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What’s The Better Tradie Ute: Toyota HiLux Or Ford Ranger?

Thanks to their recognisable design, host of features and range of models, utes have become synonymous with the tradie lifestyle across Australia. In particular, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger have grown to be two of the most popular utes in the industry over the past few years. As each model has continued to evolve, their dominance has only increased. Of course, buying a ute outright from either range can make a significant dent in your budget.

Fortunately, with the help of ute rental companies such as TradieSpec, you’ll be able to find a reliable alternative with all the necessities for your trade work. Having a fully equipped ute can also go a long way in minimising work disruptions during situations such as the mechanical failure of your old vehicle.


When comparing the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, it’s clear that each offers several features to help get your trade business on the road. However, to properly form an opinion on which ute is best for the tradie, we need a better look at where each excels.



Toyota HiLux: Aesthetics is not the focus of the HiLux chassis –

  • It is a simple-looking ute with an industrial body and frame.
  • The Workmate model, especially, has standard white paint and glossy black plastics on the front grille and bumper.
  • The cab interior is filled with several hard plastic surfaces and a traditional dashboard that features a touchscreen display for connectivity to mobile devices.
  • Bucket seats come in fabric as a standard across all models, adding a touch of comfort to the space.

It is this relatively unchanged design that helped the ute associate itself with the Australian tradie lifestyle. The well-established design of the Toyota HiLux also makes it a safe choice for tradies in search of a rental ute.

toyota hilux inside
Single Cab Toyota HiLux Workmate

Ford Ranger: The Ford Ranger chassis offers a better aesthetic appeal with a blocky design reminiscent of pick-up trucks –

  • The front of the ute is wide and linear, strengthening its box-like nature and giving it a more defined look.
  • Black components also feature across the body, mirrors, door handles and more.
  • Inside the ute are a modern dashboard, touchscreen display and LCD screens on the instrument panel.
  • The seating, like the Workmate, is made from a cloth material. However, the standard 6-way adjustment gives an added layer of comfort and space that is not present in every HiLux.

As a ute, the Ranger is the perfect fit to act as a mobile office and the face of your tradie business.

ford ranger inside
Dual Cab Ford Ranger XL



Toyota HiLux: The Toyota HiLux Workmate chassis has all the essentials for a tradie working daily –

  • Front cupholders and bottle holders come standard with all ute models. These holders are situated in the dash, making them perfect for storing water bottles, food and more.
  • Extra space is available through the large glove box, door pockets and a deep centre console box.
  • The 4×2 HiLux grades have a towing capacity that ranges from 2500-2800kg with trailer brakes.
  • On the other hand, the 4×4 grades have a greater towing capacity with a standard 3500kg.

Ford Ranger: The Ford Ranger has similar specifications to the HiLux range, with some slight additions to differentiate it –

  • Front cupholders are present in the centre console. Like the Workmate, this also offers extra storage space around the inside of the cab.
  • However, the Ford Ranger continues to have a more seamless media experience with its Sync 3 system and screen. The knobs are easy to turn and use, especially while driving on rough terrain.
  • Furthermore, the maximum towing capacity is 3500kg across most models. The single exception is the 4×2 Single Cab Chassis Low Rider with a maximum capacity of 2500kg.

Tradie Ute Rental Tip: Regardless of which model suits you, TradieSpec provides utes for rent with all the additional specifications that a tradie needs, including lockable toolboxes, ladder racks and tow bars.



Toyota HiLux: The popular HiLux Workmate is commonly found with a 2.7L petrol engine –

2.7L Petrol Engine 

  • Power: 122kW at 5200rpm
  • Torque: 245Nm at 4000rpm

Ford Ranger: The diesel engine is where this ute shines. These models can come in 2.0L, 2.2L and 3.2L engines –

2.0L Diesel Engine 

  • Power: 157kW at 3750rpm
  • Torque: 500Nm at 1750-2000rpm

2.2L Diesel Engine 

  • Power: 118kW at 3200rpm
  • Torque: 385Nm at 1600-2500rpm

3.2 Diesel Engine 

  • Power: 147kW at 3000rpm
  • Torque: 470Nm at 1750-2500rpm

Tradie Ute Rental Tip: TradieSpec HiLuxes come in petrol engines while our Ford Rangers are available with diesel engines. If you are searching for a tradie ute for hire with high performance, the Ford Ranger slightly edges out the HiLux in terms of efficiency.



The difference in engine performance also extends to fuel consumption. The most efficient Workmate Chassis manages only 7.4L/100km on paper, while equivalent Rangers can use 6.7L/100km combined.



Toyota HiLux: The HiLux performs admirably both on the road and off-road. However, its main strength lies in its rough terrain capabilities. The driver’s seat offers good visibility with an adjustable steering wheel. Furthermore, the firm steering produces good feedback for lower-speed environments. The design result is less overall comfort when driving with an unloaded tray. As you have likely experienced at least once in your career, slight juddering can occur during longer journeys in any ute. However, this becomes less of a problem once the tray is fully loaded up. For a workhorse ute, the HiLux has come a long way.

Ford Ranger: The Ford Ranger design focuses on effortless driving on and off the road. Acceleration is smooth with a quick throttle response. The steering is also accurate and responsive, making turning and parking easy. The suspension also ensures that the ride is smooth even at higher speeds. Adjustable seating also makes longer journeys easier for the driver.



When comparing the specs for both the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, the latter slightly performs better overall. This may come as a bit of a shock. After all, the Toyota HiLux has been the staple Australian tradie ute for the past few decades. The image of the Workmate has been that of a reliable workhorse that can operate in any rough conditions.

However, despite being a relatively recent entry to the market, the Ford Ranger is a ute that offers several new convenience features and better driveability. This becomes clear in city conditions, where the Ranger operates just as well as any other vehicle on the road. Therefore, as each model has continued to evolve, it’s apparent that the Ford model of utes outclasses the HiLux in terms of being a vehicle best suited for tradies.

If you require a ute that comes fully equipped for your tradie profession, contact the professionals at TradieSpec today. We offer reliable ute rental services in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane: Single-cab HiLuxes and dual-cab Ford Rangers are available to help you get your tradie business on the road.


At Tradiespec, our mission is to help tradies across Australia with insights and advice to drive your business forward. Whether it’s tips on vehicle selection, how to manage your fleet or insurance information, we’ve got you covered.

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