Opinions on Wagon vs UTE

Hi all,

Looking at an upgrade in my car which will be for day to day driving to work / family duties (wife and 2kids) and boat towing.

Will be required to tow boat of approx 2.5 tonne 

Considering getting a Ute ( never had a Ute before, only had SUV’s so far) such as ranger/hilux/bt50/dmax etc or a wagon such as Isuzu MUX/Ford Everest / Holden trailblazer etc.

The utes are generally rated to to 3.2-3.5tonne whilst the wagons listed tow 3tonne. 

Since never owned ute (had SUV’s only so far), hoping to get some advice /recommendations regarding Utes or Wagons in regards to above



choc's picture

Posts: 643

Date Joined: 05/01/12

 If it's for day to day I

Sun, 2018-10-28 03:21

 If it's for day to day I would go a wagon. I have both and the wagon is much better for the day to day for the wife and kids.

We drive alot of gravel roads and the tray of the ranger gets quite dusty. The back seats have alot more room in the wagon for the kids than the utes.

Utes are great for when you go down the beach and getting firewood but day to day I would go a wagon.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2478

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 I have a Navara ute and

Sun, 2018-10-28 05:43

 I have a Navara ute and considering we don't own a box trailer, it is great though we are considering a longer trip and will sell it to get a wagon for space reasons. With two kids seats in the back, the space is very limited.

squidvicious1's picture

Posts: 651

Date Joined: 22/07/10

The ute version of most of

Sun, 2018-10-28 06:36

The ute version of most of those you mentioned have leaf springs to carry the weight, the wagon have coil springs, more comfortable for the family. 

timboon's picture

Posts: 1917

Date Joined: 14/11/10

 Ute tray back with a quality

Sun, 2018-10-28 07:49

 Ute tray back with a quality ali canopy. 


Best money I've spent! 


Wet dog,  wet anything really. 


Rubbish,  firewood,  dirt, sheep shit, cray pots, camping gear,  Marron nets, bikes, gas bottles,  fuel jerrys etc etc...


All stuff i have no issue throwing in the canopy,  just grab the hose and give it a clean out after. 


Lockable, dust proof, water proof.


The side doors act like an awning. 


The led lights with the doors up make an awesome food prep space camping or just a general flat area well lit for anything you need to do. 


I've had mine on two utes and had for over ten years.  


I'm not sure of your day to day lifestyle but i use mine every day and can't fault it.


I look at blokes with a troopy and the tyre racks on the back and think what a pain in the ass that would be everytime u just need to get in the back quickly.  


You can get cheaper options than the over priced Boss etc here in wa now.  Anyway good luck,  hope that helps


Posts: 378

Date Joined: 19/06/14

I’m with Boony

Sun, 2018-10-28 08:02

For the last fifteen years a 75 series Ute with a flexiglass canopy on the back is my go to daily hack . You don’t have to worry about what goes in the back be it wet dogs covered in sand or windsurfing gear even worse garden waste. If it gets grotty you hose it out. It may not be comfy but if I want comfy I use my Sahara , then I’m thinking about what I’m chucking in the back ! 

What about a V8 twin cab Ute ? 

Ticks all the boxes 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Posts: 2882

Date Joined: 27/12/06


Sun, 2018-10-28 08:36

My 2 cents
sold my patrol and bought a Dmax about 4 years ago and tow a 1.5T boat with it

pros for wagon
better suspension
depending on models maybe more comfort and legroom

pros for ute
put a canopy on it and you can fit way more stuff in the back compared to a wagon
much better fuel economy
keep all the dirty stuff in the back without stink
handy for generally moving large things around day to day
can slide a chest freezer in the back

each to their own but I cant see myself ever going back to a wagon again

Paj man's picture

Posts: 355

Date Joined: 16/09/12

my 2 cents

Sun, 2018-10-28 09:09

You can spend money on either to make it more adaptable but in stock form I'd go wagon

Wagon pros; comfier, can fit longer stuff inside (like rods), economy, no exposure of rear space to elements, more interior space.

