$77k)

  • 3.2 litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 470 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km
  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 157 kW and 500 Nm, 10-speed automatic, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

SsangYong Musso: Ultimate XLV, Ultimate Plus XLV, ($40-$44k)

  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 133 kW and 420 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

Toyota Hilux: SR5, Rugged, Rugged X, Rogue, ($56–$63k)

  • 2.8 litre TurboDiesel with 130 kW and 420 Nm with the 6-speed manual and 450 Nm with the 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 11 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Nissan Navara: ST-X, N-Trek, N-Trek Warrior, ($54–$66k)

  • 2.3 litre TurboDiesel with 140 kW and 450 Nm, 6-speed manual and 7-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 6.5–7.0 litres/100 km

Ram 1500: Express, Laramie, ($90–$100k)

  • 5.7 litre Petrol V8 with 291 kW and 556 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 7 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 10–13 litres/100 km

Ram 2500: ($140k)

  • 6.7 litre TurboDiesel with 276 kW and 1084 Nm, 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 15 litres/100 km

VW Amarok: TDI420 Core Plus, Highline 550, Ultimate 580, ($52–$73k)

  • 2.0 litre TurboDiesel with 132 kW and 400 Nm with the 6-speed manual and 420 Nm with the 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10.5 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 7.5 litres/100 km
  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 165 kW and 500 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km
  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 190 kW and 580 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

Mitsubishi Triton: GLX+, GLS, GLS Premium, GSR, ($41–$52k)

  • 2.4 litre TurboDiesel with 133 kW and 430 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Mazda BT-50: XTR, GT, Boss, ($53–$64k)

  • 3.2 litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 470 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 10 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 10 litres/100 km

Holden Colorado: LSX, LTZ, LTZ+, Z71, ($50–$58k)

  • 2.8-litre TurboDiesel with 147 kW and 440 Nm with the 5-speed manual, with 147 kW and 500 Nm with the 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 9.5 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 9 litres/100 km

HSV Silverado: 1500 LTZ Premium Ed. ($114k)

  • 6.2 litre Petrol V8 with 313 kW and 624 Nm, 10-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 5.6 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 12.5 litres/100 km

Isuzu D-Max: LSU, LST, ($49–$55k)

  • 3.0 litre TurboDiesel with 130 kW and 430 Nm, 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 8 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 8 litres/100 km

Jeep Gladiator: Overland, Rubicon, ($76–$77k)

  • 3.6 litre Petrol V6 with 209 kW and 347 Nm, 8-speed auto, 0-100 km/h approx. 9 seconds, fuel consumption approx. 12 litres/100 km

Just for complete ‘Automotive Mana’ status, top honours would have to go to the Ram, HSV or Jeep Gladiator.

How the Ute Has Risen to Prominence

Utes have become an integral part of Australian culture. No longer are they about getting from point A to point B, they’ve become ingrained in our day-to-day way of living, they’re dependable companions that now allow us to service our jobs and sustain a living.

 

Looking back to the ute’s origins

Utes aren’t just a modern-day development. In fact, they’ve been with us for almost 100 years, dating back to the 1930s. Of course, who would believe it, Australian culture has a large role to play in said development too. Right here in Australia, specifically Victoria, it is believed that the wife of a farmer wrote a letter that sparked the idea for a ute.

While cars at the time maintained a focus on practicality, they were also large enough to cater to other needs. Yet this individual had another idea. She was looking for something to drive to church on a Sunday, but also transport the pigs to the market. In many respects, this creation has sparked on all sorts of other work-related functions, with today’s utes largely used by tradies to carry goods and equipment to work. Not quite a market, but certainly a job nonetheless.

 

Utility Vehicles in Australia

 

Performance utes

More than just functional vehicles, recent utes transformed into high-end performance cars. Many of them were fitted with enormous engines and turbochargers, enough to rival some of the slickest street cars going around. At the same time, they still balance practicality for workers to get the job done. In any case, these cars were as top-end as many luxury vehicles on the market.

 

 

The family ute

Of course, however, the demise of Holden, in many ways a breeder of the performance ute, has led to another transition back to the functional and practical days of the ute, led by the likes of the HiLux and Ranger. Still functional, still rugged and still equipped with great performance, these cars are now the most popular on the market.

