Global Pickup Shootout: Results

Global Pickup Shootout: Results

You’ll note by our scoring chart that we kept this Shootout as simple as possible, awarding 10, 9, 8 and 7 points for the finishing order in each of our four testing categories. In the end, three out of the four utes finished very close together.

If certain categories matter more to you, you can score your own winner by assigning more scoring weight to those categories. Likewise, if you think fuel economy, payload or towing capacity is most important, you can pull those numbers from our test and add another category for extra scoring.

Here’s how the four test units settled out for us.

Fourth Place: Toyota Hilux

Global Pickup Shootout: Results

Customers are still happy to sign up for Hiluxes in greater numbers than ever before, but it’s not the best ute out there. It finishes solidly in last place, mainly because of the quality of its rivals rather than any hugely obvious shortcomings.

The problem is simply that the Hilux is an old vehicle, and the world has moved on since its introduction in 2005. Back then it set the standard, but now it’s lagging in most areas. It carries less in the cargo bed, tows less, its engines have less power and torque, its transmissions have fewer gears, and it’s not comfortable on the road.

The upside is that the Hilux is known for its durability, its resale value is extremely good, and it seems to be a bulletproof performer off the beaten track.

Additionally, a recent price cut and equipment upgrade means the Hilux is more attractive than before, but not attractive enough in this company.

Third Place: Volkswagen Amarok

Global Pickup Shootout: Results

If Volkswagen put a bigger engine in the Amarok and offered an automatic transmission in the proper 4x4 version with low range, we’d be happy. Automatics are very popular in this type of ute in Australia, and they are, by far, the best choice for tough, low-speed off-road work.

We’d prefer a larger-displacement engine for the extra torque, and we’d like the Amarok to sound like it’s not working so hard. The Amarok has a smooth-revving engine, but it just lacks the torque-ier personality of its key rivals.

If you are happy to work the engine hard and don’t mind changing gears yourself (and often), you’ll be rewarded with the vast interior and wide cargo bed. Just don’t expect to tow quite as much as Ranger and Colorado owners.

Second Place: Holden Colorado

Global Pickup Shootout: Results

If you’re expecting a ute that handles more like a car, then it’s going to disappoint. Sure, it feels more traditionally trucklike compared with the Ranger and Amarok when it comes to cornering and is far more cumbersome in general driving, but it is a pickup, after all.

Some liked the no-nonsense interior, but we thought it was a little ordinary for an all-new truck, and it did look like a lower trim level. The engine is the loudest at idle, but the sound is not irritating and smoothens out as the truck gains speed.

Despite all that, it didn’t take us long to warm up to the Colorado. Its softer suspension means it floats a little more than the others, but it is also very comfortable in most conditions. The engine has plenty of torque to get around without much fuss, and the cabin feels spacious.

The Colorado’s 7,500-pound-plus tow rating is handy, and there is nothing missing from the list of standard equipment. If you don’t mind driving a pickup that feels like a pickup, the Colorado (the least expensive of our group) makes for a good value proposition.

First Place: Ford Ranger

Global Pickup Shootout: Results

It’s the most expensive ute here, but the Ranger is the best of the bunch. The Colorado and Amarok are both impressive, but the Ranger sets the new standard.

It isn’t perfect, though. The engine has some inconsistent injection noise, the manual gearbox is not extraordinary, the cargo bed is narrower than the Amarok’s, and the ride can be a little firm at lower speeds. But the Ranger is a clear winner in almost every other respect.

The engine has plenty of torque and never seems to be working too hard. The six-speed automatic is a good option, especially for stop-start city driving or remote and rugged off-road action.

Serene is the best way to describe the cabin. It is quiet and also rather well-isolated from all the bumps and ruts on the roads.

We understand that design is quite subjective, but we thought the Ranger was an attractive machine. It doesn’t have the hard-edged ruggedness of the F-Series pickups, but it still looks tough, especially when it’s next to its competitors.

