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Best utes arriving in 2023

Just look at it! Ford's F-150 has been America's bestselling vehicle for years, reflecting the big truck's enduring appeal.

There's no denying that Australians are in a seemingly never-ending love affair with the ute - just a glance at the top-10 best-selling models here and you will see no less than four different pick-ups.

In 2022 we saw the launch of the new-geneation Ford Ranger, while the Toyota HiLux was also updated, but that doesn't mean there aren't more exciting utes on the way for 2023.

From big units like the Ford F-150 to Volkswagen's take on the Ford Ranger formula, here are the utes to look foward to in 2023.

01. Volkswagen Amarok – May

The 2023 Amarok is heavily based on the corresponding 2023 Ranger, meaning it uses an updated (T6.2) version of the Australian designed and engineered Ford midsized pick-up truck.

However, there are VW-specific styling changes, particular in the front and rear, as well as different dashboard and cabin items, to give the Amarok a more Germanic and on-brand flavour. Model grades are also altered between the fraternal twins, with varying equipment levels and features.

That said, the Amarok adopts the Ranger’s high standard of safety, comfort, refinement and convenience levels, as well as similar towing and carrying capacities. At the other end of the VW, engine choices include a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel and a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel.

Read more about the VW Amarok

02. Ford F-150 – Third quarter

The return of the Ford F-150 is further confirmation of Australia’s burgeoning love affair with US-style trucks, courtesy of the growing remanufacturing industry that sees left-hand-drive vehicles converted locally to right-hand drive.

Aimed at the similar Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, two Crew Cab grades are offered, in XLT and Lariat flagship guises – with both employing a 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost. Driving all four wheels is a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Just as importantly, the F-150 can bring up to 4.5 tonnes of towing capacity to the table, as well as latest-gen safety systems including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert included as standard. This ain’t no basic truck no more, ma!

Read more about the Ford F-150

03. Toyota HiLux GR Sport – H2

Toyota’s answer to the Ford Ranger Raptor, Nissan Navara Warrior and Mitsubishi Triton Xtreme, the HiLux GR Sport is the brand’s halo performance model in the midsized ute category.

Changes over the regular HiLux include a marked increase in performance from a more powerful engine, enhanced suspension systems including uprated dampers and springs for improved on- as well as off-road capabilities, and an increase in standard equipment levels.

To distinguish it from regular versions of Australia’s bestselling ute, the GR Sport also features more aggressive styling cues front and rear, increased ride height, wider wheels and a raft of available accessories. This also makes it the most expensive HiLux in history.

Read more about the Toyota HiLux

Toyota HiLux

7.7/10
From
$64,460

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

04. Mitsubishi Triton Xtreme – May

The brainchild of Mitsubishi and Victorian-based engineering house Walkinshaw, the Triton Xtreme is – as the name suggests – the toughest and wildest midsized ute the brand has ever offered in the series’ six decades in existence.

Predictably targeting the likes of the Ford Ranger Raptor, Toyota HiLux GR Sport and Nissan Navara Warrior, it is part of a growing group of locally developed and tuned vehicles that are designed expressly for next-level off-road capability as well as an on-road presence.

Changes include reworked suspension, a beefed-up body structure with accompanying visual upgrades, a larger wheel and tyre package and increased specification levels, commensurate with a sizeable jump in price.

Read more about the Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Triton

7/10
From
$38,830

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

05. GWM Shanhai Cannon - H2

The full-sized truck market in Australia has really hotted up with the Great Wall Motors (GWM) entrant, that goes by the amusing name of King Kong Cannon ute in its China home market, but could be called Shanhai Cannon here.

Aimed at the distinctly American Dodge Ram, Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150, it sits above the popular Ute Cannon-X range of midsized ute range, with big size, space and carrying capacity being the GWM’s calling cards.

While not quite as large as its US-made counterparts, the GWM is still pretty substantial, measuring in at around 5.6 metres long, nearly 1.9m wide and over 1.8m tall, while the 3410mm wheelbase opens up ample space inside.

