Earlier this year, we crowned a winner in our Ute of the Year mega test.

    All told, testing took eight days split across three locations… with hundreds of kilometres between them.

    As for what all the fuel, coffee, lollies, and lunches cost? Don’t ask, our accounting team is still recovering.

    We had a total of 12 utes feature in testing, ranging from some of Australia’s most affordable dual-cab utes through to V8-powered American super trucks worth more than $200k.

    After all of that testing, the winner was the Ford Ranger. That result applies across the Ranger line-up, although the V6 diesel model we put through its paces is our pick.

    It’s quicker than most of its rivals in a straight line, although the Wildtrak V6 can’t match V8 trucks from the USA, and the torquey turbo-diesel engine combines with a smart suspension tune to make it comfortable with a 2500kg caravan hooked up. Likewise, it performed well against our high-tech trailer dyne.

    Off-road, it wasn’t fazed by any of our tests. Along with solid hardware, all the onboard technology makes actually unlocking the car’s capability simple for nervous off-roaders.

    Also on hand to make life easier for nervous off-roaders are the excellent front-view camera and a range of preset off-road modes. Not sure how to set up your four-wheel drive system? Choose your terrain using the dial, and let the car work it out for you.

    It sets a new benchmark for dual-cab utes, and its rivals have some serious catching up to do.

    For each of the tests, check out our full breakdown below:

    MORE: Everything Ford Ranger

    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.

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