Road warriors: What modified 4x4 utes can you buy from a dealer?

Ranger FX4 Max, BT-50 Thunder, Navara Pro-4X Warrior, HiLux Rugged X and Amarok W580: These five ute options come accessorised from the dealer, ready to go.

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
News Editor
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Off-road utes are Australia’s most-purchased type of vehicle, the majority of which are high-end variants priced above $50,000.

And market research has long shown that a significant proportion of punters spend a few grand with the aftermarket. Ford even plans on selling ARB add-ons at its dealers.

But it also makes sense the various ute-makers start offering their own modified range-toppers, sold through their own dealers with brand after sales backing.

Some brands have teamed up with engineering partners, others with greater resources or flexibility have kept development in-house. Most use their own OEM accessories to some degree. 


Ford Ranger FX4 Max

What’s added?

The FX4 Max is based on the Ranger FX4 and costs an additional $2500. Ford describes it as “a new factory-built, fully warranted Ranger with extended off-road capabilities inspired by Ranger Raptor” but with more payload and towing capacity.

Design-wise it gets a new mesh-style grille, tubular sports bar, hooped side steps, and decals. Inside there are embroidered leather and suede seats.

Capability enhancements include an upgraded 250A alternator with upfitted auxiliary switch pack on the dash-top, 2.0-inch monotube Fox shock absorbers, BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres, new 17-inch alloy wheels.

  • Price: $66,190 before on-road costs (auto)
  • Engine details: 2.0-litre biturbo four-cylinder diesel
  • Power and torque: 157kW and 500Nm
  • Transmission/s: 10-speed automatic
  • Towing capacity: 3.5 tonnes
  • Maximum payload: 981kg

Check out our Ford Ranger FX4 Max review here and our dedicated off-road review here.


Mazda BT-50 Thunder

What’s added?

The BT-50 Thunder starts life as a BT-50 GT. Technically its list price is $9000 higher than the GT but it comes with national drive-away pricing that reduces this gulf a little.

It’s mostly a styling package, with a single hoop steel bullbar with a Lightforce dual-row LED light bar.

There are also black 18-inch wheels, wider fender flares and steps, a redesigned sports bar, and an electric roller tonneau cover.

  • Price: $65,990 (manual) and $68,990 (auto) drive-away
  • Engine details: 3.0-litre turbo four-cylinder diesel
  • Power and torque: 140kW and 450Nm
  • Transmission/s: 6-speed manual or automatic
  • Towing capacity: 3.5 tonnes
  • Maximum payload: 981kg

Check out our Mazda BT-50 Thunder review here.


Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior

What’s added?

Nissan has just launched the second version of its Navara Warrior, this one based on the Pro-4X grade. Once again it was developed in Melbourne by Premcar, made to OEM standard on its own new work line.

At $67,490, it’s $9360 more expensive than the Pro-4X donor vehicle, but comes loaded up with stuff to make it the “world’s toughest Navara”.

This list includes a winch-compatible steel bullbar, light bar, Cooper all-terrain tyres, a 40mm lift, new springs and dampers, a GWM upgrade, new jounce bumpers, underbody bash plates, new bars, and some stickers.

  • Price: $67,490 (manual) and $69,990 (auto) before on-road costs
  • Engine details: 2.3-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel
  • Power and torque: 140kW and 450Nm
  • Transmission/s: 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic
  • Towing capacity: 3.5 tonnes
  • Maximum payload: 961kg

Check out our Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior story here.


Toyota HiLux Rugged X

The HiLux is Australia’s top-selling vehicle, and Toyota’s local designers and engineers played a key role in developing and testing the harder-core Rugged X range-topper in its second incarnation.

At $69,990, it’s $10,000 more than the bulk-selling SR5, but in return is designed to be the most 4×4-capable factory HiLux of them all.

Add-ons include bespoke 17-inch wheels, a hoopless steel bull bar, branded bash plating, a LED light bar, snorkel, red recovery points, rock rails, heavier-duty front springs, body side mouldings, a tub liner, and a sports bar with 200kg tie-down rating.

  • Price: $69,990 (auto) before on-road costs
  • Engine details: 2.8-litre turbo four-cylinder diesel
  • Power and torque: 150kW and 500Nm
  • Transmission/s: 6-speed automatic
  • Towing capacity: 3.5 tonnes
  • Maximum payload: 734kg

Check out our Toyota HiLux Rugged X review here.


Volkswagen Amarok W580

Volkswagen Australia teamed up with Walkinshaw to tune and build two special versions of its aged, but still potent, Amarok V6.

The range kicks off at $71,990 – $10,000 more than a Highline V6 – and climbs to $79,990 for the W580S, and like the others here get full factory backing and support.

The W580 adds Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tyres, black wheels, wheel arch extensions, a suspension lift and tune, new exhaust, and a redesigned grille. The W580S further adds a sail plane, tub liner, Vienna leather seats, and a few other mod-cons.

  • Price: $71,990 (WS580) and $79,990 (W580S) before on-road costs
  • Engine details: 3.0-litre turbo V6 diesel
  • Power and torque: 200kW (overboost) and 580Nm
  • Transmission/s: 8-speed automatic
  • Towing capacity: 3.5 tonnes
  • Maximum payload: 848kg-905kg

Check out out Volkswagen Amarok W580 review here.


MORE: Why ute sales are at an all-time high
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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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