30 March 2017 by CJ Hubbard, Vans Editor

  • Fiat Fullback in the Parkers Vans pickup group test
  • Ford Ranger in the Parkers Vans pickup group test
  • Isuzu D-Max in the Parkers Vans pickup group test
  • Mitsubishi L200 in the Parkers Vans pickup group test
  • Nissan NP300 Navara in the Parkers Vans pickup group test
  • Toyota Hilux in the Parkers Vans pickup group test
  • VW Amarok V6 in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

Back << Introduction to the Parkers Vans pickup group test 

The contenders: strengths and weaknesses

Now for some more details on each of the pickups taking part in our mega test. Click the model name to jump straight to details of that particular truck:

Keep reading to find out more.

Mitsubishi L200 Warrior automatic

Mitsubishi L200 in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

Mitsubishi’s L200 is now in its fifth generation. Tested in mid-ranking Warrior specification, but with the optional five-speed automatic gearbox rather than the standard six-speed manual transmission, it majors on value, with the lowest asking price of anything on test and one of the longest standard equipment lists.

The L200 is not the most comfortable, nor the most stylish inside, but the 181hp/430Nm 2.4-litre engine is smooth and refined, and the chassis is grippy and well-controlled. The relatively compact dimensions are good for manoeuvrability, but mean this is the joint least-practical in most respects.

Strengths:

  • Refined engine with smooth, powerful torque
  • Extremely good value for money, lots of standard kit
  • Automatic gearbox nicer to use than notchy manual

Weaknesses:

  • Joint smallest load area and towing capacity on test
  • Shuddery ride quality, especially when unloaded
  • Very plain interior, lacks quality feel of some rivals

Read a full UK road test of the Mitsubishi L200 Warrior by clicking here

Find a deal to buy or lease a Mitsubishi L200 on Parkers Vans

Get an insurance quote for the Mitsubishi L200 via mustard.co.uk

Fiat Fullback LX

Fiat Fullback in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

The Fiat Fullback is a rebranded, restyled version of the Mitsubishi L200. LX specification is top of the range, but only until the even more heavily lifestyled Fullback Cross variant arrives later in 2017.

Its strengths and weaknesses are therefore, unsurprisingly, similar to the L200s – except that you don’t get as much standard equipment and Fiat’s infotainment system is even more fiddly to use (which is, quite frankly, saying something). Perhaps one to consider if you know your local Fiat Professional dealer will do you a good deal.

Strengths:

  • Same quiet yet responsive 181hp engine as the L200
  • Attractively restyled to fit the Fiat brand
  • Spacious inside (as per the L200)

Weaknesses:

  • Less successful steering and suspension tuning
  • Not as well equipped as the L200 Warrior
  • Infotainment system is less easy to use

Read a full UK road test of the Fiat Fullback LX by clicking here

Find a deal to buy or lease a Fiat Fullback on Parkers Vans

Get an insurance quote on a Fiat Fullback via mustard.co.uk

Ford Ranger Limited 2.2 TDCI

Ford Ranger in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

The Ranger is the UK’s best-selling pickup truck. It combines a distinctive, macho exterior – reminiscent of the hugely popular Ford F-150 in the USA – with keen pricing, an extensive options list, big dealer network and practicality that is competitive in all areas.

However, the ride is fidgety, the interior puts style before function and quality, and the 160hp four-cylinder 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine is a dirgy, unwilling companion at times, with less torque (385Nm) than anything else on test. No wonder 60% of Ranger buyers opt for the 3.2-litre five-cylinder motor with 200hp / 470Nm.

Strengths:

  • Distinctive – if aggressive – exterior looks
  • Strong value for money, large options list
  • Large load area, payload and towing capacity

Weaknesses:

  • Fidgety ride comfort at low speeds
  • Coarse four-cylinder engine, notchy manual gearbox
  • Interior could be better quality and easier to use

Read a full UK road test of the Ford Ranger Limited 2.2 by clicking here

Find a deal to buy or lease a Ford Ranger on Parkers Vans

Get an insurance quote for a Ford Ranger via mustard.co.uk

Toyota Hilux Invincible automatic

Toyota Hilux in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

The Toyota Hilux is renowned the world over for being tough and dependable. Now in its eight generation, it’s also got a whole host of safety equipment on board and an interior that’s more like Toyota’s latest hybrid passenger cars than a conventional working vehicle. Your passengers will have few complaints about their surroundings here.

