Australians continue to flock to the ute segment in their tens of thousands. Or, to put it as a more enlightening statistic: one in every five new vehicles sold in this country features a tray.
The seemingly unstoppable growth in utility vehicle sales is being driven by the dual-cab variant that has evolved from rugged multi-seat commercial workhorse to (relatively) refined, multi-purpose family lifestyle vehicle.
It’s not uncommon to see multiple utes in the monthly Top 10 charts for best-selling cars.
With so many choices and so many price points, Wheels Best Utes 2023 is your ultimate guide to the top picks in this vast and varied segment.
Whether your buying priority is safe and convenient family transportation, towing capability, performance, value, or you simply have a specific budget ceiling, our nine Wheels Best Ute categories deliver the definitive independent expert insights.
We also crown an overall segment winner for those looking for the best of the best.
Our Wheels Best series covers all utes currently on sale, regardless of how old or new the vehicle is.
What's new in the field?
Despite the segment’s popularity, all-new models are relatively rare events; Utes typically have longer lifecycles than the average passenger car or SUV.
The current-generation Toyota HiLux, for example, has been around since 2015 – and a new version isn’t expected before 2025.
New variants are much more regular, however – including a growing trend for higher-specced, upgraded trims – such as the Ranger Raptor performance ute, Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior, and Toyota HiLux GR Sport.
Best Utes 2023: The Contenders
Click any of the utes above to see more news, reviews, videos and buying advice for each model.
Where are the big utes?
Our Best Utes coverage doesn't incorporate the US pick-up trucks that are being converted to right-hand drive for Australia - the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, or RAM 1500 (though the latter is referenced in our Best Performance Ute category).
These 'full-size' utes are much bigger and much more expensive than the 'mid-size' segment we're focused on here – and therefore not models that would be naturally cross-shopped with the likes of the HiLux and Ranger.
So, which are the best (mid-size) dual-cab utes you can buy?
Read on for the most comprehensive comparison guide in Australia.