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Dual Cab Utes: Which Is Best for Me?

22 December 2020 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

Are you debating purchasing a new dual cab ute but don’t know where to start? As suggested by the name, dual cabin utes have at least four seats. This extra row comes at the expense of rear cargo space, but unless you need this for a specific utilitarian purpose you probably won’t miss it. Dual cab utes are becoming a popular choice for Australians, and for many reasons. Here’s why people love them.

The good


  1. They are versatile. A dual cab ute is the Swiss army knife of the showroom and can be used for a variety of purposes. They make ideal family cars, tough tradie trucks and powerful adventuring machines. While they were originally known as one-trick agricultural workhorses, they have since entered the mainstream. Modern dual cab utes have all of the utilitarian functionality and safety features of a heavy duty SUV with the added comfort of a plush interior.
  2. Offroad appeal. The higher end dual cabs come fully loaded with four-wheel drive for a forceful ride. It stands tall upon chunky, heavy duty tyres that are well equipped to take on the rough, uneven terrains that cover much of Australia’s map.
  3. Muscle power. Dual cabs have formidable strength, so much so that they can be used to tow very heavy loads. In fact, the expression "one-tonne ute" refers to the weight a model can carry in its load tray.
  4. Superior comfort. Nowadays, dual cab utes are built for luxury as well as utility. Many come with heated and electrically adjustable seats, touch screen infotainment systems, electric parking brakes, leather upholstery, dual zone climate control features and much more.
  5. Advanced safety. Dual cab utes are usually classified as light commercial vehicles but today, you'll find an impressive set of driver assistance and active safety technology in many high-end utes.

Of course, every car type has its downsides. Here are the cons to be aware of before you invest in a dual cab ute.

The not-so-good

  1. Ride quality. Though heavy-duty suspension systems give dual cab utes their impressive load-hauling capabilities, the stiff springs and strong components that come with them can compromise the driving experience in some ways, especially for backseat passengers.
  2. Fuel consumption. While the latest diesel engines certainly have improved fuel efficiency, dual cabs’ hefty kerb weight and tyres don’t help matters. Light commercial vehicles are also subject to a premium in registration and toll fees.
  3. Bulky size. The generous proportions of a dual cab ute are one of its unique selling points, but they are also its downfall in some ways. Inexperienced drivers may struggle to manoeuvre the car, especially when it comes to metropolitan driving and squeezing into tight parking spaces.

Our top picks

If you still think a dual cab ute would suit your lifestyle, stay tuned because we’ve broken down your best options on today’s market along with their top features and highlights

Ford Ranger

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The Ford Ranger's popularity has skyrocketed to such an extent that it seems to be nudging the previously unassailable Toyota Hilux out of the spotlight. The Ranger name has only been used in Australia since 2006, having previously been known as the Ford Courier, a moniker that had been around since 1979. The Ford Ranger boasts more technology than ever before, as well as smart safety features. Its robust build effortlessly tackles any challenge head on, comfortably getting you from A to B no matter what obstacles lie on the roads in between.

Isuzu D-Max

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The Isuzu D-Max has actually been on the Australian roads for much longer than its official launch in 2008. The Holden Rodeo was in fact a rebadged Isuzu, which means that these utes may have been around since as early as the 1980s. The D-Max is the ideal adventure buddy with exceptional power and performance. The latest model is designed to handle the roughest of Australia’s road conditions with ease. Some top-of-the-range versions even have an 800mm wading depth for water crossings. It also boasts a 5-Star ANCAP rating so you know you’re in for a safe ride – perfect for families.

Mazda BT-50

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The ladder-framed B Series ute was Mazda’s first foray in 1964, replaced in 1992 by the well-known Bravo. The latest iteration can accommodate a staggering 3.5 tonnes of unbraked towing, which is fantastic for transporting caravans or boats. For a vehicle of its size, the Mazda BT-50 has a competitive fuel economy; the newest 4X4 manual model boasts a 7.7L/100km combined fuel consumption. You’ll also have plenty of connectivity options, including Android™ Auto and Wireless Apple CarPlay® via a 7 or 9-inch touch screen depending on which trim you go for.


Dual cab utes certainly have their ups and downs, but for us they’re a solid choice thanks to their practicality, versatility and safety. If you’re someone who likes to live on the wild side, or if you’re looking for a spacious ride for your family, you could do much worse than a dual cabin ute. And if you decide to buy one, make sure to buy from a trusted source. As always, we recommend checking out Motor Matcher. At Motor Matcher, everything we do is modelled around providing customers with the right tools and empowering them with rich information, helping them make sound decisions when buying and selling cars. We offer a faster, simpler way to compare new and used cars online, creating an ideal and safe marketplace for all car buyers and sellers.

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