Having noted increased demand in this segment over the past year, various automakers in Australia have announced fresh products in the Ute category. This 4×4 dual cab ‘Ute’ which is an abbreviation for ‘utility’ or ‘coupe utility’ is widely used both in Australia and New Zealand. It is a two wheel drive with a cargo section integrated into the passenger body.
The Ute has been appreciated by many households Down Under for the fact that these Utes serve as ideal vehicles for work during week days and as spacious and comfortable vehicles best suited for weekend getaways.
10 new Utes in Australia for 2017-18 include the following:
Mercedes Benz X Class – A show-stopper both where its exterior design and interior make up is concerned, the new Mercedes Benz X Class concept has been flown into Australia ahead of successful launch sometime in 2018. This Mercedes Benz X Class is based on the Nissan Navara and is called the world’s first premium pick-up offering outstanding class, comfort, technology and safety.
Mercedes Benz claims that the new X Class will have tow capacity of 3500 kgs and its tray payload will be 1100 kgs. It will come in powered by V6 turbo diesel, 4 cylinder engines mated to a 4MATIC permanent all wheel drive system. 5 link rear suspension with coil springs, transfer case and reduction gear along with fully locking electronically controlled differentials will also be a part of the deal.
2018 Ford Ranger – Ford Australia is actively testing the new Ford Ranger which is expected to launch locally in 2018. This is the second facelift for the Ford Ranger introduced first in 2010 and a facelift in 2015. Though seen testing in Victoria under heavy camouflage, various detailed were evident in the form of a new front grille with four horizontal bars, a new front end and chrome side view mirrors. At the rear, the Ranger will retain its same tail lamp design as is seen on its current counterpart though side exit exhausts will be modified.
The inclusion of AEB will make the 2018 Ford Ranger the only dual cab utility in Australia to offer this technology while engine specifications will include a 3.5 liter twin turbo V6 engine. It also can be customized by installing fiberglass ute canopies.
LDV T60 – This is the Chinese company’s first entrant into the Ute segment with launch is Australia set for September 2017. It will be presented in two trim levels with the base variant aimed for commercial use while the higher trim with more features will be aimed towards family use.
T60 will be powered by a 2.8 liter, 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine offering 110kW peak power and 360 Nm peak torque mated to a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic transmission. It will compete against the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara.
2018 Mitsubishi Triton – Coming to markets across Australia is the new 2018 Mitsubishi Triton. This Ute will see improvements in styling, features and space while interiors will offer maximum comfort. 2018 Mitsubishi Triton will be powered by a 2.4 liter petrol and 2.5 liter diesel engine and will command 3.1 tons of towing. The engine is mated to a 6 speed manual or 5 speed automatic while an optional all wheel drive system will allow the Ute to offer optimum capabilities on Australian roads. It is learnt that the new Mitsubishi Triton will sit on a Navara chassis with enhanced dimensions while a 5 star safety system is being planned.
HSV Colorado – The Australia bound HSV Colorado has been detailed with sales set to commence Down Under from September. The company has added a few accessories to the new Ute to include a safari bar, wheel arch flares and 18” alloy wheels shod in all terrain tyres. Interiors have also been redesigned with new dashboard, quality material and 7” or 8” touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Reversing camera is offered throughout the range.
Mazda BT50/ Isuzu D-Max – Mazda BT50 is set to become the new Isuzu D-Maz which is poised for sales in Australia. It may be noted that sales of the BT50 are at their highest in Australia making it the ute’s number one market. Isuzu D-Max will come in with well designed exteriors and spruced up interiors while offering better utility and servicing facilities.
Mahindra Pik-Up – The Mahindra Pik-Up is already launched in Australia in 2009 but a replacement is on its way sometime later this year. It will come in with distinct styling and some interior updates and will be based on the Scorpio SUV which is also set for launch in Australia. It will sport a new infotainment system, a more contemporary interior design and enhanced space. Mahindra Pik-Up will be powered by a new 2.2 liter diesel engine mated to a 5 speed manual or 6 speed automatic gearbox.
Jeep Wrangler Pickup – This Ute has been confirmed for launch in Australia as a 4 door dual cab model. It was recently seen on test in the country with weight saving aluminum panels, better aerodynamics, enhanced off roading facilities with separate chassis and solid rear axle. It gets its power from a 2.0 liter circa 220kW petrol or diesel V6 engine mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission.
Dodge Ram – This new Ute could be heading to Australia sometime later this year or in early 2018. Its earlier counterpart is currently on sale in the country and has been noting increased demand which has prompted the company to bring in the 2018 Ram.
Fiat Chrysler Australia has identified a strong demand for this full size pickup and the upcoming Dodge Ram will be a right hand drive which will be on sale in Australia and New Zealand. Though prices and details have not been announced, the Ute could come in at a starting price from $120,000.
Tesla Pickup – CEO Elon Musk plans launch of the new Tesla Pick up in the next 18 months. He stated that this semi electric Ute will launch in Australia where utes have been noting increased demand while Tesla enters the country with this new Ute as it aims to reduce its carbon footprint.