Utes offer generous towing capacity and 3.5-tonnes is the gold standard, but which vehicles currently on-sale can haul the biggest loads?
Australians bought 222,345 utes in 2021 and while a large chunk of those are fleet sales, more and more buyers are turning to up-spec light commercial vehicles due to their ability to lug heavy loads.
Lighter utes generally offer greater towing and payload capacity than their SUV counterparts which means you might not have to look into GVM upgrades to take a dual cab touring, where you would for a Land Cruiser 300 Series.
LOOKING FOR SUVs? Find out how much every new SUV in Australia can tow here.
A decade ago a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity was the preserve of the best-in-class, now it has become the standard for the established names while less well-known rivals still offer respectable figures around three-tonnes.
In order to be legal, it’s important to respect the gross combination mass of the vehicle and to not tow more than the braked towing capacity allows for.
To separate the utes in this list with greater nuance, we’ve done the legwork and included the range of payloads for the various trim levels available to give a better idea of how well suited each vehicle is to towing and touring.
We’ve compiled a helpful list of all utes on sale in Australia in 2022 sorted by manufacturer from A-Z form. Here you’ll find the braked towing and payload capacity of every ute on the market.
Chevrolet vehicles are imported and converted to right-hand-drive by GM Specialty Vehicles and although considered niche next to the usual turbo-diesel dual cabs, these beefy V8s offer outstanding four-tonne-plus towing capacity.
|Chevrolet model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
Silverado 1500 LTZ 4×4 auto
|313kW/624Nm 6.2-litre petrol V8|| |
Silverado 1500 Trail Boss 4×4 auto
313kW/624Nm 6.2-litre petrol V8
Silverado 2500 HD 4×4 auto (WT, LTX, Midnight, Custom Sport)
332kW/1234Nm 6.6-litre turbo-diesel V8
4500kg or 5890kg with heavy-duty hitch
The Ranger is Australia’s best-selling 4×4 ute and offers 3.5-tonne towing capacity when equipped with the 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel, or 3.2-litre five-cylinder. The flagship Raptor is an awesome off-roader, but is only rated to tow 2500kg.
|Ford model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Ranger XL low-rider 4×2 manual||118kW/385Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four||2500kg||1259kg|
|Ranger Raptor 4×4 auto||2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four||2500kg||748kg|
|Ranger XL high-rider 4×2 auto||118kW/385Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||1230-1476kg|
|Ranger 4×4 (XL, XLT, XLS, Wildtrak, Sport, FX4)||147kW/420Nm 3.2-litre twin-turbo diesel five||3500kg||922*-1331kg|
|Ranger 4×4 (XL, XLT, Wildtrak, FX4, FX4 Max||157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four||3500kg||954-1304kg|
* denotes the Wildtrak variant
GWM is a Chinese carmaker that is looking to break into the burgeoning light commercial segment with its new Ute Cannon range fitted with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine and boasting a 3000kg braked towing capacity.
|GWM model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Ute Cannon 4×2||120kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3000kg||NA|
|Ute Cannon 4×4 (L, X)||120kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3000kg||1050kg|
Isuzu is all about reliable towing with its proven ‘4JJ3’ 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine and plenty of driver-assistance systems means nearly every D-Max can tow up to 3.5-tonnes, though at 700kg its unbraked rating is 50kg short of the standard.
|Isuzu model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|D-Max SX 4×2 manual/auto||110kW/350Nm 1.9-litre turbo-diesel four||2800/3000kg||1405/1380kg|
|D-Max 4×2 (SX, LS-U)||140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||985-1305kg|
|D-Max 4×4 (SX, LS-M, LS-U, X-Terrain)||140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||935*-1320kg|
* denotes the X-Terrain variant
Hailing from America, Jeep’s Gladiator is a lifestyle ute aimed at off-road capability and funky looks, though its 2721kg braked towing capacity is still respectable.
|Jeep model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Gladiator (Rubicon and Night Eagle)||209kW/347Nm 3.6-litre petrol V6||2721kg||693kg|
The LDV T60’s twin-turbo diesel means this is the torquiest of the Chinese-built utes in the list, though its 3000kg braked towing capacity is the same as the GWM Ute Cannon.
|LDV model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|T60 Max 4×4 auto (Pro, Max Luxe)||160kW/500Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four||3000kg||750*-935kg|
* denotes the Max Luxe variant
|Mazda model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|BT-50 XS 4×2||110kW/350Nm 1.9-litre turbo-diesel four||3000kg||1236kg|
|BT-50 4×2 (XT, XTR)||140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||1055-1315kg|
|BT-50 4×4 (XT, XTR, GT, SP, Thunder)||140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||887*-1340kg|
* denotes the Thunder variant
The Triton is one of the more affordable utes from the traditional set of competitors and rolls on a narrow track compared to its rivals. That said, the Triton’s upper-spec dual cab 4×4 variants can still haul 3100kg.
