Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Can't get enough of trucks like the Ram 1500? Then get excited because here's the latest on rivals like the Toyota Tundra, Ford F-150 and more for Australia

The Tundra will be remaunfactured in RHD in Melbourne, but it's built in North America.

Australia certainly seems to think bigger is better when it comes to cars, with sales of plus-sized dual-cab utes gathering momentum faster than virtually any other segment, and more options are on the way to satisfy that growing demand.

Until relatively recently, convoluted private imports were the only way into something bigger and more muscular than a Toyota HiLux or Ford Ranger, with the associated cost limiting options to only the most committed or well-heeled customers.

But with the advent of locally converted right-hand drive (RHD) Rams and Chevrolet Silverados, Australians have flocked to the more affordable options.

Leading the charge (pun fully intended) is Ram, which is enjoying its best sales to date with 2705 registrations for the most affordable 1500 model to the end of May 2023. With a whopping 766 sales overall in May alone, Ram sales have increased by a significant 61 per cent.

The notable success confirms Australians are not shy about dropping big cash on a car if it’s fit for purpose, with the Ram 1500 range kicking off from about $96,000. That price includes the venerable 291kW 5.7-litre ‘Hemi’ V8 and a maximum towing capacity of 4500kg which exceeds ‘regular’ utes by a whole tonne and a half.

Petrolheads with a $200,000 budget have the range-topping TRX to choose from which is powered by General Motors’ prolific supercharged 6.2-litre V8, producing 523kW.

For the very biggest hauling jobs, the Ram 2500 and 3500 turn up the muscle to as much as 8000kg thanks in-part to a 6.7-litre straight six turbo diesel courtesy of Cummins.

The Ram 1500 range kicks off from about ,000.

Vying for the Ram’s title as Australia’s favourite full-size ute is Chevrolet’s Silverado. It’s a fair way behind the Ram in sales but 748 registrations to the end of May this year represents a respectable 31 per cent increase.

Interestingly, the Silverado is already the nation’s favourite when it comes to heavy and super duty machines, with 391 of Chevrolet’s sales going to the 2500 and 3500 variants vs Ram’s 279.

Opening the Silverado range is the 1500 LT Trail Boss which costs $107,000. It gets a 6.2-litre V8 with 313kW and matches the Ram 1500 for towing capacity. Alternatively, opt for the heavy duty models and Chevrolet slots in a 6.6-litre Duramax V8 turbo diesel.

The pick-up pair’s popularity has not gone unnoticed by Australia’s other vehicle brands and a number of rivals have taken inspiration in the local-conversion model.

The Silverado range kicks off from 7,000.

Later this year, Ford will join the plus-size pick-up party with its iconic F-150 with examples being converted on home turf by partner RMA Automotive. Pioneering variants will include the XLT and Lariat, both powered by the company’s 3.5-litre ‘Ecoboost’ V6 turbo petrol and 298kW.

Pricing starts at about $116,000 and maximum towing is rated at, you guessed it, 4500kg. Unlike its rivals, Ford is not yet talking about heavier duty F-Series models for Australia such as the 250 and 350 that are available in its native USA.

Adding to the list of big-hitting car brands that are disgruntled at Ram and Chevrolet success is Toyota, which will offer its representative in the big truck realm - the Tundra.

Like the Silverado and Ram, Toyota’s option will undergo local ‘re-engineering’ at Walkinshaw’s manufacturing facility in Melbourne’s south-east, adding a fourth home-grown (sort of) option to the full-size ute market.

Ford's iconic F-150 will be priced from about 6,000.

The Japanese company has not yet released as much information as its rivals regarding pricing and specification but has confirmed it’ll be the first to exclusively offer a hybrid large ute thanks to an electric motor combined with 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine.

Expect the Tundra to make its Australian debut at a point in 2024.

What’s unlikely to make an appliance in Australian showrooms is Nissan’s Titan. For a while, the Japanese company’s close relationship to Premcar and vehicle conversions projects such as the Navara Warrior and Patrol Warrior, looked like a perfect fit for Titans locally converted to RHD.

However, the ageing US-built truck is nearing the end of its lifecycle and, combined with challenges convincing head office to give the green light, we wouldn’t expect to see the Nissan lining up with the other full-sizers.

Expect the Tundra to make its Australian debut at a point in 2024.

Ford has not yet confirmed its Lightning fully electric version of the F-150 as part of the local conversion program, leaving the opportunity for Australia’s first battery electric big boy. Rivian might be the brand to grab it.

The fellow American manufacturer has previously expressed interest in the apparently lucrative local prospects and has made no secret of its Australian market investigation.

Rivian is yet to officially confirm sales of the R1T Down Under, but has repeatedly teased the launch of its ute and R1S mechanically related SUV.

If given the go-ahead, the first fully electric plus-size ute in Australia will simultaneously take the title as its most powerful with 147kW … per wheel.

Rivian is yet to officially confirm sales of the R1T Down Under.

That formidable 588kW total is thanks to its quad electric motors and it also claims an almost unbelievable 14,000Nm and a max braked towing capacity of 5000kg.

Finally, buoyed by the success of its Cannon-X and a warm reception from Australians, GWM is poised to introduce its own interpretation of the full-sized ute.

Full details will follow if confirmed but regardless of the price and specification, we just hope it’ll arrive wearing the moniker it has in native China - King Kong Cannon.

With demand for the biggest Utes available showing no signs of slowing in Australia, you can be certain brands large and small will respond with more to follow.

Daniel Gardner
Contributing Journalist
Daniel Gardner joined CarsGuide as a Contributing Journalist in 2023. During his long tenure in the automotive industry, Daniel has earned a degree in mechanical design, worked as a BMW technician...
About Author

Comments