They’re no longer quite the same performance utes as the HSV era, but they have all the attributes of a great all-round vehicle. They’ve also become suitable for the family, with plenty of room to take the kids, utes have shed their their former stereotypes and turned into the very utilitarian vehicle they were always intended to be.

 

Toyota Doubles Down On Updates: HiLux And Fortuner Facelifted.

Toyota has made some noise in the first week of June 2020 in respect to the facelifted and upgraded HiLux. Quietly though, their “forgotten” SUV, the Fortuner, has also been given a makeover and received the power/torque upgrades as well.

Fortuner.

Front and rear are where the exterior changes have come to play, and definitely moreso up front. The headlights have been given a restyling that brings them a sharper, narrower look, but also mimics the sharper and narrower styling found on Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport. Underneath is a pair of broader airvents that first appeared on the Lexus LX570. In the middle the air intake is now a deeper Vee shape, with the whole look more like that found on HiLux from a couple of years ago. Overall, it’s a cleaner and less invisible look.

The rear brings the same bumper extensions and have hints of roundness, rather than heavy angles. The rear lights have changes in the internal look, with the top of the range Crusade gaining LEDs, whilst the rear window line remains unchanged. Unfortunately.

Behind the nosejob lies a rejigged diesel engine. Like the HiLux, there are now 150kW and 500Nm (auto only) which are increases of 20kW and 50Nm, and a change to the economy. Toyota says up to 17% is the improvement in urban driving. Towing has increased; it’s now up to 3,100kg. Inside the infotainment screen has been upped to eight inches from seven, and now has the smartphone apps as standard, as are satnav and DAB audio. The range is still a three level layout, being GX, GXL, and Crusade. Contact your local Toyota dealer for pricing and availability.HiLux.Toyota have also waved the update wand over their best selling HiLux. The engine has the same upgrades (150kW, 500Nm for auto transmissions, up to an 11% increase in economy) and the exterior also has been updated. Late August is the ETA for arrival on Aussie shores. Here’s what’s been done.

The HiLux sports a large trapezoidal grille which Toyota says “dominates the front design and incorporates more pronounced horizontal elements”. Depending on the level chosen, the surrounds will differ in look. The headlight clusters have been reconfigured for a more slimlined and edgier appearance and the upper levels will be LED lit. The lower bumper corners have a restyled look that brings a stronger “jut-jawed”, almost bulldog appearance that builds upon that seen on the RAV4. In profile though, some subtle restyling on the flanks and a creaseline for the doors has been added to join front and rear.

Inside HiLux also gets an update, including the increase to an eight inch, not seven, touchscreen that includes DAB and smartphone apps. The driver’s display now has a full colour 4.2 inch display, bringing the HiLux into line with Camry and Corolla, for example.
Motorvation comes from a 2.7L petrol, 2.4L and 2.8L diesel. 4×2 and 4×4 drive modes remain available depending on model. The three body styles of single, extra, and double cab remain as do the five trim levels: Workmate, SR, SR5, Rogue and Rugged X. Pick-up and cab-chassis options are both available.

Underneath, the HiLux range has been made over as well. The suspension has had the shock absorbers retuned and mounted to new bushings. The leaf sprung rears have been refined and provide a more comfortable ride without losing handling ability. So have the technological abilities been increased, with a new traction control feature redistributing torque in the 4×4 models when 4×2 mode is being used. The Downhill Assist Control uses sensors to provide an almost 4×4 like split of torque on demand in wet, muddy, or grassy conditions. Towing for the auto 4×4 variants is now up to 3,500 kilograms, and the 4×2 versions are upped to 2,800kg. That’s an increase of up to 300kg.

Toyota’s Sean Hanley, the Vice President for Sales and Marketing, said: “More than ever, Australia’s favourite ute will inspire go-anywhere confidence for customers who rely on it as a load-carrying and trailer-towing workhorse for doing their jobs. Equally, the latest changes will advance HiLux’s credentials among customers who demand the handling, ride comfort and convenience of an SUV.”

Although vehicle sales in Australia have declined dramatically in recent months, in May 2020 the HiLux commanded a full 25.5% share of the pickup/cab chassis market, selling 90 for each day of May. http://credit-n.ru/offers-credit-card/ren-drive-365-credit-card.html