Then there is the interior. Some of the buttons confused us, but the layout, design and quality of materials are far superior to the others. Also, the high-ish payload and tow ratings make the Ranger a practical machine.

What did we like most about the Ranger? One thing that stands out is how it handles flowing country roads: It stays surefooted, sits flat and responds quickly to inputs. To put it simply, it was fun to drive.

While U.S. customers should no doubt be pleased that GM has committed to sell the Colorado there, it’s a shame there aren’t similar plans for the Ranger to come over as well.

For a complete set of photos from our Global Pickup Shootout, visit the PUTC Facebook page. And a for a more detailed look at our test vehicles and how they compared to one another in chart form, download the spec chart here















































2012 Global Pickup Shootout

Overview | The Players | On-Road Performance | Off-Road Performance | Design, Inside & Out |
Overall Value  | Results



What others said, that isn't a ranger or F100...


- plain surfaces
- looks like lower trim package
- not at the standard you expect at the upper end
- a little ordinary for an all-new truck
(All the above are about the same thing, the dash board. Either way you slice it, it is a huge improvement over the current Colorado. Also when the truck comes to the US it will A. be geared and have changes for the US and B. will come when they do a mid cycle update (2014/2015) so the dash may be redesigned then too)
- noisiest (Just the diesel engine at idle, it gets quieter at speed and we probably won't even get that engine, we will either get the 3.6 current V6 (or the new variation of it) or the 4.3 that is coming for the new silverado)

Also "But this is what happens when you reward a company with $50billion dollar bailout, instead of fixing the problems, they just keep doing what they have always done. Should have just let them go through bankruptcy court and then they might have been forced to make some real changes to their truck lines."

What are you talking about? They made a bunch of changes to the management/upper management, restructured, reorganized and got rid of brands. They have made large amounts of money lately even being held back by the loss of large sums of money in their european division (which they are also making big changes to correct).

Real changes to their truck line? And a new global mid size truck which finished 1 point behind 1st in a comparison to replace the much loved/hated current colorado isn't a change? A new complete redesign of the Silverado/Sierra isnt change? What did Chrysler do with their trucks after bankruptcy? Do away with the mid size truck, and give a poor excuse for a redesign (exterior wise) and throw some new tech at their truck that is supposed to (take down ford and chevy LOL). Ford on the other hand has kept the same basic truck since 04 with a facelift and also abandoned the mid size market all together.

Yup, GM hasn't made any changes to its organization or trucks like you said...

The simple reason that these trucks will not come to the states is that they are to close in size to current offerings and cost more than a compably equiped NA truck. The NA trucks would get better gas milage too if small diesel motors where offered instead of 400hp 800ft-lb monsters. I think most people would opt for a fullsize truck than for one of these. i just saw an add for a brand new fx4 suppercrew 5.0 with luxary pkg for 36k the 14k plus fincnaincing if you dont pay cash buys alot of gas. as much as we would all like these new global trucks to come to the states they simply will not as there is no market for the above reasons. tacoma owners are brand loyal and even nissan doesnt sell that many trucks and they are close in price to the titan.

If you need a samll cargo hauler vehicles like the transit conect and chevy HHR , and Ram Cargo van make more sence.

Tyler, You wish. Too small.

Ford has often spoke of a smaller F-100-style F-150 to replace the Ranger, and that is what is shown here...

It may or may not ever be sold but I know for a fact this isn't the next F-150.

@ Big Al and Rob Ryan

I think the price for the higher "tune" of a US motor is somewhat irrelavent since we don't get the lower tunes as an option, we wouldn't know what price difference there would be and due to the differences in our two countries we obviously can't just do a straight comparison of the MSRP either. Even $1000 is pretty cheap to have the factor upgrade the power and have it all under warranty.

I just hope we even have the opportunity in the near term future to buy any one of these in the US. I think we may based on GM bringing at least the 2.0 diesel to the cruze and likely another couple of vehicles. This would be undersized in the Colorado but they may bring the larger motors and put them into some of the larger platforms to spread costs too.

