If you make just one thing, you want to be pretty damn good at it. So it is with Isuzu who, until recently, made not just one style of vehicle, but one vehicle: the D-MAX ute. Sure, it’s named like a 1980s wrestler, but that’s all forgiven for the singleminded way it goes about its business. A bulletproof diesel engine, a no-nonsense cabin and a willingness to cart just about anything you can toss in its tray makes it a perennial favourite at worksites across the country. It can tow, it can take you off-road and, most importantly, will be ready and waiting to take you home again. There are faster and flashier utilities, but there’s none that is so perfectly fit for purpose as Isuzu’s run-forever D-MAX. Like the blokes who buy them, the D-MAX is unpretentious and dependable – everything a real ute should be.
Money no object: Ram Laramie 3500
In the US, this would be just another pick-up, but in Australia this $146,500 monster dominates whatever road it’s powering along. Imported in left-hand-drive before being converted by Holden engineers, the 3500 can carry a hefty 1.7 tonnes.