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'A notch above the others': Ford Ranger named Best-Value Tradie Car for 2021

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Australia used to ride on the sheep's back - now it's a passenger in a dual-cab 4x4 ute.

More than half of the 10 best-selling new vehicles last year and year to date in 2020 are dual-cabs, with Toyota's HiLux and our category winner, the Ford Ranger XLT 4x4, traditionally duking it out for top spot most months.

Utes have come a long way since the very first was built by Ford Australia - yes, the 'utility coupe' is an Aussie invention. While they attract more family buyers than ever, their key appeal is to user-choosers who want to use the same vehicle to play on Sunday and work on Monday. There was no other type of vehicle that was going to take out this category.

best of the best 2021 best tradie ute Ford Ranger XLT 4X4

It's appropriate that the current Ford Ranger was engineered and designed in Australia by Ford for the world - it's not built here but its Aussie IP hits the market in more than 160 countries.

And despite much newer competition it's still proving to be the pick-up to beat.

carsales says: "The current Ford Ranger has been on the market for so long now that you almost expect it to wearily slump to the bottom of the ute pecking order. It hasn't. Quite simply, the Ranger's performance, ride quality, handling dynamics, interior space, general comfort and overall refinement are a clear notch above the others."

Canny tradies want value for money and the other standout dual-cab for those with short arms and long pockets is the Mitsubishi Triton GLX-R 4x4 dual-cab. The Mitsu can't ultimately match the Ford for overall performance but it's great value. So too the Mitsubishi Express GLX SWB van - a rebadged version of the Renault Trafic, it beats the original hands down for retained value, such is Mitsubishi's brand collateral.

Order your copy of Best of the Best 2021

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Mike Sinclair is one of Australia's most experienced automotive journalists. The editor-in-chief of the carsales.com Ltd group of websites, he has been writing about cars, motorcycles, boats and just about anything with an engine for more than 20 years. Mike's automotive content can be read at carsales.com.au and motoring.com.au.
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