This is part one of a series of tests designed to find Australia’s best dual-cab utes.
We’re starting off with a bit of fun here in the form of an old-fashioned drag race, filmed at our testing facility in regional Victoria. We’ve also recorded 0-100km/h, 80-120km/h, and quarter mile times for each ute using a VBox, with numbers listed at the end of this review.
This written piece is designed to support the embedded video hosted by Paul Maric, so make sure you click play and check it out above!
Since lining up a dozen utes shoulder-to-shoulder was not feasible, we divided the group into sets of fours, shaped in very scientific fashion – picking them from videographer Igor’s signature floppy hat.
The winner of each of the three races progresses to the decider. And stay tuned for that, because there’s a plot twist.
After some testing we opted for traction control off and sport mode selected where fitted, with a constant load on the accelerator at take-off.
It’s all about getting them off the line in the quickest fashion possible for each car, so naturally our rotating drivers (Paul Maric, Scott Collie, James Wong, and Mike Costello) squeezed in a few practice launches.
Here’s a quick run-down of the power-to-weight ratios of all 12 vehicles in running order:
- Chevrolet Silverado LTZ: 126.1kW per tonne
- Ford Ranger Raptor: 120.6kW per tonne
- Ram 1500 Laramie: 114kW per tonne
- Jeep Gladiator Rubicon: 95.2kW per tonne
- Ford Ranger Wildtrak V6: 78.8kW per tonne
- Toyota HiLux Rogue: 68.3kW per tonne
- Mitsubishi Triton GSR: 66.5kW per tonne
- Isuzu D-Max LS-U+: 66.2kW per tonne
- Mazda BT-50 SP: 63.4kW per tonne
- Nissan Navara Pro-4X: 60.9kW per tonne
- SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate: 60.2kW per tonne
- GWM Ute Cannon-X: 59.3kW per tonne
The Fords were left in their ‘4A’ full-time 4WD modes, whereas the BT-50 and HiLux part-time four-wheel drives were left in 2H (rear-wheel drive) because they cannot be operated in 4H on tarmac.
Naturally it was Paul in the Ranger Raptor that blasted off the mark, with that petrol-fired exhaust note rasping above the din. It was clear right away that this would be, as expected, no contest.
It was daylight to the Ranger Wildtrak, followed by the BT-50, followed by the HiLux – perhaps a victim of a slightly poor start and bad driver. Not that it would have affected the overall result…
RESULT: Ranger Raptor goes through to the next round.
|Ranger Raptor||Ranger Wildtrak||BT-50 SP||HiLux Rogue|
|3.0-litre petrol||3.0-litre diesel||3.0-litre diesel||2.8-litre diesel|
|10-speed auto||10-speed auto||6-speed auto||6-speed auto|
|Full-time 4×4||Full-time 4×4||Part-time 4×4||Part-time 4×4|
|120.6kW per tonne||78.8kW per tonne||63.4kW per tonne||68.3kW per tonne|
The second quartet were the Isuzu D-Max LS-U+, Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate, and our first big American truck, the Ram 1500 Laramie V8. Once again, we don’t see any major surprises in store…
The Ram was run in full-time 4WD, with the other trio running in 2H – including the Jeep, since it was more prone to bogging down in 4A.
Host Paul opted for our bright blue Isuzu D-Max, and it was good to see he wasn’t hogging the fastest utes every time!
The Ram with its Hemi V8 pulled steadily away from the field but took a second to get its bulk moving, while the Gladiator – despite a petrol typically offering better acceleration than diesel – made a slow getaway.
As such the Isuzu snared second thanks to a sharp launch and plenty of first-gear pull, defending its spot from the Jeep despite that car’s superior power-to-weight, with the Musso fourth.
RESULT: Ram 1500 goes through to the next round.
|Ram 1500||D-Max LS-U+||Gladiator Rubicon||Musso XLV Ultimate|
|5.7-litre||3.0-litre diesel||3.6-litre petrol||2.2-litre diesel|
|8-speed auto||6-speed auto||8-speed auto||6-speed auto|
|Full-time 4×4||Part-time 4×4||Full-time 4×4||Part-time 4×4|
|114kW per tonne||66.2kW per tonne||95.2kW per tonne||60.2kW per tonne|
The final trio on test was another eclectic mix comprising the Chevrolet Silverado LTZ with its mighty V8, against a trio of four-cylinder diesels: the Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior, Mitsubishi Triton GSR, and GWM Ute Cannon-X.
The Chevy was run in full-time 4WD Auto, as were the Mitsubishi and GWM (which defaults to AWD unless in Eco Mode). We ran the part-time 4×4 Navara in 2H rear-drive mode.
Given the Silverado had the best power-to-weight ratio of all 12 cars, its decisive victory came as no surprise. A laughing Paul simply gapped the other three, making a lovely exhaust racket as he did.
The Triton did a great job to finish second, reeling in the fast-starting GWM which launched well enough thanks to its full-time 4WD but simply lacked the herbs to get the job done. That Navara with its added 4×4 modifications was, how do we put this… a bit slow.
