Aussies love their 4x4 utes. In fact, sales have hit record highs over the past 18 months, with utes now representing 1 in 5 of all new cars sold in Australia.

The appeal is obvious, AWD utes are reliable, cost-effective and practical. And their go-anywhere drivetrain makes them just at home on the farm or ranch as it does on the school run.

And manufacturers have taken notice - the last 12 months have seen a slew of new models launched or updated, which begs the question, what are the 7 best 4x4 utes in Australia right now? Keep reading for our top picks.

1. Ford Ranger

The new-generation Ford Ranger was specifically developed in Australia for the Aussie market. The new model has bold styling, a beautifully built well-equipped interior, permanent AWD on higher-end models and a fantastic V6 diesel engine option.

The Ranger also has a remarkably refined saloon car type ride on the road. But head off-road and you’ll be riding over bumps with ease. This is due to the redesigned suspension which uses lightweight aluminium arms and longer travel front and rear.

The new Ranger also comes well equipped for the price. And the updated interior is a significant improvement over the previous model. Gone are the confusing switches, replaced with a sleek digital dash and giant touchscreen.


Excellent ride quality

Go anywhere off-road ability

Good value for money

Lots of safety equipment


Long delivery times

Significant price increase over the outgoing model

Learn More About The 2022 Ford Ranger

2. Isuzu D-Max

The all-new Isuzu D-Max was launched in 2021 to immediate critical acclaim from the motoring press. The new model not only looks sharp with its muscular body, but it also comes with one of the most comprehensive sets of safety equipment seen in the sector.

The D-Max also represents excellent value for money thanks to its extended service intervals and high residual values. While inside there is a spacious comfy cabin that is made from quality materials and offers lots of standard equipment.

The only chinks in the D-Max’s armour are a slightly hard ride and somewhat unrefined engines, but there is no denying this is one of the best value 4x4 utes you can buy right now.


Excellent value for money

Modern styling

Spacious interior

Lots of safety equipment


Unforgiving ride

Unrefined engines

Consult Our Car Type Guide To Find What Suits Your Needs

3. Toyota HiLux

The Toyota HiLux has reigned supreme at the top of the ute sales charts for close to a decade, but it lost out on the top spot last year when it was narrowly beaten by the Ford Ranger.

Toyota was keen to point out this was down to supply issues caused by the pandemic. But it quickly rolled out a raft of updates at the end of last year to keep the mighty Hilux competitive in an ever-crowded market.

So what can you expect from a HiLux in 2022? Well, you’ll get a solid, well-built practical interior that comes well equipped. The HiLux also has a comfortable ride both on and off-road. But the ride and performance are now no longer class-leading.


Bulletproof reliability

Strong residual values

Good on and off-road


Not as well equipped as some rivals

Starting to feel its age

See How The Hilux Compares To The Ranger

4. Mazda BT-50

The Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max share the same platform underneath. That’s no bad thing because the D-Max has proven to be an incredible all-rounder. Off-road performance is good, the ride is comfortable and the interior is well equipped.

The BT-50 also comes with the same engines and high levels of safety equipment as the D-Max. And the interiors are almost identical. So why choose the BT-50 over the D-Max? Well, it’s some $3000 cheaper for a start.

And because this is the less popular of the two vehicles, you can expect to take delivery much sooner. So if you are looking for a good value, all-around ute that handles like a car on the road but is more than capable off-road, the BT-50 could be the ute for you.


Lots of safety equipment as standard

Great value for money

Spacious interior


Ride not as refined as some rivals

Not as good off-road as the Ranger

Styling is on the conservative side

5. Jeep Gladiator Overland

The Jeep Gladiator is not an obvious choice, but it's so quirky we had to put it in. The Gladiator takes its styling cues from the iconic Willys Jeep. So naturally, it has oversized wheel arches, round headlamps and a flat rear deck.

Inside the extended wheel arches mean the cabin is a little narrow. But it feels well built and there is plenty of legroom for both driver and passengers. The cabin tech feels outdated compared to more modern rivals, however.

The Gladiator also has a somewhat disappointing towing capacity of 2.7 tons. And safety equipment is nowhere near the level of the Isuzu D-Max or Ford Ranger. But if you are looking for something a little left-field, the Gladiator Overland is worth a look.


Quirky looks

Quality interior

Lots of legroom


Narrow cabin

Poor towing capacity

Disappointing levels of safety equipment

Recommended Reading: Australia's 7 Best 4WDs

6. Nissan Navara

The Nissan Navara has never set the sales charts alight down under. Rivals have always beaten it in terms of ride, handling, performance, and off-road ability. But a raft of updates for 2022 aims to change that.

The updated Navara comes with a comprehensive list of safety equipment as standard. While not quite a match for the Isuzu D-Max, the Navara can match the Toyota HiLux for safety. The new suspension also means the Navara’s on-road handling is improved.

But off-road performance is hampered by limited suspension travel. While it's fine on rough tracks, take it into the bush and you’ll quickly find yourself getting bogged down. But the Navara represents excellent value for money, so it's worth a look for the budget-conscious buyer.

Visit The 2022 Navara PRO-4X Warrior Review


Excellent safety equipment

Refined on-road ride

Good value for money


Not great off-road

Engines noisey

Underwhelming performance

Related: Australia's Best Used 4x4's

7. Volkswagen Amarok Highline

When Volkswagen launched the Amarok it offered class-leading levels of refinement in the sector. The ride was smooth, the interior a step up in terms of quality and the engines offered excellent economy. But that was back in 2011, and a lot has changed since then.

The Amarok you can buy today is the same model as was launched in 2011. Aside from an updated V6 engine in 2016 nothing much has changed. So while the ride is still good, the safety equipment and infotainment system leave a lot to be desired.

A new model is in the works, however, this is to be based on the Ford Ranger platform which we’ve ranked as number one here. So if you do have your heart set on an Amarok you may want to hold off until next year when the new model is launched.


Excellent ride

Good build quality

Refined V6 engine


Dated interior

Poor level of safety equipment

High cost of ownership

Check Out The 2023 Amarok Ute Preview


Buyers in the market for a new ute in 2022 are spoilt for choice. Manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to bring new models to market that offer more refinement and safety features than ever before.

While the Toyota HiLux has been the de facto choice for more than a decade, it’s no longer the class leader. The new Ford Ranger sets the benchmark for others to follow.

But long waiting lists for the new Ranger may mean buyers have to look elsewhere.

In that case, you won’t go far wrong with the Isuzu D-Max or its Mazda BT50 cousin. This gets very close to the Ranger's refinement and off-road ability. But it's significantly cheaper and you should be able to get your hands on one sometime in the next 12 months.

For a great deal on financing your new purchase, contact Australia's best reviewed finance broker on 1300 Credit (1300 273 348) today or visit

Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.