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Tradie Reviews

Australia’s 4x2 ute market is dominated by the Toyota HiLux. It’s a favourite for many tradies, small business operators and government/private fleets due to its brand familiarity, load-carrying ability, reliability, variety of body configurations and resale value. And, no doubt, Toyota’s proven...Read more
The 2019 Ford Transit Custom 300S short wheelbase van arrives in an already busy market segment. It has always had a loyal following, however, the Transit has consistently been overshadowed by Toyota's HiAce and the like. Sure, this new Transit is a nice-driving feature-packed van and it's more...Read more
The ute market is tough. Not just the vehicles that compete in the segment, but the competition. It’s fierce. Case in point - vehicles like the Nissan Navara are struggling for sales. Sales of the venerable ute are down by a fifth in the hard-fought 4x4 segment so far this year, as it struggles to...Read more
Australia’s heavy commercial vehicle market has three segments - Light Duty, Medium Duty and Heavy Duty - based on GVM ratings. Light Duty (3501-8000kg GVM) is dominated by Isuzu’s versatile N-Series light truck range, which despite not offering a panel van variant commands almost 24 per cent of...Read more
Australians don’t normally associate utes with Korea given that its most prominent automotive brands, Hyundai and Kia, do not offer such a popular vehicle. There is, however, another Korean brand - SsangYong – which for many years has flown beneath the radar in Australia yet offers a dual-cab ute...Read more
Renault claims its Trafic Trader Life is in response to industry demand for a delivery or small business van (2.5-2.5 tonne GVM) focused on minimum cost of ownership, for either single vehicle owner/drivers or fleet operators. In Renault PR speak, the Life is "optimised for the busy urban...Read more
Holden is facing its biggest challenge yet, given its inexorable slide down the national sales charts since it ceased local car manufacturing in 2017. However, one roaring lion fighting this downward trend is the Colorado 4x4 ute. In 2019 Holden’s venerable one tonne off-roader is attracting a...Read more
If you’re wanting a one tonne ute that offers the highest payload and/or load length, the single cab cab-chassis is usually the way to go. Compared to dual cab or extended cab variants, the single cab allows the longest tray body for a common wheelbase. As a result, your typical 4x2 single cab cab-...Read more
The single cab two-wheel drive ute is still a thing. You mightn’t have noticed, because there has been a lot of noise around dual cab utes in recent times, and with good reason - for every five 4WD utes that sell in Australia, just one 2WD aims up. But it’s arguably vehicles like the one reviewed...Read more
Triton evolution is very much a case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Mitsubishi's conservative but enduringly successful development strategy (after four decades in production, global sales recently topped 4.7 million units) is evident in the latest MR Triton range, which brings with it a...Read more
VW’s 4x4 Amarok V6, although an excellent performer, has not posed a threat to the sales dominance of the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger in Australia’s 4x4 ute market. Beyond brand loyalties or prejudices, one of the greatest barriers to sales growth has been the German ute’s high pricing, as it has...Read more
If you believe the slogan, the new Volkswagen Crafter is “more than a white box”. In this van’s case that’s undeniably true, not least of which because this one is definitely blue. But there’s a bit more to it than a smart tagline and inspired colour choices. The new VW Crafter is a serious...Read more
There’s one for everyone. It’s a common refrain in the commercial van space, because you can pretty much choose the exact vehicle for your particular needs. This van - a 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 314CDI MWB RWD - embodies that idea perfectly. It’s a rear-wheel drive , mid-wheelbase, high-roof van...Read more
Believe it or not, there is a market for utes that aren’t those style-focused 4x4s with double-cab bodies and modest trays. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cab-chassis, for example, could be seen as the antithesis of that more popular school of ute thought. It’s more of a small truck than a ute,...Read more
It seems the only thing as unbreakable as the HiLux is Toyota's herculean grip on Australia's new vehicle car market. Familiarity and trust in the brand, along with solid resale values and unwavering customer loyalty, are sizeable factors in the Japanese giant's continued dominance. And those same...Read more
Any commercial vehicle manufacturer that can offer more than 1700 different variants of a single model has to be considered a serious player. And that dizzying number of choices is what Mercedes-Benz is claiming to provide fleet customers with its latest generation (3550-5000kg) Sprinter in the...Read more
Ford’s 2018 launch of its 2019 Ranger (or PX III) brought numerous upgrades and refinements, headlined by the availability of AEB and Ford’s new twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine with 10-speed auto being available as an option in the upper-shelf XLT and top-shelf Wildtrak variants. This new engine...Read more
The creation of a desert racing-inspired performance version of the T6 Ranger in 2018 was a logical development, given that Ford first built a similar derivative of the F-150 for the US market in 2010. The Americans called it the Raptor, and, given Steven Spielberg’s steroid-fed interpretation of...Read more
For three decades, Holden Special Vehicles’ high-performance enhancements have largely been focused on one platform; Holden’s V8 Commodore. However, with the demise of local manufacturing in 2017, the rear-wheel drive Australian-made icon went with it, leaving HSV with what appeared to be an...Read more

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