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Dual Cab Ute - best family car?


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28 replies to this topic

#1 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 07 January 2020 - 05:45 PM

We have decided to change our family car (currently a Landrover Freelander) and think that a dual cab ute is probably going to meet most of our requirements.

Want a decent tow capacity (trying to win DH round on pulling a caravan), decent off-road capability and space to lug all our camping gear (that we currently have to hire a trailer for) as well as being comfortable to drive around day-to-day.

We also have an Audi A4 car which is DH's to drive to and from work mainly, but we have started to use this more on weekends since the Freelander has been out of action.

Narrowed it down to the Ford Ranger or the Mitsubishi Triton - any opinions on these for a family of 4? Both boys still in car seats, with DS2 still rear-facing. Will be second had, don't really want to spend much over $25-$30k.

Happy to hear any positives or negatives around switching to the Ute from the SUV!

#2 SusanStoHelit

Posted 07 January 2020 - 05:59 PM

We have a duel cab as our towing / camping car and the space in the back is great (have a canopy). Also handy on weekends, can chuck everyone’s bike etc in.

Just check room in the back seat, many are smaller in legroom / space to the front seat. I would take your rear facing car seat with you to check, as it may not fit in some models. (When we had a rear facing child I ours, I had to sit in the passenger side as far foward as possible to make it work)

#3 123Tree

Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:33 PM

We have a ranger about three years old. It drives well and the boys fit nicely in the back in their boosters. Very happy as it toes well etc.

I find it wide to park in a shopping centre environment but not impossible or especially difficult. Ours has a tray with drop sides so when grocery shopping we put the stuff in a steel toolbox type thing (that lives on the back) because I am short I have to get onto the back of the ute to do this. DH however can just reach in. This is probably my only complaint so normally I take the car to the supermarket instead. If we didn’t have the car I don’t think this alone would put me off buying one.

#4 IamtheMumma

Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:40 PM

With your kids in carseats, the comfort won't matter so much but when I was looking for a new car last year, most of the utes had bench like seats in the back and they were hard to sit on.

#5 FiveAus

Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:59 PM

The most car like one to drive is the VW Amarok. I'd go the Ranger over the Triton though.

My husband and I both have utes, I've got an Amarok, he has an Isuzu D-Max. The D-Max is brand new, it drives like a truck though. The Amarok is lovely to drive (and I drive long distances and it's very comfortable) however, it's expensive to service and genuine parts cost a bomb.

#6 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:04 PM

Ranger over triton - I wouldn’t even consider a triton personally.

We have a hilux. It has a fully decked out canopy for off the grid camping. Seems to be unbreakable - believe me we have tried :lol: Parts are easy to source. It’s good on diesel.

We have 3 kids, 2 teens and it is becoming a bit of a squeeze for them but it’s workable for the next year until the oldest gets her licence. I often sit and sleep in the back when we are doing long hauls and don’t find it uncomfortable.

#7 Froggilicious

Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:23 PM

We currently have a Hilux, but are looking to upgrade so we can tow a caravan, and we are leaning toward the Mazda BT-50. For a couple of reasons, it is very similar to the Ranger spec wise, but a bit cheaper. The triton hasn't even come close on paper. The Amarok would be my second choice but it doesn't have rear curtain airbags.

#8 hills mum bec

Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:50 PM

We have a Ford Ranger and it’s a great car.  We bought it mainly for the towing capacity for our caravan.  We have three kids, no baby seats but two of the kids are teenagers and they fit fine and comfortable in the back.  Our biggest problem is fitting the dogs in the car if we want to take them anywhere.  That’s probably the only thing I miss with not having an interior cargo area like a traditional 4wd.

#9 PoolsideMasterchef

Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:50 PM

We seriously considered dual cab ute vs SUV on ute body and ended up going the SUV for a couple of reasons

- the ute was longer overall but SUV had more room in the back for passengers (DH and I are quite tall).  The longer ute I was also a little less keen on parking in shops etc

-The SUV had better suspension which was an issue as DD1 gets car sick

- We would need to get a canopy and there seemed to be disadvantages to the softer type so if we were going to get a hard canopy and leave it on we might as well get an SUV

W

e only have one car for a family of 5 and we live in the city so those things maybe not an issue for you (although we wanted 4wd for same reasons as you).


  My friend has an Amorak ute and loves it but they also have a station wagon.  There are some different rules about tax / registration of utes as its a commercial vehicle so check that out as well.



#10 Jingleflea

Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:53 PM

A friend bought a Ranger and it's too big to fit in their garage.
But they're in a rather badly designed modern house with a single garage.

#11 MooGuru

Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:54 PM

Love the triton. It's a great car.

#12 Chelli

Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:58 PM

DH has an Amarok which he's in love with. It's great to tow our van with, but the back seat is squishy for our adult-sized kids if they're all in there together. Not a lot of leg room in dual cabs.

It's lovely to drive long and short distances, easy to park, and comfortable in the front.

#13 daisy007

Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:10 AM

We have a Triton and it’s ok. It seems to have more room in the backseats than other utes and we’ve got two in car seats, one still rear facing. I recently borrowed BIL’s Amarok and the Triton has way more room. It has had some mechanical issues though, it is older so a new model may not have similar issues. When we upgrade we’ll be going back to a Toyota, dual cab landcruiser if we can afford it but most likely a hilux.

#14 doubledelight

Posted 08 January 2020 - 06:24 AM

We currently have a Hilux but my previous work ute was a Triton dual cab.  I found the ride in the Triton was a little rough and when the back was empty it tended to drift a little.  Of your choices I'd go the Ranger but the BT50 is a nice ride and reliable.