I think Fiat/Ram/Dodge/et al... will be the first to bring the non-luxo maker diesel wars so to speak with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and probably the Charger/300 and more than likely the Durango, Ram 1500 and whichever mini-van survives. This will spur the other makers into matching what they do.

There has been a rumor, among other things, that Ford doesn't want to bring the T6 Ranger here because it will hurt F-series sales.

The great thing about selling a F-100 here instead of the T6 Ranger is they can include it with F-series sales and it won't conflict with other models. Every model has it's own niche unlike if you bring the T6 here it will conflict with F-150 too much.

If you want something a little smaller and less capable, go with F-100. If you want the top dog, go with F-150. If you want the biggest and baddest, go with Super Duty.

Holden, won! End story! It was the best in off road and value! I just desire a differencial rear lock for the american market!


First: Colorado
Second: Ranger
Third: Hilux (Taco)
Fourth: Amarok

@oxi, Taco dead last overall and next to dead last off-road.

I know you are reading this.

Can you dig it sucka??????????

Ford needs to wise up and build the new Ranger in North America. Ranger buyers are NOT interested in the huge F-series because it’s HUGE, doesn’t fit in a garage, is difficult to drive in the city and suburbs, and use a lot of fuel.

@Rich i dont think that the t6 ranger will fit in your garage either its latot bigger that the NA ranger. And while i agree the concept is nice, but it would have to drop alot of price to be markateable here. regular cab mid size and compacts are not marketable in the states whe nissan redeigned the frontier in the mid 2000s they droped the regular cab bc the R&D would not et paid back in truck sales of that type toyota is the only one who offers a small regular cab truck in the NA market. Most of the tacomas and frontiers i see are crew cabs or a few generations older. the only trucks i see in that configuration are fleet rangers, but the new 3.7 f150s we got get better MPG can acctually fit 3 people in them , more comforatable and ride and handle so much better. Remember the Dogde/RAM dakota, those things where big and the t6 is bigger. with the closnes in size it would not suprise me if the next f150s and global rangers where the same shirnk the 150 a little 2-3 in and gow the global 2-3 in and you got the same truck. If youb all want to spend 30k on a striped midsize truck like the global ranger regular cab or spend it on a nice 23k ram or tundra or f150 go a head. I dont have trouble parking longbed work trucks or my ford raptor in parking lots, I dont know where you all live but i dont have a size problem i can make my trucks fit into a spot, maybe it is your driving skills that are impeading your decission on whether to buy fullsize or not.

@Carilloskis Correct it is bigger than earlier model F150's.

@Weymand. True they have a payload of a F250/ F150HD and the up market versions are better than the Lariat versions of the F150, fuel economy is vastly better. Downside they would in no way be as roomy as your F450.

@Weymand , Got you mixed up the "Towing rate", not the interior. Yes they can tow a lot , much more than you would think.

Prices aren't relavant in this article. For a couple of reasons. The first one is, we have Mitsubishi Tritons and Nissan Navaras that are being sold for high $30k and low $40k driveaway. These vehicles will come down in price as the novelty wears off. And these vehicles offer more than your current crop of mid sizers and many of your 1/2 ton trucks.

We still have more pickup style vehices, this is the four I think they found most interesting.

As I have stated our economy is different, our income is about 50% higher and this increases costs across the board.

These little trucks are extremely capable and would be competitive against your 1/2 ton pickups. Some of the patriotic statements I do understand, but they are very uneducated assumptions.

Also the fuel economy of the vehicle include off roading, about 50% city/urban driving (non-freeway) and probably 25% highway. And the fuel economy is still significantly higher than what you can achieve. Except the 4.0 litre Hilux at 17mpg is what you would be getting out of your Taco.

If these types of vehicles were available in the US they would take sales away from SUVs. They are quite refined and with their versitility you would move non truck buyers into your pickup market.

