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4x4 ute mega test
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Welcome to the 2018 Ute Megatest. Here we have all of the popular 4x4 dual-cabs to put through their paces on road – with and without a 900kg total payload – and off road.

Bauer Media’s Transport and Machinery titles, in conjunction with Australia’s leading 4WD magazine, 4x4 Australia, and Australia’s leading car magazine, Wheels, has gathered together all of the popular utes for a week-long knockout to find out just what is Australia’s best ute overall.

The on-road tests involved unladed ride and handling evaluation as well as performance and fuel-consumption tests. The payload test involved a total payload of 900kg, made up of 650kg in the tub, driver, two passengers (and towbars/bullbars where fitted) – so, close to max payload for the utes, especially those with the lower payload ratings with all the utes driven over a bumpy road course with plenty of corners and hills.

The off-road tests involved set-piece hill climbs, obstacle negotiation and water fording.

2018 mega ute shootout contenders
2018 mega ute shootout judges
2018 mega ute shootout judgeing criteria
2018 mega ute shootout judgeing results

4x4 ute mega test judges


No fewer than seven judges, some with many decades of vehicle-testing experience, will conduct and oversee the tests.

Our judges include Cobey Bartels from Owner Driver, Fraser Stronach, Matt Raudonikis and Justin Walker from 4x4 Australia and Ash Westerman, Byron Mathioudakis and Daniel Gardner from Wheels.

4x4 ute mega test judging criteria


Over a gruelling five days at the Melbourne 4×4 Training and Proving Ground at Werribee near Melbourne, all of the utes will undergo a series of test to determine the winner. The tests include:

  • Carrying a maximum payload over a bumpy and demanding road course
  • Carrying five people over a different but still demanding road course
  • Ride and handling evaluation on a third road course with plenty of corners and bumps
  • Off-road testing on steep and rough climbs, moguls, steep ramps, and through deep-water crossings
  • Electronically measured acceleration and braking tests in a controlled environment
  • Fuel consumption tests via accurate and independent measurement.

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