#15 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:54 PM

Great, thank you for the feedback really useful.

I think we need to go and test drive a few and see what we like the feel of the most. Both should fit in our garage (just!) so that hopefully won't be an issue. We haven't decided on a canopy or not... although my main issue with that is that we wouldn't be able to leave anything in the tray if we didn't have a canopy.

Also torn between buying nearly new (2-3 years) or older 6+ years given it's going to get thrown about a bit with camping and the kids. Our SUV looks trashed at the moment!

#16 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 08 January 2020 - 03:56 PM

Just chiming in regarding buying used and my cousin's and friend experiences.
The vehicles you are looking at are mostly going to be used as commercial vehicles, most likely a business upgrading. My tradie cousin never buys second hand. He says ex commercial used utes are so badly looked after and thrashed that it is not worth the trouble. As a buiness for him, it's most cost effective tax wise and for reliability to purchase new every time.
A friend purchased a used ute for his landscaping business, a Toyota. And yes it turned out it had been thrashed. He only got a years use out of it before he had to get a new one. The second one he brought was an ex demo. The third upgrade was a brand new ute.
So unless you know the history of the ute ( been a family car, ex demo etc) you could be buying something that has been badly used and a bad service history. My cousin says you don't want see what happens on commercial sites and how utes get abused.

#17 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 08 January 2020 - 04:21 PM

These days most utes are not used for commercial purposes - they are huge in the family car market.

#18 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 08 January 2020 - 04:26 PM

Kiwi that's useful info and something I'll bear in mind when we start looking. I had read that the 'base' models were generally used by tradies so was going for more of the higher spec ones that have more aftermarket kit on them (canony's, bull bars, spotties etc) although then you do run the risk that they've been thrashed off road as well.

I really struggle with the huge depreciation of buying new vs second hand.

#19 iwanttosleepin

Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:20 PM

I have a dual cab as a family car.  We have a Holden Colorado with a canopy on the back.  It's very practical for us.  I have 1 kid in a booster in the middle and teenagers either side.  No other car we looked at could take 4 bicycles and 5 people - so a ute it was.

Heaps of people where I live (in a small regional town) have dual cabs - not just the tradies.  And none of the tradies I know would trash their cars - that is a big generalisation.

We didn't consider the Amarok because it doesn't have rear airbags and we usually have kids in the back. and its more expensive than the Colorado. The Toyota is much more expensive. We have the Isuzu at work and I hate it.  Our top 2 choices were the Navara and the Colorado.  Its an easy car to drive and we've had no issues (done about 50,000).  Its not exciting but all good.

I would recommend ensuring it has a rear camera as they are big cars and not great vision in reverse - especially with a canopy.

#20 FiveAus

Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:22 PM

View Posthappygoluckyinoz, on 08 January 2020 - 04:26 PM, said:

Kiwi that's useful info and something I'll bear in mind when we start looking. I had read that the 'base' models were generally used by tradies so was going for more of the higher spec ones that have more aftermarket kit on them (canony's, bull bars, spotties etc) although then you do run the risk that they've been thrashed off road as well.

I really struggle with the huge depreciation of buying new vs second hand.

Wait until around April when they start discounting for end of financial year. You should puck up a few bargains then.

My husband needed a ute, we looked at second hand ones but they all had things he didn't need. So he'd be paying for things he didn't want. He needed a stock standard ute with a tray. No canopy, no second row of seats.
Could not get one second hand then realised Isuzu had a sale on them and he picked up his perfect ute for under 30k brand new. Six year warranty, tow bar included.


#21 MooGuru

Posted 12 January 2020 - 05:42 PM

 FiveAus, on 08 January 2020 - 05:22 PM, said:



Wait until around April when they start discounting for end of financial year. You should puck up a few bargains then.

My husband needed a ute, we looked at second hand ones but they all had things he didn't need. So he'd be paying for things he didn't want. He needed a stock standard ute with a tray. No canopy, no second row of seats.
Could not get one second hand then realised Isuzu had a sale on them and he picked up his perfect ute for under 30k brand new. Six year warranty, tow bar included.

Second looking out for sales. Both DH and I bought new cars during sales time years apart. My car was 2 or 3 years old before the cars advertised for sale were cheaper than what I paid brand new. DHs car brand new was cheaper than used cars were being advertised at the time he bought.

#22 ceeshell

Posted 12 January 2020 - 07:37 PM

We looked at the ranger and the Amarok. We ruled the Amarok out because it doesn’t have enough airbags in the back seat.
We almost bought the ranger. It was very well appointed.
We ended up getting another SUV but a friend has the ranger and LOVES it.

#23 little lion

Posted 12 January 2020 - 07:54 PM

I have never owned a dual cab ute. But I’m a car nut, so thought I’d chime in. An acquaintance bought a their first dual cab ute (Ranger) when they had a newborn baby. Their thought was it’d be more practical than the SUVs that practically every other new family buys. They soon discovered that a pram can be easily stolen from the tray...

Edited by little lion, 12 January 2020 - 07:54 PM.


#24 Demera

Posted 12 January 2020 - 10:48 PM

We have a Colorado after seriously considering a Ranger. We've almost had it three years and we're very happy with it as both a family car and farm Ute. I drive a Ranger at work and I don't like it as much. The Colorado is nicer to drive.

Regarding the pram, you'd be mad not to get a canopy for the back. Canopies have central locking these days. We have a custom built shelving so farm tools go in the bottom and kid stuff, shopping, pram etc goes on top and is easily reached from the side windows.

#25 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 12 January 2020 - 10:54 PM

If you don’t want a canopy, you can get a lockable tub covers or a hard lid.




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