Also just like Australia the cost of owning a large vehicle is more costly, how many Americans can not afford to run a large pickup. Here is a vehicle with much lower running cost than a large truck.

The mid-sizers you guys have available are old and worn out. This can be shown by the now defunct American Ford Ranger. If a vehicle of that type survived it shows how poorly and how uncompetitive you truck market really is.

In Australia most domestic pickups are 4x4 mid to top of the range vehicles. Families use them in lieu of a large SUV as well. Business people buy basic models and they do an can work extremely well. Put a 6' x 8' tray on the back and with their 3 000 lb capacity they are cheap to operate.

I would love to see a shootout between these trucks and Ram pentastar / 3.7L F-150. I am curious on how they perform with a one ton payload and 7000lb trailer. Do they accelerate and brake as well as base model 1/2 tons from Ford and Ram? Which ones are actually cheaper to operate and maintain, a gas V6 or turbo diesel? Have the automakers done their homework when making decisions on bringing these midsize trucks to the U.S.?

I have been a Blue oval man all of my life but just couldn't take the resale hit of another Ford. (I lost a combined total of $14,000 on my last 2 when it came time to move them on and pay out the lease)

I have gone for the Amarok this time and so far after a month I am more than happy with it. I am a bigger guy and the extra room in the cab is blessing. You do need to work it a little more and make sure you are in the right gear but the fuel economy is fantastic.

I carry a load but don't really tow so it is fine for me. At the end of the day I am hoping the resale will be well worth it too.

I test drove the Ranger and loved it as well and for what its worth, I found to my tastes the Amarok drives more like a car on the road.

VW plans on being the #1 global vehicle maker and they are well ahead of schedule on meeting those goals. Perhaps with the death of the Dakota and Ranger, a 2 year hiatus for the Colorado, plus the fact that the Tacoma and Frontier are extremely outdated, they will be bold enough to bring a diesel Amarok to NA. Their NA gassers do not have a good reputation but I haven't heard much bad about their diesels.

Am I the only person who actually likes my big truck? I'm 6'3" 200lbs and like having room to breath in a vehicle and not feeling like my butt is dragging the ground. I would love a half ton diesel but it would have to out perform my fiance's ecoboost. I could care less about fuel mileage, I drive 14 miles round trip to work. I smile every morning getting in my 2012 F250 cc 4x4 powerstroke lariat which I paid less for than the ranger in this shootout cost. I guess I'm as guilty as some on here, only my thinking was in reverse. I assumed people who drove small trucks only done so because they couldn't afford or didn't actually need a real one... I just can't imagine looking enviously across the pumps from the guy filling up his colorado or ranger wishing I had his truck or wanting less HP,TQ or braking when towing anything.

I own the Ranger, almost bought the BT-50 which shares the platform only because the Mazda was cheaper.


I'd still buy the Ranger for how it drives on road. I don't take it off road but use it for work.

I drove the Amarok and really liked it but I liked the Ranger more.

The Hilux felt solid but dated, I didn't like the interior which is where I spend most of my time so I wanted it to look/feel alright.

I didn't drive the Colorado before I bought the Ranger because it wasn't released yet, but I have been down to the Holden dealer and taken one for a drive to see how it compares since.

It was nice but wouldn't have been enough to sway me over the Ranger.

I would score the test the same as these guys, Ranger, Colorado, Amarok, Hilux.

If the Mazda BT-50 was in there it would be tied for 1st with the Ranger.

Just my 2c.

When you state the VW is easy to "stall". Well I laughed at you then, I have one and its got the best gearbox out of the lot of them, infact I can confidently say if you stall it you have no right to ever test a vehicle. You also comment on the Auto's lack of low range, without having ever driven it. Look at the Australia 4wd reviews and everyone is shocked with how bloody good it is.
The Ford coming first from a bunch of Americans isnt a surprise, your biast and blind to what a good car is, not only are the ugly as hell on the interior with very plastic cheap looking dash and dials but they have been constantly rated as the most uncomfortable of them all. You state is has less body roll, once again all other reviews from reputable 4wd magazines and testers have all said otherwise.
You then comment on the lack of VW's power, yet in a test with a 500kg load in the back it accelorated faster then the Ford and was second to the BT-50...well done again for not testing anything properly.

