Global Pickup Shootout: Overall Value

Global Pickup Shootout: Overall Value

These utes aren’t cheap. In fact, all four of these 4x4 crew cabs cost around $50,000 (Australian dollars) with a manual gearbox. 

You can buy crew-cab 4x4 utes from China for about half the money, but those are likely to have questionable quality issues and are unproven. (Some were recently found to contain banned asbestos gaskets.) The four utes we tested cost a decent sum, but customers do get a lot for their money.

These are the premium models with higher-output engines and a reasonable amount of standard gear. Some might want to mount a case for each of these utes offering the best value for the money, but of course, we won’t.

The $50,990 Toyota Hilux will likely carry a better resale value, but when you look at engine performance, gearboxes, the limited carrying capacity (it tows 2,200 pounds less than the Holden Colorado), it finishes at the back of the class when it comes to overall value.

Also, fuel consumption with our test Hilux came out to 17.4 mpg, but we should note it was a gas model. The diesel we tested in the past (in different conditions) recorded a respectable 24.5 mpg (the official number is 28.6 mpg), and it is the more sensible option.

Global Pickup Shootout: Overall Value

The $52,990 Volkswagen Amarok could be worth the extra money if you need to carry and load wider stuff in the bed, since its cargo bed is the only one in this class that can carry two pallets.

Since the Amarok has the smallest engine of the bunch, it is also the best fuel saver. The official fuel consumption is a remarkable 29 mpg, and although we didn’t quite match that figure, we did record a solid 25.5 mpg, and we didn’t hold back.

That’s great, but it doesn’t make up for the Amarok’s underperforming engine. Its competitors offer 50 more pounds-feet of torque for similar money, and, as we found it, that hurt it.

Global Pickup Shootout: Overall Value

Holden’s Colorado costs $49,990, and it shapes up to be a great value for the money if you need to tow heavy items or do a lot of work. For someone with a caravan or a boat tipping the scales close to 7,700 pounds, it is the only option, though the Ranger’s towing capacity does get close with 7,300 pounds.

It has a strong engine, modern six-speed gearboxes, good interior space and all the equipment you expect. The Colorado used a bit more fuel than the Amarok, but its 23 mpg average on our test is not bad. The official government number is 25.8 mpg. 

The only thing letting the Colorado down is its stiff trucklike ride and handling and the hard and plasticky interior.

Global Pickup Shootout: Overall Value

The Ford Ranger is the most expensive ute here at $53,990, which is $4,000 more than the Holden. So is it worth it? That’s going to be decided by the household budget and exactly what kind of fun you like to have, but we’d guess there would be some who could definitely argue that it is.

The official fuel consumption for the Ranger is 25.5 mpg, and our Ford managed 21.8 mpg, which certainly is not best in class, but not horrible, either.

That said, you could still feel pretty good about yourself having bought the Colorado and pocketing the extra $4,000. For that kind of money, we don’t have any problem “suffering” through the less-expensive-looking interior.


First: Colorado

Second: Amarok   

Third: Ranger

Fourth: Hilux

2012 Global Pickup Shootout

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


"at $53,990"!

How much is that tax?

Australian service stations sell fuel in liters. Are the fuel economy figures in this article calculated in USA gallons, or Imperial gallons?

About 15% tax.

I bought a top of the line Mazda BT-50 and it cost me about AUD46 000, before on roads and accessories. The BT-50 is very similar to the Ranger but some think butt ass ugly.

Our prices in Australia are higher for every item across the board. Our average waqe is 50% higher than in the US, so this increases costs.

Also our utes are spec'd differently. Like I have stated it would be interesting to see what changes are made to the Colorado in NA specifications.

So in usd currency that Ranger would be just over $56,000
Mother of god.....

@Tom With A Ranger
Yes, it is. But its no different if a Mexican came to the US and purchased an item they would complain about your prices.

Its all relative. The ute wouldn't be sold in the US for that amount. You guys would move more pickups as well.

You also have to look at what is under the truck.

@Big Al from Oz:

"Our average wage is 50% higher than in the US, so this increases costs."

Source? From everything I've ever seen, the US is far ahead of OZ in terms of income etc. I think OZ taxes are significantly higher than the US which is part of the equation. Most pickups this size in the US are built to lower specs so they can be sold more cheaply. The pickups in this test basically have the capabilities of full size US trucks (Silverado, RAM, F150) which can be priced similarly to these pickups.

The size and comfort level of fullsize American trucks is a class above these. Our fuel is also significantly less expensive than OZ which enables huge, inefficient gasoline engines to be the norm here.

"Source? From everything I've ever seen, the US is far ahead of OZ in terms of income etc"

I don't know what the avg. income is in USA, but here in AUS its $1300 per week before tax ovibiously. (

Most self employed tradies make double or triple that, people in retail would make slightly less then the avg., engineers with 5 years experience make anywhere from $2000K and up, in the mining industry its not uncommon for normal electricians to make up to 20k per week (yes per week!)

This is all from either my own experience or from my family and friends experience, so take that as you will :)

Every car in AUS is more expensive because theres a demand in the market for it, average people will easily fork out 30-60k for a work car.

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Thanks for sharing

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