Ute pros: payload, purchase price, ability to carry mess independent form interior.


Large majority of friends and family have got utes but I haven't had a reason good enough to part with my wagon. 


aka Nick

Browndog's picture

Posts: 510

Date Joined: 10/04/12

Same Situation

Sun, 2018-10-28 11:48

Hi Joycey, I'm in a similar situation and interested to see which way you go. I've had Jeep Grand Cherokee wagons for the last 10 years which have been fantastic (only downside is having to constantly explain that they are bulletproof to all the "experts" who have never had a Jeep but are convinced that they are no good because they know a guy who knows a guy....)

I sometimes drive over a 1,000km a day for work, so must be comfortable. Towing capacity of 3.5t would be good, but not absolutely essential. I would buy another Jeep tomorrow, except it's pretty much exactly the same as what I have, and I don't want to wait until 2020 for a new model. Prado is in consideration, but I feel it's underpowered and overpriced. 200 Series GXL is pretty much a poverty pack, if you go to Sahara price range you may as well buy a Silverado/F250/Ram 2500. Ranger Raptor is a possibility, and I'll try to take one for a drive in teh coming weeks, value for money is a concern here. Looked at ute based wagons (Fortuner, Eclipse etc) but to me they seem to combine the worst of both rather than the best of each.

I've been looking for around a year now but nothing stands out to me, choices in the large 4wd wagon or comfortable ute seem pretty limited. Be keen to hear what your thoughts are as well as others on here.



timboon's picture

Posts: 1917

Date Joined: 14/11/10

 Brown you are talking a

Sun, 2018-10-28 12:25

 Brown you are talking a massive price differential here. 


For 60k you could have a new Hilux with a driver seat upgrade. 


For 120k you could have most of those others you've mentioned. 



Browndog's picture

Posts: 510

Date Joined: 10/04/12


Sun, 2018-10-28 13:39

Hi Timboon, I hear what you are saying, but no way you could give me a new Hilux. Drove 1,000km plus to site in a Ranger without issues, 5 minutes in a Hilux on site and I can't wait to get out. For me they are an uncomfortable POS, but I know they have a huge following so guess it must be just me. Interesting the site reckons they use a heap more fuel than the older ones, and they have had more than their fair share of issues. As for the price differential, yes I see what you are saying, but I'm looking for value, not price. If I thought a Sahara was good value, I'd grab one, but I just don't see that it's worth more than twice what my Jeep cost me, hence I haven't bought one. Hope this makes some sense.



Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 15172

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 personally i would go the

Sun, 2018-10-28 12:34

 personally i would go the ranger. looked at the raptor but tow rating is less than the wildtrack. and raptor at 80 k plus its a bit much. 

yeah the utes have a bit less leg room in the back but as mentioned by others the pros are the ability to carry all the stuff in the back and easy clean out. 

the ranger will be most probably our next bug purchase when my ute dies


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Dale's picture

Posts: 7635

Date Joined: 13/09/05

Sun, 2018-10-28 13:53

I Like the raptor, but gee, if your gonna ask over 80k, at least ensure it’s going to go quick, 0-100kmh in 10.5 seconds is just not gonna cut it. Biggest disappointment by far.


"Just because you are a Character, Doesn't mean you have Character."

Mr Wolf



Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 15172

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 i was looking at one in

Sun, 2018-10-28 17:25

 i was looking at one in esperance and asking just under 83k.  was talking to a friend about them and he had looked up some specs on them for another friend. tow rating was less than the wildtrack. buy the basic one and get an upgrade kit for around 14k and you would have much the same as the raptor but better towing and less coin.


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Paj man's picture

Posts: 355

Date Joined: 16/09/12

In betweens

Sun, 2018-10-28 12:36

There are a couple inbetweens missed too; Pajero and Y62 patrols are both pretty adequate tow vehicles. 


