Car Chooser
Car Chooser

Australia's most powerful dual-cab utes

Australians love a dual-cab ute, and they love a powerful engine. Here are the most powerful dual-cab options on the market today.

Previous News
Kia building new plant for purpose-built vehicles - report
Kia building new plant for purpose-built vehicles - report
Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor
Published

Dual-cab utes have come a long way from their origins as basic work vehicles.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the new Ford Ranger, which will bring a massive new infotainment touchscreen, a new range of driver assists, and a new American-inspired look when it arrives in Australia in the middle of 2022.

The new Ranger also brings with it new V6 turbo-diesel and turbo-petrol engines derived from those fitted to the Ford line-up in the USA.

How does the new Ranger, with its more powerful new engines, stack up alongside its biggest dual-cab ute rivals based on its outputs?

This list is sorted by the amount of power, first up. A list sorted by torque is further down.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (313kW)

Once upon a time, American pickup trucks such as the Silverado were a forbidden fruit for Australia. Now, they’re gunning for the same customers as Ford with the Ranger Wildtrak, or Toyota with the HiLux Rogue.

What the Silverado has that most of its rivals can’t match, however, is a V8 engine.

With 313kW of power, the 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine in the Silverado is the most powerful on offer in a dual-cab ute in Australia.

Want more? Walkinshaw may have some answers for you.

Ford Ranger Raptor (292kW)

Goodbye, Bi-Turbo diesel engine. You won’t be missed.

There’s nothing wrong with the engine in the current Ranger Raptor, but the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine in the 2023 model is something altogether more serious.

It’s shared with the Bronco Raptor, along with the Explorer ST, and pumps out 292kW of power. Ford claims the 100km/h sprint rivals hot hatches, but on any terrain. Sounds like fun.

Ram 1500 (291kW)

The Ram 1500 falls just 1kW short of matching the Ranger Raptor based on its quoted output, but its 48V mild-hybrid system is capable of adding up to 12kW when you bury your right foot on the move.

The 5.7-litre naturally-aspirated V8 in the newer DT 1500 is shared with the older, cheaper DS, which doesn’t feature the same 48V mild-hybrid backing.

Jeep Gladiator (209kW)

The Gladiator doesn’t feature a diesel option in Australia. Instead, it gets a naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre petrol V6 making 209kW.

Most of the utes on this list major on low-down pull, but the engine in the Gladiator needs to be worked a bit harder to get going. There’s no diesel clatter here, though.

Volkswagen Amarok (190kW, 200kW on over boost)

The Volkswagen Amarok is due for replacement – the next-generation car will be built alongside the Ford Ranger – but even now it’s one of the punchiest dual-cab utes on sale in Australia.

The 190kW power peak from its 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine outguns all its diesel rivals, and its torque peak isn’t far from the top of the pile either.

The TDI550 and TDI500 pack a not-insignificant 165kW, while the TDI420 and TDI400 have 132kW.

Ford Ranger (184kW)

The new 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine in the new Ranger is among the most powerful you can (or will soon be able to) buy in Australia.

It still falls slightly short of matching what’s on offer in the Amarok, however.

Along with the 3.0-litre V6, the Ranger will be offered with two 2.0-litre turbo-diesel options. A single-turbo version makes 125kW and 405Nm, while a bi-turbo version ups those outputs to 153kW and 500Nm.

LDV T60 Max (160kW)

A recent update turned the LDV T60 into the T60 Max, complete with a twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine making a very healthy 160kW of power.

That’s well up on the 110kW previously offered in the T60.

Toyota HiLux (150kW)

Australia’s best-selling car, the Toyota HiLux, packs a 150kW punch from its 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

Two other engines are offered in the HiLux. The first is a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel with 110kW and 400Nm, the second is a 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol making 122kW and 245Nm.

That petrol engine would actually rank on this list as well, outpointing the GWM Ute by 2kW.

Nissan Navara, Mazda BT-50, Isuzu D-Max (140kW)

That the Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max have identical power outputs shouldn’t come as a surprise.

They’re near-identical twins, with the same 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine under the bonnet making 140kW of power.

Both are also now offered with a 1.9-litre engine with 110kW and 350Nm.

The Navara features a 2.3-litre twin-turbo engine making 140kW of power. It’s available with a single-turbo version of the same engine with 110kW and 403Nm.

SsangYong Musso, Mitsubishi Triton

Both of these more budget-oriented utes make 133kW of power from their turbo-diesel engines.

The engine in the Triton is a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel, while the Musso features a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel.

The Triton is also offered with a naturally-aspirated 2.4-litre petrol engine making 94kW and 194Nm.

GWM Ute (120kW)

The new GWM Ute is a huge step forward from the weedy Steed, but it’s not quite up with the big boys when it comes to power.

With 120kW on tap from its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, the Ute sits at the bottom of this list.

What about torque?

For plenty of ute owners, power isn’t everything. If you’re hauling a heavy load, torque is the figure worth looking at.

The table below shows the torque outputs of the utes on this list, along with when in the rev range peak torque is available.

UteTorque
Chevrolet Silverado624Nm @4100rpm
Ford Ranger 3.0 diesel600Nm @TBC
Volkswagen Amarok TDI580580Nm @1400-3000rpm
Ford Ranger Raptor 3.0 petrol580Nm @TBC
Ram 1500556Nm @3950rpm
Volkswagen Amarok TDI550 550Nm @1500-2500rpm
Toyota HiLux 2.8L500Nm @1400-2800rpm
LDV T60 Max 500Nm @1500-2400rpm
Ford Ranger 2.0TT500Nm @TBC
Volkswagen Amarok TDI500500Nm @1250-3000rpm
Nissan Navara 2.3TT450Nm @1500-2500rpm
Isuzu D-Max 3.0L450Nm @1600-2600rpm
Mazda BT-50 3.0L450Nm @1600-2600rpm
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4L 430Nm @2500rpm
Ssangyong Musso 420Nm @1600-2600rpm
Volkswagen Amarok TDI420420Nm @1750rpm
Ford Ranger 2.0T405Nm @TBC
Nissan Navara 2.3L403Nm @1500-2500rpm
GWM Ute400Nm @1500-2600rpm
Volkswagen Amarok TDI400400Nm @1500-2250rpm
SsangYong Musso manual400Nm @1400-2800rpm
Isuzu D-Max 1.9L350Nm @1800-2600rpm
Mazda BT-50 1.9L350Nm @1800-2600rpm
Jeep Gladiator347Nm @4100rpm
Toyota HiLux 2.7 petrol247Nm @4000rpm
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4 petrol194Nm @4000rpm
Share
Link copied!
Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

Learn about CarExpert or contact CarExpert.

Also on CarExpert