CANNON BIG SHOT: HITS AND MISSES

The Great Wall made an unchallenged impression on the landscape of China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644); conversely, established as recently as 1984 (2009 in Australia), the titular motor manufacturer has played an impressive leading role in China becoming the largest exporter of motor vehicles in the world. With no let-up in sales of the Great Wall Motors four-door, five-seat 4×4 ute, a new range- topping variant has landed Down Under the form of the rugged Cannon-XSR. Taking the robust foundations of the GWM Ute dual cab platform, the new… Read more

SSANGYONG MUSSO ULTIMATE 4X4 DUAL CAB UTE

Well, hello. We’d almost forgotten about the other Korean – you know, SsangYong. After some financial woes, restructure and change of ownership, SsangYong is back in business selling cars, with two SUVs and a 4×4 dual cab ute to offer. Originally launched here in 2004, Musso was available as both a ute and SUV, the former called the Musso Sports, which attracted buyers with a bargain price and Mercedes- sourced turbo-diesel. These days ute and SUV have parted company, but it’s the Musso 4×4 dual cab ute that we are… Read more

UPGRADE COMING FOR TOYOTA LANDCRUISER WORKHORSE

Toyota has taken the wraps off a significantly upgraded LandCruiser 70 Series utility that will be offered with a four-cylinder turbodiesel engine mated to a six- speed automatic transmission for the first time when it arrives in Australia later this year. In addition to the new powertrain, the upgraded 70 Series brings styling changes together with increases in safety technology, comfort and convenience features, and an upgraded multimedia system. The new powertrain will be available across the range that includes four body styles and three grades, and will join the… Read more

MITSUBISHI TRITON SPORT LIMITED EDITION

The latest Mitsubishi Triton acquires some fashionable black bits. There’s been a few along the way and this probably won’t be the last. Mitsubishi has become the master of squeezing the most out of its long-serving model lines with minor upgrades and special editions. The current Triton dates back to 2015, but was facelifted in 2019, with changes to front and rear designs – and was the last version that we drove. There’s an all-new Triton on the way, due for launch later this month overseas, and that means clearing… Read more

GREAT WALL GETS THE X-FACTOR

Great Wall Motors has added a new range topper to its Cannon ute lineup. The Cannon-XSR dual cab ute adds a number of key features to boost off-road design and functionality. They include a new part-time four-wheel drive system with selectable high and low range, plus front and rear locking differentials for extreme off-road conditions. Crawl Mode and Turn Assist by Braking also make their debut and are unique to the XSR. A passive front stabiliser has been added to further enhance handling while an underbody chassis guard and unique… Read more

GLADIATOR MAKES MARK IN A CROWDED ARENA

With the enemy gathering at the gates, Fort Jeep townsfolk have sent out a Gladiator to challenge the would-be intruders. And this warrior turns out to be one of the toughest, smartest, most accomplished members of the Rubicon cohort. While the opposition, which includes the Toyota HiLux Rogue, Ford Ranger Raptor X, Nissan PRO-4X Warrior and Isuzu D-Max have all put on airs and graces, the Wrangler-based Gladiator Rubicon comes fit for any dirty arena fight. Standing alone among this mob, the Jeep dual cab utility can be stripped down… Read more

GWM CANNON CAB CHASSIS

Great Wall has expanded its range of utes with a cab-chassis version called the Cannon CC. Available in dual cab form only, CC swaps its tup for an aluminium tray that’s likely to grab the attention of tradies and farmers alike. Priced from $36,990 it comes in 4×2 and 4×4 configuration, with two grades for the 4×4 version. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbo diesel that produces 120kW of and 400Nm of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifts. Combined fuel economy is 8.4L/100km for 4×2 and… Read more

JEEP GLADIATOR RUBICON

Jeep’s Gladiator was inevitable, as sure as four doors follow two. Launched here in 2020, it’s a tough-looking, dual cab, five-seat utility with storied off- road credentials. Gladiator is a competitor for Toyota’s Hilux Rogue, Ford Ranger Raptor and other range-toppers, and comes with a sizeable price tag to match. Although tradies have an affinity for flashy 4×4 dual cab utes, oddly you don’t see many driving a Gladiator. In fact, you don’t see many of them full stop. Maybe they are more interested in the look than taking their… Read more