Read more about the GWM Ute

GWM UTE

7/10
From
$33,550

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

06. GWM Ute cab chassis – April

Along with the dual cab pick-up body style, the cab-chassis version of the GWM Ute offers Australian pick-up buyers a broad range of affordable and accessible options in the midsized truck field.

Tough and ready for work, the cab-chassis version is aimed at the likes of the bestselling Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 tray models, with equivalent towing capabilities as well as similar levels of safety and convenience features to the established dual cab versions.

Of course, the big appeal is the ultra-competitive pricing, giving the Chinese-built Ute cab-chassis a massive advantage in the lower-priced end of the segment.

Read more the about the GWM Ute

GWM UTE

7/10
From
$33,550

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

07. Ford Ranger Platinum - H2

If Ford's Ranger line-up is a little too workhorse for your tastes, and the Raptor flagship is too off-road focused, well there's a new variant coming in 2023 that might fit the bill.

Known as the Platinum, which borrows its name from the mechanically related Everest, the Ranger Platinum is billed as a more premium, even luxurious, version of the popular ute.

Externally, the Ranger Platinum features a new grille and 20-inch wheels, while inside is kitted out with all the latest tech you might not usually see in a ute such as a digital instrument cluster, high-end sound system and power-adjustable seats.

Ford Ranger

8.5/10
From
$85,800

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

08. Next-generation Mitsubishi Triton - Late 2023

Not much is known about the new-generation Mitsubishi Triton, but the brand has been busy working away on its new ute behind the scenes, and it has even been spotted testing in Australia.

This means we can expect a more Australian-focused model, which might give it an edge against competitors like the Toyota HiLux and Isuzu D-Max.

We do know the same platform will also be used for the Nissan Navara, but Mitsubishi will be first to reveal its model likely in late 2023.

Mitsubishi Triton

7/10
From
$38,830

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

09. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - March

GMSV has upped the appeal of the hulking Chevrolet Silverado, with a model-year update that introduces fresh equipment to the LTZ Premium model, but also a new variant.

The sporty looking ZR2 tops the range at $133k, and is aimed at Ranger Raptor buyers with a bit of extra cash.

Chevrolet Silverado

6/10
From
$114,730

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

10. GWM Ute Cannon XSR - May

Wanting a piece of the flagship, extra-rugged ute pie, GWM has released the Ute Cannon XSR to take on the Nissan Navara Warrior, Ford Ranger Wildtrak X and Toyota HiLux GR Sport.

Changes to the ute include twin locking differentials, revised suspension, beefed-up underbody cladding, wider body work and a snorkle to enhance its fording ability.

Being a GWM model, it offers a load of equipment at an affordable $51,490 drive-away price.

GWM UTE

7/10
From
$46,640

Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Byron Mathioudakis
Contributing Journalist
Byron started his motoring journalism career when he joined John Mellor in 1997 before becoming a freelance motoring writer two years later. He wrote for several motoring publications and was ABC Youth radio Triple J's "all things automotive" correspondent from 2001 to 2003. He rejoined John Mellor in early 2003 and has been with GoAutoMedia as a senior product and industry journalist ever since. With an eye for detail and a vast knowledge base of both new and used cars Byron lives and breathes motoring. His encyclopedic knowledge of cars was acquired from childhood by reading just about every issue of every car magazine ever to hit a newsstand in Australia. The child Byron was the consummate car spotter, devoured and collected anything written about cars that he could lay his hands on and by nine had driven more imaginary miles at the wheel of the family Ford Falcon in the driveway at home than many people drive in a lifetime. The teenage Byron filled in the agonising years leading up to getting his driver's license by reading the words of the leading motoring editors of the country and learning what they look for in a car and how to write it. In short, Byron loves cars and knows pretty much all there is to know about every vehicle released during his lifetime as well as most of the ones that were around before then.
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