Can get a top of the tree Pajero for ~$65k and a y62 for ~$80k.



aka Nick

Browndog's picture

Posts: 510

Date Joined: 10/04/12


Sun, 2018-10-28 13:45

Hi Paj man, yes I considered Pajero but I don't see it gives me anything more than the current Jeep, and it's basically a 12 year old car that's had a few updates. One of the boys at work had one and I can't say I was impressed. Patrol is petrol V8 only yeah? Been down that road, and while it was an enjoyable drive, I just can't justify having to spend the extra on fuel.

Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread Joycey!



Posts: 225

Date Joined: 28/05/11

No probs, good to get

Sun, 2018-10-28 14:51

No probs, good to get everyone’s opinions  

Paj man's picture

Posts: 355

Date Joined: 16/09/12


Mon, 2018-10-29 06:35

Wasn't directed at you mate - just in general.

Nothing wrong with 'old technology', the 1HD-fte would be just as popular today if toyota had kept it. From all account the y62's are not as heavy drinkers as they're made out to be - you can spend what you save on insurance/maintenance/rego on the extra fuel :)


aka Nick

timboon's picture

Posts: 1917

Date Joined: 14/11/10

 Its good to hear your feed

Sun, 2018-10-28 13:54

 Its good to hear your feed back on the Hiluxs, I'm a Hilux owner but not the latest model. 

I'm a fan as the two I've owned have been awesome for me. 

I totally agree re value vs price.

I can't understand why landcruisers are priced so high.  

I don't get why Toyota would sell something for 80k and not put a clock in it.  

Yeah yeah i know its so you'll buy the next model but fuck me surely if you spend 80k they'll throw in a $2 clock. 

I've only heard good things about Jeeps,  a Cheroke dual cab with my ali canopy on the back would be a winner. 

Posts: 225

Date Joined: 28/05/11

Cheers for advice guysPros

Sun, 2018-10-28 15:14

Cheers for advice guys

Pros and cons for both it seems

i think Ute with canopy may be the best overall option 

Posts: 788

Date Joined: 05/12/09

I just picked up a Nissan

Sun, 2018-10-28 15:17

I just picked up a Nissan Pathfinder Ti 550 2012 model.

very nice to drive, 3.0L 6cyl diesel, 3.5T towing for the caravan or boat

went this one as it has a shit load more room than Colorado wagon, more toys inside to play with, kids love it,

it’s a 7 seater but middle row and rear row all fold flat for heaps of gear when needed.

heaps of grunt!! (Wonder if it’s been tuned?) 

was set on a Colorado or Isuzu wagon but after driving them, found to be lacking in power. Although I had just come from a 

VF SS 6.2L v8 so was hard to please in that front.

The guys from over east that build Killerado’s will be here in Perth February doing orders converting Colorado’s and dropping in the 6.2L v8’s from the commodores! Absolute weapons

timboon's picture

Posts: 1917

Date Joined: 14/11/10

 Joycey, In my opinion lots

Sun, 2018-10-28 18:33



In my opinion lots of people get suckered into getting a tray then a canopy with jacking/lifting ability so u can get it off when needed. 


Mine never comes off.


I have access to a mates trailer for the very rare time its easier for whatever reason.  


My advice would be if you get a well body ute,  sell the well body on gumtree etc and get a canopy that has a floor.  


Lots of extras you can add,  long range tank, water tank,  tool boxes etc etc....

7739ian's picture

Posts: 951

Date Joined: 25/06/08

Ranger Xtracab

Sun, 2018-10-28 23:57

 Unfortunately I had to sell my PJ Ranger Xtracab Ute. These are bulletproof compared to later models if a little basic in comparison. If your kids are 10 or under they are fine - unless you have more than 2. My lotto car is a PJ - PK with an extended tray and canopy.

Spence's picture

Posts: 296

Date Joined: 09/08/10

If you have to ask this

Mon, 2018-10-29 06:46

If you have to ask this question, you need a wagon and not a ute. Most vehicles these days are 2.5T+. Look at engine specs, vehicle comfort etc., not towing capacity. 

The towing capacity is a load of #$#@ anyways. 3.5t towing, but couldn't pull the skin off a custard.