Your whol review is simply a joke..Colorado has recieved laughable offroad reviews and is the only vehicle test that comes without a rear difflock...or did you not know there was one it the other vehicles?? It has the least clearance out of all 4 of them, which is kinda important if you actually know what 4wd'ing is about

1. The vehicles were tested by Aussie journos.

2. The test wasn't purposely biased towards the Ford. I bought a BT50 in January this year and I considered a VW ute, but the VW didn't cut it. A Hilux is good but overpriced and really old. The Navara V6 diesel over priced and old.

3. The Ford is nice.

4. Let everyone decide what they want. Tell them the positive and negatives, but there is no need to belittle others. Its really in poor taste.

See, we even have distasteful people like Shannon, sorry guys.

Shannon, Your VW has the least ground clearance of all 4 at a bloody 7.6".

See the attached spec sheet above in the last paragraph.

They said the Ford had the nicest interior of the 4 utes, not the nicest interior in the entire world of all vehicles.

Ranger has more hp at a lower RPM, and more torque. The Ranger also weighs less.

Ranger: 197 hp at 3000 RPM
347 torque at 1500 RPM

VW: 161 hp at 4000 RPM
295 hp @ 1500

Curb weight

Ranger: 4,524
VW: 4,601

y like better the Colorado truck look ...but y dont understand ranger new standard ,,standard of what....

for pickups, bedloads and towing must be part of the scoring.

for those saying that GM received 50 billion:

They would not have needed that if bankruptcy law was followed and GM was allowed to drop the pension obligations it was forced to keep. This was a gift to the unions involved...

Why were the Mitsubishi L200 and the Nissan Navara not included in this comparison?

toycrusher84 - its pointless to compare prices to the US. There are Raptors available converted to RHD here for ~$120k. On the other hand the Toyota Hilux starts at $18,990 RRP and the Ranger at $19,790 RRP for a 4cyl manual single cab-chassis 4x2 - how far off US prices is that?

CACressida - no manual hubs on the Hilux.

Love it

Volkswagen over Toyota - Australians are better judges than 'Taco-Oxi'

Dan, I would take the Colorado, someday, because I'm leaning towards it


If you use it more power to you, but buying it as a commuter just to feel big is pathetic. Which do you fall under?

Most I would say it is about 50/50 on people who buy small trucks. Half that is all they can afford, the other half can easily afford the loaded big boys but don't have a use for those trucks and are smarter than the people who have no need for the big trucks and buy those. They tow smaller loads, haul less and have another vehicle for family matters.

I just ordered a Ford Ranger Wildtrak, price 26800€ (VAT excl).

I looked around for an american truck, the Raptor is only available here via import. Price : 57700€ (VAT excl : )

So YES, I would say the global trucks have more value. (At least to me, here in Belgium)

Well too bad most of you will never have the Ford because they think its a good idea not to bring it over.

Good showing for the Colorado.

I would have liked to have bought the new Ford Ranger, but had to settle for a Nissan Frontier this past spring since they decided to end production here. Bad decision on Ford's part. I think it would have sold very well in the U.S.

Re the Toyota Hilux, the current offering is old tech/size compared to these vehicles.

The 1KZTE diesel is underpowered by comparison.

The cabin space is cramped by comparison.

the price is way to high by comparison.

And I drive a toyota.

But I am looking at the Ford Ranger to replace it very soon for all the above reasons.

The Colorado is better anyway especially since the US version is going to be redesined so it doesn't look so girly

Lets face it, people misspell their checker email addresses and are completely unaware of it, resulting in a delivery failure due to a bounce or maybe even a spam complaint and you also just lost a potential customer for your business.

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