RESULT: Chevrolet Silverado goes through to the next round.
|Silverado LTZ||Triton GSR||GWM Cannon-X||Navara Pro-4X Warrior|
|6.2-litre||2.4-litre diesel||2.0-litre diesel||2.3-litre diesel|
|10-speed auto||6-speed auto||8-speed auto||7-speed auto|
|Full-time 4×4||Full-time 4×4||Full-time 4×4||Part-time 4×4|
|126.1 per tonne||66.5kW per tonne||59.3kW per tonne||60.9kW per tonne|
Well, well, well. Here we have the Chevrolet Silverado versus the Ram 1500 versus the Ford Ranger Raptor. All petrol, all in permanent 4WD, all with more than a hint of American-ness.
Given Paul has his very own Raptor, he was naturally enough keen on the mighty Ford – despite the fact he piloted the Chevy in the final.
Sweet relief, then, when the Raptor made an absolute lightning getaway and held its lead, ahead of the Chevy, relegating the Ram to third. The Silverado didn’t get the best start as you can see in the video, but it hauled in its fellow big rig along the way.
While this is not the most scientific of tests, we gave this final trio one more race just to be sure. This time the Chevy leapt out of the blocks, and yet the Ford Ranger Raptor reeled it in and beat it by a nose. We’d call that definitive.
RESULT: Ford Ranger Raptor wins!
We told you there was a surprise at the end. See, we knew going in there was another pickup not featured so far, which on paper should frankly waltz all over the test.
It is, simply put, one of the craziest vehicles on sale; the ballistic Ram 1500 TRX, with its monstrous 523kW and 882Nm supercharged V8 and test-leading power-to-weight ratio of 175.9kW per tonne.
In the dinosaur age, a T-Rex would destroy a Raptor. Was this also the case in our drag race?
“I think I am going to get my arse handed to me,” said Paul from behind the wheel of the Ranger, as he rolled up behind the far bigger TRX behemoth.
He wasn’t altogether wrong, nor was he altogether right, because the Ford did actually hang in there pretty well, nipping at the Ram’s heels until sheer horsepower won the day.
We were a bit suspicious of the result, prompting a re-run to give Scott another crack at working the TRX’s launch control. Excuses excuses…
Again, the Ranger’s lighter weight gave it a great launch and allowed it a respectable finish. Not sufficient to beat the mighty TRX, but a pretty damn good result for the Blue Oval regardless since it’s less than half the price!
You didn’t think we’d leave you without at least a little bit of data did you?
While this drag race was pure entertainment – mostly for us – we also put the CarExpert VBox to work and set 0-100km/h, 80-120km/h, and standing quarter-mile times to boot.
The numbers were recorded on a slightly drizzly day with intermittent rain.
- Ram 1500 TRX: 4.4 seconds
- Ford Ranger Raptor: 6.4sec
- Chevrolet Silverado LTZ: 6.5sec
- Ram 1500 Laramie: 7.0sec
- Ford Ranger Wildtrak V6: 8.9sec
- Jeep Gladiator Rubicon: 10.3sec
- Toyota HiLux Rogue: 11.2sec
- Isuzu D-Max LS-U+: 11.3sec
- Mazda BT-50 SP: 11.4sec
- SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate: 12.0sec
- GWM Ute Cannon-X: 12.5sec
- Mitsubishi Triton GSR: 13.1sec
- Nissan Navara Pro-4X: 13.2sec
- Ram 1500 TRX: 2.8 seconds
- Ford Ranger Raptor: 4.2sec
- Chevrolet Silverado LTZ: 4.3sec
- Ram 1500 Laramie: 4.8sec
- Ford Ranger Wildtrak V6: 6.7sec
- Toyota HiLux Rogue: 8.2sec
- Jeep Gladiator Rubicon: 8.4sec
- Isuzu D-Max LS-U+: 9.1sec
- Mazda BT-50 SP: 9.3sec
- SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate: 9.8sec
- Nissan Navara Pro-4X: 10.3sec
- GWM Ute Cannon-X: 10.7sec
- Mitsubishi Triton GSR: 10.7sec
- Ram 1500 TRX: 12.8 seconds @ 158.9km/h*
- Ford Ranger Raptor: 14.6sec @ 154.5km/h
- Chevrolet Silverado LTZ: 14.7sec @ 153.9km/h
- Ram 1500 Laramie: 15.1sec @ 147.5km/h
- Ford Ranger Wildtrak V6: 16.5sec @ 136km/h
- Jeep Gladiator Rubicon: 17.3sec @ 126.3km/h
- Toyota HiLux Rogue: 17.8sec @ 127.1km/h
- Isuzu D-Max LS-U+: 17.8sec @ 124.4km/h
- Mazda BT-50 SP: 17.9sec @ 124km/h
- SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate: 18.3sec @ 121.4km/h
- GWM Ute Cannon-X: 18.4sec @ 118.7km/h
- Mitsubishi Triton GSR: 18.6sec @ 118.8km/h
- Nissan Navara Pro-4X: 19.0sec @ 119.7km/h
*Speed electronically limited to 160km/h due to tyres