The Ford Ranger is the second best-selling vehicle in the country, and the most popular 4×4 ute.

    Though Ford has been working to improve supply, even chartering a ship full of the utes (and Everest SUVs) for our market, there’s still rampant demand… and that means waiting times.

    CarExpert estimates waiting times of more than six months for many Ranger variants, and if you want to get behind the wheel of a ute sooner rather than later, that might be a wait too long to bear.

    Below, we’ve shared the utes we would look at as an alternative to the Ranger.

    Scott Collie: Isuzu D-Max

    The D-Max can’t match the Ranger when it comes to technology, and it wasn’t as capable off-road… but I like it.

    It rides nicely in the city by ute standards, and the fact it has wireless Apple CarPlay lets you sidestep the aftermarket-looking factory navigation.

    An update is imminent, but the current model still has plenty to offer. Isuzu even has decent stock at the moment.

    MORE: Buy an Isuzu D-Max

    Jack Quick: Volkswagen Amarok

    If you’re not willing to wait six months for a Ford Ranger, why not get a ute that’s pretty much identical under the skin?

    The current-generation Volkswagen Amarok is based on the same T6 body-on-frame platform as the Ranger, though that’s largely where the commonality ends. In saying that however, there is some Ford hardware that can be found in the Amarok if you poke your head around.

    The Volkswagen Amarok has an upper-specification-skewed line-up compared to the Ranger. The former’s suspension tune is also geared more like an SUV, and the front seats have more bolstering than the latter’s.

    It’s not all perfect however, as the Amarok’s interior layout isn’t the most user-friendly as there aren’t any physical climate control buttons, the brake controller control unit particularly obscures the wireless charger, and there aren’t any dashboard-mounted, tradie-friendly cupholders.

    MORE: Buy a Volkswagen Amarok

    William Stopford: Mazda BT-50

    The obvious answer here would be the Volkswagen Amarok, a twin under the skin to the Ranger but also available with a genuinely nice turbocharged 2.3-litre petrol four-cylinder engine.

    If I was a prospective Ranger buyer, I’d have an Amarok on my shortlist, but I have to shout out another set of twins: the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50.

    Of the two, you’ll likely be able to get the keys to a BT-50 sooner as Mazda has touted plentiful inventory.

    Like the D-Max, even in 3.0-litre turbo-diesel guise it’s down a bit on power and torque compared with a bi-turbo Ranger, but you’d be hard-pressed to notice when you’re behind the wheel.

    You get a wide range of standard safety equipment and while the infotainment is a generation or so behind the slick Ranger/Amarok system, you can say the same about every other ute in this segment. Overall, you get a ute that’s comfortable inside and entirely pleasant to drive.

    As a wildcard option, the SsangYong Musso may be down on grunt and safety equipment, but it’s sensational value for money.

    MORE: Buy a Mazda BT-50

    James Wong: Volkswagen Amarok

    The most logical Ranger alternative is the Volkswagen Amarok, given the two trucks share their underpinnings and drivetrains.

    I personally prefer the Volkswagen’s more upmarket design and display technology, though it’s lacking some of the Ford’s cool tech like connected services and semi-autonomous highway assistant in Australian spec.

    MORE: Buy a Volkswagen Amarok

    Jade Credentino: Volkswagen Amarok

    I had to think really hard on this because the latest generation Ranger has so much more tech than most other utes available at the moment.

    If I had a little bit of money and the space I would upsize to one of the big utes like the Ram 1500 but since I should consider a similar price point I would have to opt for the Volkswagen Amarok. It’s a posher-looking Ranger, it still has all the features and the V6 powertrain the Ranger has, so I wouldn’t miss out on much.

    If people are in a rush, the current Triton – in particular the Walkinshaw-fettled XTreme – could be going for a bargain as dealers try and make way for the new model next year.

    MORE: Buy a Volkswagen Amarok

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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