They may be less impressed by the constantly trembling ride quality, however, and also question why a vehicle only introduced in 2016 is so slow. Engine choice is down to a single 2.4-litre motor, which offers a useful 400Nm of torque but a mere 150hp – the lowest on test.

Strengths:

  • 3.5-tonne towing and highest payload capacity on test
  • Very luxurious interior feel, good refinement at speed
  • Lots of safety equipment, strong reliability reputation

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks more powerful engine option
  • Feels very slow – from the acceleration to the steering
  • Needs weight in the back to calm down the ride

Read a full UK road test of the Toyota Hilux Invincible by clicking here

Find a deal to buy or lease a Toyota Hilux on Parkers Vans

Get an insurance quote on a Toyota Hilux via mustard.co.uk

Isuzu D-Max Blade automatic

Isuzu D-Max in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

Isuzu builds tough working trucks, noted for their towing prowess – but it’s still the D-Max lifestyle range that outsells its basic utility offerings, proving that even those who need a pickup for serious duties still like the little extras that make life more comfortable.

But this D-Max Blade is one of the most expensive trucks on test – can Isuzu really compete at this range-topping level? The 2.5-litre twin-turbo engine is undoubtedly strong, but it’s noisy, too, and the five-speed automatic transmission is feels out-classed in this company. The D-Max has plenty of character, but the new 1.9-litre engine with optional six-speed auto can’t come soon enough.

Strengths:

  • Lightweight build, yet powerful 163hp / 400Nm engine
  • 3.5-tonne towing capacity with high trailer nose weight
  • Surprisingly nimble handling makes it easy to drive

Weaknesses:

  • Noisy at all speeds, slow-witted five-speed auto
  • Interior is commendably simple but feels cheap
  • Blade model is pricey, worst fuel economy on test

Read a full UK road test of the Isuzu D-Max Blade by clicking here

Find a deal to buy or lease a Isuzu D-Max on Parkers Vans

Get an insurance quote for an Isuzu D-Max via mustard.co.uk

Nissan NP300 Navara Tekna automatic

Nissan NP300 Navara in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

As you’d hope for the second-most expensive pickup on test, the NP300 Navara also has the second-most powerful engine. The range-topping Tekna’s 2.3-litre twin-turbo produces 190hp and 450Nm of torque, and combines well with the Navara’s unusually sophisticated multilink rear suspension.

The interior’s very SUV-like too. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the disappointingly low 1,047kg payload, which only feeds fears that abandoning old fashioned leaf springs is bad news for heavy duty operations. Still, at least there’s no sign of this particular Navara snapping in half (good news for the forthcoming Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz X-Class).

Strengths:

  • Powerful engine and car-like driving experience
  • Claims over 40mpg, helped by seven-speed auto
  • Decent comfort levels, smart if slightly bland interior

Weaknesses:

  • Payload is second lowest on test…
  • …which does little to allay fears over durability
  • Poor driving position

Read a full road test of the Nissan NP300 Navara Tekna auto by clicking here

Find a deal to buy or lease a Nissan Navara on Parkers Vans

Get an insurance quote on a Nissan Navara via mustard.co.uk

Volkswagen Amarok Aventura V6 automatic

VW Amarok V6 in the Parkers Vans pickup group test

VW clearly knows where its bread is buttered when it comes to the Amarok. Having ditched the old 2.0-litre late last year for a new 3.0-litre V6 engine, it’s utterly bucking the downsizing trend in order to deliver what it hopes is the most premium pickup experience available. Certainly it’s the most powerful, with this range-topping Aventura special edition boasting 224hp and a massive 550Nm.

Performance is exceptional – and smoothly refined with it. The interior quality is a step-up from before as well, if perhaps still not on a par with VW’s passenger vehicles, while payload, towing and load space are all first class. You’ll pay for this privilege, though: including VAT this Amarok is £40k.

Strengths:

  • Hugely powerful and appealing 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel
  • Impressively comfortable for a truck with leaf springs
  • Large load area with 1,115kg payload rating

Weaknesses:

  • Soft and not as incisive to drive as some rivals
  • For the price you might expect more standard kit
  • Limited ground clearance, thirsty for fuel

Read a full UK road test of the VW Amarok V6 Aventura by clicking here

Find a deal to buy or lease a VW Amarok on Parkers Vans

Get an insurance quote on a VW Amarok via mustard.co.uk


Next >> Which pickup is best for what YOU want to use it for?

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