The best new utes 2020 market segment is a fiercely-contested battleground. One cursory look at the sales charts confirms dominance of vehicles such as the 2020 Ford Ranger and 2020 Toyota HiLux.
When it comes to carmakers getting into bed with each other and swapping partners, the best new Ute 2020 segment really gives Days of Our Lives a run for its money. Former automotive bedfellows are now running off with rivals to produce new cars. No other market segment is enjoying such filthy infidelity.
Whether you want the best 4×2 ute, best 4×2 pickup, most economical new ute, this list aims to give you a taste of the future.
Although Australia no longer builds utes, RHD conversion companies such as GMSV and Performax are adding shifts to keep up with demand. They typically specialise in converting full-size American trucks such as the 2020 Ford F-150, 2020 Chevrolet Silverado, 2020 RAM 1500 and 2020 Toyota Tundra. Even the Nissan Titan can be converted to right-hand drive locally.
Burning questions on buyer’s lips include: Which ute has the highest towing capacity? Which is the safest ute on the market? This article aims to answer those questions and more.
There is even a possibility of the Aussie-made ute rising from the ashes like a Phoenix, with the H2X
and the ACE company allegedly readying a HiLux-sized electric dual-cab ute in coming years.
2021 Toyota HiLux facelift
Until now, the Toyota HiLux was beaten soundly for torque and power outputs by Ranger, Colorado. This didn’t seem to affect sales performance, with HiLux regularly sitting at the top of its class in that department. $22,325 is the starting price for the Workmate version of this best new utes 2020 candidate.
Highlights include revamped styling, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a bump in grunt to 150kW and 500Nm. This upgrade to the 2.8-litre turbo diesel means the HiLux can now rub shoulders with the others for bragging rights.
2021 Great Wall Cannon
When Great Wall Motors first came to Australia over a decade ago, there was no way anybody thought they could launch a best-in-class rival. With the upcoming Cannon ( or whatever it gets named here), they may at the very least get close.
At 5446mm long, 1977mm wide and 1848mm tall, it will be noticeably bigger than the current HiLux or Ranger. Sophistication will be eclipse that of many passenger cars when it comes to interior comfort. Coil or leaf spring rear suspension will give the Cannon an advantage, while a large touch-screen will bring infotainment to passenger car levels.
Even if it can’t knock HiLux off its perch, it should at least challenge the LDV T60 for the title of Chinese best new utes 2020.
2021 Ford Ranger
Ford’s current-generation Ranger has been breathing down its arch-rival HiLux’s neck ever since its debut at start of the decade. The pressure on Toyota will increase with the debut of the 2021 Ranger, which – like its predecessor – will be designed and engineered right here in Australia.
Intel close to the source suggests new turbo-diesel and turbo petrol V6 engines are under development for the single-cab and dual cab ute range. The carmaker’s ten-speed automatic transmission -seen on the current Ranger Raptor- is mooted for the 2021 Ford Ranger too.
2021 Volkswagen Amarok
Sharing its blood and guts with the next-gen Ford Ranger, VW tells us that the next Amarok wouldn’t have happened if not for this partnership. A teaser sketch has shown the appearance of the 2021 Volkswagen Amarok.
Presently, the Amarok enjoys some advantages over the Ranger, including a tub wide enough to accommodate a pallet, reach and height-adjustable steering and arguably greater refinement. It will be interesting to see if these attributes become common among both cars for their next-gen and how much they share.
2021 Isuzu D-Max
While we’re on the subject of partnerships, the Isuzu D-Max and Holden Colorado are no longer related. Isuzu’s all-new D-Max is a refined evolution, including the latest version of the legendary 4JJ engine. For the new car, 140kW @ 3600rpm and 450Nm @1600-2600rpm are the peak outputs. The best new utes 2020 battle will heat up with this arrival.
More interior space, a larger, 9.0-inch infotainment screen and huge leaps in interior refinement are the main attractions. A new version of the MU-X SUV will follow shortly thereafter.
2021 Mazda BT-50
Ending a relationship with Ford which started in the early 1970s, the second-generation BT-50 is now based on the Isuzu D-Max. Despite sharing its underpinnings and powertrain with another vehicle, the car has a very distinct character of its own.
The front-end styling, interior vents, instrument cluster and steering wheel are the most notably distinct elements which set apart the BT-50 from its donor.
Let us know whether you prefer the Isuzu or Mazda in the comments below.
2021 RAM 1500
Whilst we no longer produce utes in Australia from the ground up, companies are enjoying a thriving trade converting them from left- to right-hand-drive. The RAM truck, in particular, is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to its gargantuan size, towing ability and comfort.
The incoming new generation employs a Tesla-style, 12-inch portrait touch-screen and many other gadgets.
2021 Foton Tunland
Embolded by the warm welcome received by Great Wall, the Foton Tunland lobbed locally in 2012. Foton leaned on credentials of established suppliers to establish credibility. These include Cummins and ZF.
An all-new model is due soon to make choosing a new ute at the value-end of the segment that much more difficult. Local chassis tuning will be part of the next-gen Tunland’s development.
2021 Nissan Navara/ Mitsubishi Triton
Nissans and Mitsubishis will have a lot more in common going forward, with platforms and body panels shared among them. Contrary to what has widely been reported, however, they will not be badge engineered versions of each other. Company exectives have stressed they will differ stylistically.
The next-generation Navara and Triton will converge, with Mitsubishi taking a lead development role to attack best new utes 2020 class head-on.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out, as the Triton has traditionally been a more value-focused ute than Navara.
2021 Hyundai and Kia Utes
This one has been on the cards for a long while now, which is a good thing if they want to get it right. With a lot of input from Hyundai’s local arm, the ute might have all the ingredients to give the HiLux a heart attack.
Extensive chassis tuning in Australia all-but guarantees good road manners. Rumours have even extended as far as to include Genesis’ new 3.0-litre turbo-diesel inline-six. This render by Enoch Gabriel Gonzales gives us a good idea how the ute could look.