COMPROMISED UTES OR BIGDOLLAR WAGONS?

4WORD

MATT RAUDONIKIS

I’M AMUSED by the criticism of HSV’s foray into the one-tonne pick-up market with its take on the Holden Colorado.You can’t blame HSV, though, as these utes are some of the hottest selling vehicles in the country right now and, with the supply of home-grown Commodores having dried up, the company has to find an earning somewhere. Here’s a company that made its name convincing cashed-up bogans that taxi cabs could be turned into sports cars, so why not turn its talents to the demographics’ current ride of choice? Was it simply a typo that took it from sports car to SportsCat?

The current popularity of dual-cab 4X4 one-tonners is just as interesting. The market is flooded with choice, and that’s not about to change with even more coming to market – and being updated – before the end of the year.

It has become a do-it-all vehicle; one that can transport the family, carry gear in the tray, tow, go offroad, and even double as a work truck. While it ticks many boxes it doesn’t do any of them particularly well. Like anything that tries to cover too many bases, 4X4 one-tonners are hugely compromised in just about every aspect. One thing in its favour is its price point, as a 4X4 one-tonner delivers a lot of vehicle for the money, even as the segment climbs higher in price.

The traditional alternatives of Land Cruiser, Patrol and Discovery wagons have already blown out in price, and you won’t get much change from $100K for any of them. And, I’ve got to say, driving the three of them for the road test in this issue (page 32) was much more enjoyable than driving any of the currently available one-tonne utes.