|Mitsubishi model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Triton GLX 4×2 single cab||94kW/194Nm 2.4-litre petrol four||1800kg||1280kg|
|Triton GLX 4×2 single cab||133kW/420Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four||2500kg||948-1150kg|
|Triton 4×2 dual cab (GLX, GLX-R)||133kW/420Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four||3000kg||960-1125kg|
|Triton 4×4 single and club cab (GLX, GLX+)||133kW/420Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four||3000kg||900-1220kg|
|Triton 4×4 dual cab (GLX, GLX+, MR, GLX-R, GLS, GSR)||133kW/420Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four||3100kg||900*-1120kg|
* denotes the GSR variant
The Nissan Navara might not have the most powerful engine, but is the only ute on sale in Australia that boasts a consistent 3500kg braked towing capacity no matter the variant.
|Nissan model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Navara SL 4×2||120kW/403Nm 2.3-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||1146-1282kg|
|Navara 4×2 (SL, ST, ST-X)||140kW/450Nm 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel four||3500kg||1027-1256kg|
|Navara 4×4 (SL, ST, ST-X, Pro-4X, Warrior)||140kW/450Nm 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel four||3500kg||876*-1126kg|
* denotes the ST-X King Cab variant
Need to tow something really serious? You’ll probably want a RAM. The 1500s top out at 4500kg, but going for the 1152Nm 6.7-litre Cummins diesel-powered 2500 and 3500 means you can tow eight tonnes if you get the factory-fitted heavy-duty hitch and air-brakes.
|RAM model||Engine||Towing (braked)|
|1500 Crew Cab 4×4 (Express, Warlock, Laramie, Limited)||291kW/556Nm 5.7-litre petrol V8||4500kg||701*-833kg|
|2500 Laramie Crew Cab||276kW/1152Nm 6.7-litre turbo-diesel inline||4500kg (8000kg with air-brakes fitted)||835kg|
|3500 Laramie Crew Cab||276kW/1152Nm 6.7-litre turbo-diesel inline||4500kg (8000kg with air-brakes fitted)||1693kg|
* denotes the Limited variant
The Ssangyong Musso is the highest rated of the Chinese utes with a 3.5-tonne braked towing claim, and the long-wheelbase Musso XLV also has a respectable payload in base ELX trim.
|Ssangyong model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Musso 4×4 (ELX, Ultimate)||133kW/420Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel four||3500kg||790-800kg|
|Musso XLV 4×4 (ELX, Ultimate)||133kW/420Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel four||3500kg||880*-1035kg|
* denotes the XLV Ultimate variant
Australia’s best-selling 4×2 ute, and one of the oldest vehicles on sale (the 70 Series) are proven, dependable towing machines, though be wary of the Hilux Rugged X’s poor payload.
|Toyota model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Hilux Workmate 4×2 petrol||122kW/245Nm 2.7-litre petrol four||2500kg||985-1205kg|
|Hilux 4×2 Hi-Rider diesel (Workmate, SR, SR5)||110kW/400Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four||2800kg||1005-1235kg|
|Hilux Workmate 4×4||110kW/400Nm 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||940-1250kg|
|Hilux 4×4 manual (SR, SR5)||150kW/420Nm 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||940-1225kg|
|Hilux 4×4 auto (SR, SR5, Rogue, Rugged X)||150kW/500Nm 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four||3500kg||734*-1225kg (SR S Cab)|
|Land Cruiser 70 Series cab chassis||151kW/430Nm 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8||3500kg||1110-1235kg|
* denotes the Rugged X variant
The Amarok’s turbocharged 500+Nm turbo-diesel V6 is the pick for those who like to tow in a package that isn’t as wide as the American utes and has some European chic.
|Volkswagen model||Engine||Towing (braked)||Payload|
|Amarok TDI 400 Core 4×4||132kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3000kg||1033kg|
|Amarok TDI 420 Core 4×4 auto||132kW/420Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four||3000kg||1033kg|
|Amarok TDI 500 Core 4×4 manual||165kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6||3000kg||1004kg|
|Amarok TDI 550 4×4 auto (Core, Sportline)||165kW/550Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6||3500kg||976-989kg|
|Amarok TDI 580 4×4 auto (Highline, Aventura, W580S)||190kW/580Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6||3500kg||848*-933kg|
* denotes the W580S variant
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