OzRoamer 2022 Premium 4WD Dual Cab Ute over $65,000 COTY Award

The upmarket surge of 4WD Utes is just beginning really and a premium segment has emerged. This year for the first time we acknowledge this market trend and look at Utes above $65,000.

OzRoamer 2022 PREMIUM 4WD UTE COTY Award

Contenders come from a wide range of design philosophies and pricing. They include the Amarok V6Mazda BT-50 Thunder, Jeep Gladiator, RAM 1500Toyota HiLux Rugged X and Rogue, VW Amarok W580 W and Alpine variants and Ford Ranger Raptor. 

Both the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok are due for replacement very soon.

Pricing ranges from the $65,000 through to $100,000 plus for some of the RAM 1500 or Chev Silverado, the big American Pick-Up style truck Utes.

Our final three nominees are:

  • Mazda BT-50 Thunder
  • Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior
  • Jeep Gladiator

Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior driving dirt road

Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior – Winner

The Pro 4X Warrior is a locally modified Navara Pro 4X by Premcar in Melbourne.

Pro 4X Warrior has the go to match the show.

That legacy began with the Navara N-TREK Warrior in 2019.

The aim is to prepare a Ute that improves on the Warrior formula in every key area, from safety to technology, capability to payload.

Warriors integrated design is primarily aimed at providing greatly improved all terrain performance while also enhancing on road ride and handling. Normally those two things are almost mutually exclusive.


Navara Warrior General Thoughts

The Warrior start with the Nissan Navara Pro 4X as a base, so that means it’s a good base.

I must point out though for some inexplicable reason Nissan HO doesn’t have the leather and heated seat option pack available for the PRO 4X, thus not available on the Warrior.

The new Warrior includes the Navara’s 7.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist instrument cluster display, along with a high-contrast 8.0-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity. The automatic transmission includes Navara’s Drive Mode Selector, with Sport, Off-Road, Tow and Normal modes.

Safety systems include Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Blind Spot Warning, Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention and an Intelligent Around View Monitor, including an Off-Road Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The Warrior is also equipped with the Navara’s tested and torque-rich 2.3-litre common-rail four-cylinder twin-turbo-diesel, producing 140kW and 450Nm from as low as 1500rpm. Towing capacity is rated at 3.5 tonnes braked.

Starting at just $67,490 MLP* for a manual-equipped variant, and $69,990 MLP* for the automatic-equipped variant, the PRO-4X Warrior by Premcar pairs the safety, technology and comfort enhancements already found in the Navara PRO-4X with a host of engineering upgrades designed specifically for Australia’s unique and rugged landscape.

The result is a vehicle engineered for Australian conditions, whether on the road or off it, and a dual-cab Ute designed from the outset to be the toughest Navara in the world.

Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior front underneath 2

Warrior Specific Details

Pro 4X Warrior’s completely integrated feel improves both on road dynamics and 4wd capability

Key enhancements include:

  • A new Nissan Genuine winch-compatible, Safari-style bulbar and integrated light bar
  • A new Warrior-specific towbar
  • A new ‘Navara’ branded red bash plate and a 3mm steel second-stage under body protection plate
  • 275 / 70 / R17 Cooper Discoverer All Terrain AT3 tyres with increased tread depth, and an off-road focused tread pattern
  • A 100kg GVM upgrade; now 3,250kg
  • A 961kg2 payload for vehicles equipped with a manual transmission (952kg2 automatic)
  • Increased ground clearance, from 220m to 260mm
  • Wider track, from 1,570mm to 1,600mm

Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior front underneath

  • Improved approach angle, from 32 degrees to 36 degrees, and near-identical departure angle, from 19.8 degrees to 19 degrees
  • Revised suspension with new spring rates for more front-end support and less body roll
  • Revised front and rear damping for better compliance, improved isolation from impacts and reduced float when towing or carrying a load
  • New larger, taller jounce bumper for better control of wheel movement at maximum suspension travel, and reduced transmission of large impacts into cabin
  • New Warrior-specific fender flares
  • New Warrior decal pack
  • New Warrior headrest embroidery
  • Full-sized spare tyre with alloy wheel

The Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior by Premcar owners will be afforded complete peace of mind thanks to a comprehensive five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty covering all Nissan and Premcar parts.

Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior wheel articulation

Pro 4X Warrior Final Thoughts

The Warrior isn’t simply another Ute that has had extras added, it is a fully integrated off road ‘Warrior’.

