Customers are now also seeking sporty or stylish versions of the utility vehicle instead of what was once “just the ute.” Finding a great looking and better performing used dual cab ute that meets the budget is a priority for many buyers.
After doing the grunt work buying a used dual-cab ute requires us to do to find out which are the top five of the bunch out there in the used ute market based on affordability, safety, comfort, and performance, we’ve put together this list for you and best of all we’ve kept the candidates under a budget of $20,000.
From most expensive to least expensive:
It is important to note that the Toyota Hilux dual cab ute is so popular that they impressively hold their value and you will need to be looking at pre-2007 models for anything under $20,000. That said, they also hold their quality well too so the older vehicles will still have plenty of years in them for fans of the Toyota big brand name.
It will take a bit of digging around to find one out there in the second-hand utility vehicle market for the right price but they are definitely worth having a search for. Bear in mind that even though second hand, your used ute should have been well looked after so read through any service history avail on second-hand sales when purchasing a utility vehicle.
Designed to feel like an SUV driving experience and based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, customer reviews for the HiLux are overwhelmingly positive and most agree that it’s roomy and reliable while still looking stylish with modern features. When first released the Toyota Hilux 2007 model was firmly set in the premium market with key features described as its quiet and refined engine, low emissions, and low fuel consumption.
The tin tacs: 2007 model – 4 doors, 6 cylinder, 4 x 4, Diesel
Grunt: 126kW @ 3600rpm, Torque 43 Nm @ 1400 – 3400
The Nissan Navara ST-X D40 utility vehicle was designed in 2005 for the growing recreational ute use market and has been a solid choice for tradies with families and ute enthusiasts just looking for a weekender with storage and off-road capabilities.
Redbook prices the 2010 model from $19,000 and the earlier models are more affordable again. Reviews are generally good but watch out for rattling or potential clutch issues in the manual version. These may well have already been addressed in a second hand Navara as many customers had to replace their pre 50,000 km. As with any used vehicle, have a look at the service history and check these things before purchase.
A spacious dual cab with plenty of room in the back (more than most others in its class) and the flip seats mean there’s more for your gear or luggage when not in use with the kids or mates in the backseats.
Although this utility vehicle handles cycling through the rev range easily to handle all conditions, fuel consumption is a common complaint about the Navara between the 2005-2010 models due to this. Diesel is a better choice to keep costs down if the ute is being used for heavy-duty purposes. As far as safety features, this utility vehicle possesses a three-star ANCAP safety rating with front airbags only.
The tin tacs: 4 Doors, 6 Cylinder, 4.0 Litre, 4X4, Petrol - Unleaded ULP, 13.6 L/100km
Grunt: 198kW @ 5600rpm, Torque 385Nm @ 4000rpm
Ford is a well-respected name in the Australian utility vehicle market and the Ranger holds up to consumer needs well.
Almost all the models in the Ford XL Ranger range warrant an impressive 5-star ANCAP safety rating with thanks to features such as handling superiority with traction and stability control and the 4 wheel ABS braking system sporting ventilated front disc and solid rear disc brakes.
Cars Guide reviews report that there is very little negative feedback at all from Ranger buyers. One issue mentioned though is that the turbo bearing needs to remain well lubed with a good quality engine oil. Driveability is rated as high and the Ranger dual cab ute is a more than capable off-roader plus a reliable weekend and city vehicle. RedBook.com.au lists starting prices for a good second hand XL 2011 model starting from $17,000.
The tin tacs: 4 Doors, 4 Cylinder, 2.5 Litre, Manual, Rear Wheel Drive, Petrol - Unleaded ULP, 10.4 L/100km
Grunt: Power122kW @ 6000rpm, Torque 226Nm @ 4500rpm
The Mitsubishi Triton dual cab utility vehicle is a reliable and popular ute available in a variety of models since it burst onto the scene and changed the game back in 2006 as one of the first in the utility vehicle market to double as a family life/leisure vehicle too.
As far as price and features go we are focusing on the GLX MN. According to Redbook.com.au, from just $16, 000 for a 5-speed manual, you can pick yourself up a model from as recently as 2012 and cheaper if you want to go a bit further retro.
This dual cab has everything you need as far as space and it has solid performance ratings across the board according to consumers. You will enjoy the Bluetooth connectivity and SatNav features and the attractive interior not usually associated with a working vehicle. Big enough for the kids to comfortably fit in the back for the school run, sports, and up to medium distance trips.
The tin tacs: 4 Doors, 4 Cylinder, 2.5 Litre, Manual, Rear Wheel Drive, Diesel, 8.1 L/100km
Grunt: Power131kW @ 4000rpm, Torque 400Nm @ 2000rpm
From only $9,000 for a used 2008 model, the Holden Colorado LX RC Manual is well within most buyer's budgets and has the backing of the Holden name badge.
Colorado is reported to be roomy, quiet, and a solid choice for work and play purposes. Sturdy and handles well enough for tough off-road use when occasion strikes and comfortable enough for the kids to jump in the back on moderate trips and regular family use too.
With a towing capacity of 3000kg, this ute is a popular choice for camping enthusiasts and tradies with big equipment loads. You just can’t go past the price.
The tin tacs: 4 Doors, 6 Cylinder, 3.6 Litre, Manual, Rear Wheel Drive, Petrol - Unleaded ULP, 12.4 L/100km
Grunt: Power 157kW @ 5300rpm, Torque 313Nm @ 2800rpm
In this list of top used dual-cab ute choices, there is something for everyone on a budget in the market for an all-rounder suitable for work and the leisure market.
We recommend that when purchasing any second-hand utility vehicle it’s always advisable to thoroughly check log books and service records especially if the ute has been predominantly used as a work truck.
As mentioned above, the dual cab ute is so much more than humble now. It has become just as much a part of Aussie family life as footy on weekends and a knock off beer on Friday afternoon. Happy shopping.