Best value-for-money second-hand dual-cab utes
If you’re after a 4x4 that provides a bit more utility than the average family wagon, a dual-cab ute will do you well. There are plenty of trade-ins available under $20,000 (or more) and these are some of the best.
Toyota Hilux KUN26R SR D4-D
If Top Gear has taught us anything about the Hilux, it’s that it’s virtually indestructible. Their resale value is incredible too, which is bad if you’re looking to buy second-hand, but for what you get it’s well worth the money. Be wary of oil use – leaky fuel injector seals can escalate to oil feed blockages and potential for engine seizure.
Mitsubishi Triton MN
The Triton is great value second-hand. Performance is good once the turbo spools up but the lag, especially multiplied by the auto, can be frustrating. The tow rating is excellent, with a three-tonne trailer leaving over 750kg for load on the ute.
The cab is comfortable but lacking in space and it’s curved rear wall makes it susceptible to bending and breaking if not loaded sensibly.
Holden Colorado RC/Isuzu D-Max RA
The early Colorado built by Isuzu had a few short-comings that should have been fixed by now. The 3.0-litre diesel has very good fuel economy even when loaded up but it rides like a truck. The manual’s first gear is tall, not great for the clutch when loaded up, but once in low range the torque is plentiful and suits gear ratios well. Overall, the Colorado and D-Max live up to Isuzu’s reputation for reliability.
Land Rover Defender 130DC
The earliest 130s arrived in Australia with a 300Tdi engine, an old-fashioned 2.5-litre turbo-diesel that plods a heavily loaded 130 along at an unpredictable pace. The TD5 has a bit more grunt and can be tuned for even more power with an ECU remap. In addition to the revamped interior, the supple long travel coil sprung suspension supports the biggest payload in the class of 1.4 tonne, GVM of 3.5 tonnes and GCM of 7 tonnes; the 130 can tow a 3.5-tonne braked trailer and carry a full load on the back.
This article was originally published in Unsealed 4x4