On heavy duty 4WD tracks the Pro 4X Warrior remained composed at all times.

I know on test some of the track driven other Utes would be bouncing and swaying where the Warrior simply remained composed and went about its business.


What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Good Touring vehicle
  • 952 kg Pay load
  • Predicable and competent off road
  • Would love 150kW/500Nm
  • A few comfort features not available
  • Typical room in the back is for younger people



2021 Nissan Pro-4X Warrior

Model Price$69,990 (auto), $67,490 (Manual) MLP*
Engine2.3L 4 Cyl Twin Turbo diesel
DrivetrainDual Range 4×4 7 speed Auto
Power140kW @ 3,750rpm
Torque450Nm @ 1500-2600rpm
Safety5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions213 g/km
Economy ADR/ Capacity8.1L/100km / 9.2L/100K on test / 76L
0-100kmh/Top SpeedN/A
Servicing12 Mths / 15,000km
Warranty5yr/ Unlimited km with 5 Yr. conditional roadside assist

Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior driving

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel9
Ride and Handling9
Fit for Purpose9
Towing / AWD Ability10 – Towing 5/5 – AWD 5/5
Technology / Connectivity9
Value for Money10

*Towing and AWD Capability is compared to other similar vehicles in the same class.

Nissan Navara Pro 4X Warrior driving mud

Warrior Dimensions

Overall Length5350mm
Width / Height1920mm / 1895mm
Unladen ground clearance / wading depthUp to 260mm / 600 mm
Approach / Rampover / Departure angles36 / 26.2 / 19.8 degrees
Fuel Tank  / Turning Circle80 Litres / 12.5mts KTK
Kerb Weight / Payload / GVM / GCM2298kg / 952kg / 3259kg / 5910KG
Towing Capacity / Tow Ball rating3500kg / 350kg

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon – Finalist

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon – Jeep launched the Gladiator two years ago and it’s certainly created interest in the top end of the 4WD Ute segment.

We drove the Gladiator Rubicon this week, which showcases peak 4WD capability with excellent approach and departure angles, front and rear diff locks, front sway bars disconnect, Rock Trac Active on demand 4WD system and 4:1 transfer case ratio as well as up to 249mm of ground clearance.

In the world of serious 4WD Utes it’s amongst the best.

Rubicon is powered by a 3.6L V6 petrol engine producing 209kW and 347Nm. It runs an 8sp AT transmission with manual mode. It can be thirsty, especially around town, but on our test we averaged almost spot on the ADR figure of 12.4L/100K

It’s designed for serious 4WD capability with a practical and large tray, but is slightly behind the market in payload and towing capacity.

Inside the Rubicon, with the optional luxury pack, treats occupants to a comfortable ride.

It also happens to be one of the coolest Ute around.

Priced from $79,250 MLP*

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon interior

What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Very cool styling
  • Outstanding 4WD capability
  • Excellent Value for money
  • Limited Payload
  • Limited towing capacity
  • Turning circle in urban setting

Mazda BT-50 Thunder

Mazda BT-50 Thunder – Finalist

Exclusive to the Australian market, the Brand-New Mazda BT-50 Thunder has an aggressive appearance and quality parts developed by Mazda Australia’s in-house engineering team.

The Brand-New Mazda BT-50 Thunder’s standard specification is based on the highly-specified BT-50 GT Dual Cab 4 x 4, meaning that it already offers impressive safety, connectivity and capability, whether on-road or off the beaten track.

Thunder additions include: a bold front-end treatment that includes a single hoop steel bull bar and a Lightforce dual-row LED lightbar, 18-inch black alloy wheels, wide fender flares and side steps.

Moving to the rear reveals a premium sports bar and an advanced electric roller tonneau, which securely covers a tub liner for additional tray protection.

Pulling the visual together is a set of ‘Thunder’ decals applied to the tub sides.

Powering the Brand-New Mazda BT-50 Thunder is the turbocharged 3.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine found in the wider BT-50 range. This unit generates 140kW peak power along with 450Nm torque, the latter provided from 1,600 to 2,600rpm for exceptional pulling power.

A dual-range 4 x 4 system is fitted as standard, with switchable locking rear differential for further improved traction.

Pricing is from $67,990 MLP* for the MT version and $70,990 MLP* for the AT version.

Mazda BT-50 Thunder interior

What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Lots of bling
  • Outstanding 4WD /towing capability
  • Safety Technology
  • Sports bar and Tonneau restrict accessibility
  • Getting expensive
  • No snorkel or AT tyres

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)