Utes on a 30k budget? Here's 10 of NZ's best workhorse bargains
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It makes sense why utes are such popular things in New Zealand. We're a nation of go-getters and weekend adventurers, towing boats and jet-skis and trailers loaded to the brim with trash for the landfill.
For those who aren't looking to buy new, there's also a well supported second-hand space packed with all sorts of decent, low-kilometre utes available for barely more than the price of a new Toyota Corolla.
Here's 10 of the best, as currently listed on Driven.
For many shopping for a ute in this price bracket, the Mitsubishi Triton will be the default choice. This is particularly true at the moment, with some of the manufacturer's last generation models still being run out the door.
Thos models include this silver number, which is essentially a brand new ute with its 1000km on the clock and $29,990 price-tag. It's still based on the same platform as the new Triton, and features the same 2.4-litre engine, plus a similar cabin and infotainment interface.
The notion of buying a European ute would've seemed farcical a decade or two ago. But not only is it now possible, but also surprisingly logical.
The Volkswagen Amarok hasn't had many changes since it first hit the market in 2010. That can sometimes be a sign of complacency, but it can also indicate an 'if it ain't broke' attitude. And there's not much broken with the Amarok.
Those interested in the Amarok should expect an interior with superior materials and build quality compared to that in most other utes. Models fitted with the high-power V6 engine aren't yet available in this price window, so if you're wanting one you'll have to settle for an economical 2.2-litre TDI.
This particular example comes in grey (always better than straight silver), has a high but not unreasonable 124,000km on the odometer, and the added bonus of a canopy on the back. Click here to check it out.
This may be the best deal of the 10 — a 4WD 4-year-old Navara, with under 50,000km, priced at just $31,990.
Like the Triton, new 2WD Navaras can be purchased perilously close to $30,000 if you shop around. But why do that when you can snap up 4WD examples like this staunch current-shape Auckland example for almost the same coin?
The Navara's coil-sprung rear end makes it one of the kindest utes to drive on everyday roads, while the twin-turbo 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel does a solid job of balancing economy and power on demand. Click here to check it out.
The Triton isn't the only new ute option you can grab at this price.
Those with an ... err ... sense of adventure about them could consider the Great Wall Steed. This particular example is a Midnight Black Edition model, which adds black 20in Avanti wheels, a black sports bar, running boards, and more. Its got 25 delivery kilometres on the clock, and is listed in Auckland. Click here to check it out.
The Steed is known as a sturdy workhorse, but it's worth remembering that it's still only rated as a 2-star vehicle by ANCAP. Food for thought.
For a ute that we've said on numerous occasions is underrated in New Zealand, it can be quite a challenge to find a 4WD Isuzu D-Max for less than $30,000.
The old-school Japanese pick-up is known for its hardy bulletproof 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four, combined with decent equipment levels. This LX model comes with cruise control and Bluetooth, as well as a near-new set of Bridgestone Dueler mud tyres.
Although perhaps a bigger bonus is the 54,000km odometer count. Click here to check it out.
The Holden Colorado has a few big things going for it. It looks smart, comes well equipped, and can sometimes be particularly good buying on the second-hand market when compared like-for-like with equivalent models from the competition.
The Colorado's biggest trick, however, is its engine. Newer models like this Marlborough-based 2015 example come with a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine that produces a segment-best 500Nm of torque. Newton metres in the pocket are handy at the best of times, but grow in importance when it comes to towing.
This example is an upper-spec 4x4 LTZ, outstripped only by the range-topping Z71. Smart black wheels and an auto box compliment a reverse camera, alloys, and a miniscule 64,490km indicated. Click here to check it out.
The SsangYong Rhino was one of our surprise favourites of 2019, with impressive driving dynamics, features, and refinement among its major scalps. It's also sharply priced, with pricing starting a touch under $30,000 for brand new models.
This honest-to-goodness white-and-steelies model is listed in Otago for $29,888, and is brand new with just 10 delivery kilometres. Apart from its much newer architecture, what also makes the Rhino stand out is the availablility of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. This is the engine that features here, paired with a 6-speed manual.
Click here to check it out.
The Ranger has sat on top of New Zealand's registration data for quite some time now, and for good reason. It cuts a well-balanced line between car-like driving feel behind the wheel and solid off-road and towing capabilities. Such is the success of Rangers locally that they defy many other Ford models in retaining healthy resale value.
With 30k in your pocket, your best bet is either a pre-facelift 4WD XLT or Wildtrak (the latter comes with swanky seats, extra branding, nicer wheels and more), a two-wheel drive current XLT, or if you shop around something like this 4WD XL Supercab listed in Auckland.
It looks tough, has reasonable kilometres (111,735km), and most importantly of all sends its power to all four wheels. Click here to check it out.
It might be priced a little out of budget at $35,990, but this Toyota Hilux SR still represents excellent value.
For one, it's barely been run in as a 2-year-old vehicle with just 41,484km on the clock. It also comes decorated with plenty of neat extra kit, including a TRD hard lif, TRD grille, LED light bar, nudge bar, and black wheels. Click here to check it out.
When looking at Hilux models as new as this one, it's worth inquiring about whether it's had its diesel particulate filter replaced as part of last year's reports of faulty filters being fitted to some models.
Boom! How's this for a wildcard?
With Aussie-made muscle machines now well and truly a distant memory, it's a great time to hop on the wagon and grab one before they start to appreciate in value. This is particularly true for anything with a V8 engine, like this $30,888 2012 VE Series II SS fitted with a 6.0-litre V8 and — brace yourselves — a 6-speed manual.
Listed in Tauranga, this ute comes in a rare colour, and is equipped with HSV wheels and a sports exhaust. Its mileage is relatively sensible too, with just 108,200km indicated on the odometer. Click here to check it out.
When looking for an Aussie ute or sedan of this vintage, it always pays to make sure of its write-off status. While this model is a clean import with no recorded damage history, plenty of Aussie insurance write-offs cross the ditch to get repaired and resold. This can either spring a nasty surprise on the buyer down the line or, conversely, provide a nice way to save a few dollars (particularly with hail-damage vehicles).