April 22, 2011

Ute torque hall of fame

There’s been a torque war going on among Japanese diesel utes and as of the end of September, Nissan’s Navara ST-X has been deposed after a long run as the champ, with 450Nm. The new leader is Ford's Ranger, with 470Nm between 1500rpm and 2750rpm, from its five cylinder turbodiesel. The Mazda BT-50 will almost certainly have the same. And then, it'll swing back to Nissan next year when the 550Nm Navara becomes available. What I'm wondering, though, is how much torque you really need in a one-tonne ute? The last Hilux I drove seemed perfectly adequate, both on- and off-road and even when well loaded. Figures below are for automatic-transmission versions; some of the manuals have a bit more.
Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50
450 Nissan Navara ST-X
440 Holden Colorado/Isuzu D-Max (2012 models)
407 Mitsubishi Triton
400 VW Amarok (yes, 4wdNewz knows it's not Japanese)
360 SsangYong Actyon (yup, once more 4wdNewz knows it's not Japanese)
343 Toyota Hilux
333 Holden Colorado/Isuzu D-Max (outgoing models)

By the way, if you want to bury your head in the theory of torque, check out the all-knowing Wikipedia.

And here's the cat Nissan NZ isn't (yet) letting lose among the local pigeons – a 550Nm version of the Navara ST-X, introduced at the 2010 motor show in Sydney.


  1. The question is how much the current models can handle. At the moment that's around 300Nm - the chassis on a ute simply isn't designed for and cannot accommodate mega-torque or mega-power. The one exception is the Triton, provided it is driven in AWD mode. All 4WD utes need to be AWD.

  2. Good point about all utes needing to have full-time 4WD. Whether or not Japanese ute chassis can handle more than 300Nm, my experience has been that around 300 is all you really need, even loaded. Much more is often more about giving the marketing department something to brag about than actual need!