Which dual cab

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 00:28
ThreadID: 84121 Views:7625 Replies:16 FollowUps:18
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This question was probably asked 1000 times. The problem is, it’s hard to find a comparison chart for all the most popular dual cabs in Australia. I’m planning a trip around Australia and really considering a Holden Rodeo or Isuzu Dmax. Unfortunately, after searching all those websites and manufacture specifications I still didn’t find a few details for Holden Colorado: Approach and departure angles, 3.0L Diesel engine – is it a single or double overhead cam, chain or belt timing driven, 4 or 2 valves per cylinder? I found this chart http://dualcab.net/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=7 , but there is not enough data.
Most dual cabs have a very similar specifications, it comes to reliability and comfort, I guess. I’m not going to tow any trailer, just a roof tent. There are some rumours about bent Triton chassis due to overload and corrugation?...What about other dual cab utes: Navara, D-Max, Colorado? Any cases of bent chassis? Are they strong enough for lengthy corrugations?
Can they be used as a stock for a trip around Australia, including all the “icons” like Simpson, Cape York, etc...Are they high enough or they require a lift?
Thank you for any input.
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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 01:26

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 01:26
cant help you with what one to get, i spent years looking and testing and opted for what i have now .........
With the "bent chassis" question i would do some good hard "googlin" and make up your own mind, almost all in my opinion have simply been overloaded in some way so i comes back to you and what you expect out of what you want, if your plans are to load it up to the max and push it as hard as possible then expect problems if you buy a "light duty" duel cab ...
What money do you want to spend ??? what weight do you plan on loading in it ???? will you be towing at any time in the future ???? are you after econemy or power ??? (or both) ..
If buying new i dont think there are many real problems with any of the engines, each have there own specs that will be different yet functional in there own way be it 2 valve, 4 valve, chain, belt or whatever ....
If buying s/h then get onto the applicable forums for that type of make and they will be of great assistance to you as to how good each is ....
It sounds like you do want to go on any and every track in Aussie so if you buy new you will need to pay for and fit a HEAP of additional items to it .....
It is the "million dollar" question you know ....
Hope you get what you need.
AnswerID: 444246

Follow Up By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:19

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:19
Thank you. I wanna buy a new one-basic version or max 1 year old with extra options. Hilux, in my opinion, is overpriced and too small towing capacity. I'm buying for next 5-10 years, so any towing in the future not excluded. I'm diesel mechanic by trade, though not working as a one at the moment, that's why I asked those questions about engine details. I know Isuzu engines a very good, just wondering about Colorado engine. For me having a belt driven, DOHC with 16 valves engine, means modern, quieter with better airflow capacity and exhaust gas circulation, thus better performance. And yes I'm after both - power and economy.
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Reply By: Member - TonBon (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 07:48

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 07:48
Mike, i spent months researching D/C's before i settled on the DMAX and in my (possibly owner biased) opinion, i couldnt have made a better choice. Isuzu have been uilding diesels for a very long time and are proven engines. Better gear ratio's, lower revving, fantastic fuel economy, stronger build quallity all round are just a few of the pluses to start with.

It has proven itself in all sorts of 4WD situations and long desert trips and it is a good comfortable car when doing the daily to and from work grind as well.

I have posted other threads on here about some of the trips and situations it has been in so a search will give you more info.

As for lift, in my mind all D/C's need it if you are going to do serious 4WDing and trips but with leaf on the back and torsion bar at the fron this isnt a major undertaking. Mine is lifted 2 inches plus 265/75 16 tyres adds that little more.

So, as far as i am concerned, there is no other choice, go for it and enjoy, it wont let you down. 70,000 klms in under 2 years has to say something.
AnswerID: 444256

Follow Up By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:33

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:33
Thank you, I really lean towards D-MAX, looks good, excellent engine. Just want to make sure about the quality of the rest of the car - suspension, drivetrain, being exposed to prolonged corrugations.
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Follow Up By: Member - TonBon (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 10:06

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 10:06
As mentioned, i upgraded the suspension as i too wanted some insurence against those things, i dont know that ANY new 4wd suspension is designed to withstand the more extreme situations we put them through and i think most on this site would agree with me.

In our July trip we spent 3 days on the Sandy Blight Jct rd and i tell you, you would be hard pressed finding worse corrugaitions. It was non stop, bone jarring, kidney destroying, eyeball rattling corrugations at an avg speed of 20 - 30 klms an hour as any faster would have destroyed our sanity with tyres down at 26psi . We were carrying about 800Kgs of weight incl 90lt water tank, 80lt fridge and small clothes drawer where the back seat used to be, a 55lt extra fuel tank strapped to the side of the rooftop tent on the roof racks mounted on the ute hard torneu cover, 120 lt long range tank, home made drawer system in tray, dual battery in tray, etc etc and as rough as that was, we didnt have a single breakage or extra rattle at the end. The whole thing held together beautifully and apart from the pilbara pinstriping and obvious mods, if you wre to get in it today and drive it, it drives the same as the day i got it.

Please note, i have zero affiliation with Isuzu, just an extremely happy owner planning his next trip :-)
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Reply By: Member Bushy 04(VIC) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 08:52

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 08:52
Mike, not long been back from our trip 14,500klm with no problems Ford 05 Courier t/d apart from the self inflicted burnt 5th gear due to towing in 5th gear.
That said the vechile was good on all counts, however after seeing some Tritons and seeing how they towed, my next one would be a Triton.
As for broken chassis have only seen one Triton and that was so badly overloaded to the rear it was not funny (duel spares on back long rang tank behind axle tray fully loaded and towing a heavy ct.) on bad roads.

AnswerID: 444263

Follow Up By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:52

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:52
Thank you, I thought about Triton too. They have all those safety features, good engine, but look a little bit "delicate". Are they strong enough for outback. A few years ago I had a bad experience, driving in a small car from Melbourne to Brisbane. A red kangaroo has written off my Honda Civic, and it was scary. On impact the bonnet popped up at a speed of 100km/h and I was lucky it wasn't any oncoming traffic.
FollowupID: 716374

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:37

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:37
a Kangaroo dont discriminate..................
I hit a mid sized one in a HZJ75 with bull bar and all the works, it was on the "UP" stroke of his jump, came over the bonnet hit the windscreen in front of me and came right through and on to my chest, that hurt .....
Also camels ..... few have been killed on the Tanimi with hitting a camel. it's height sent the camel body into the cabin, bar took out only the legs ..
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 08:57

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 08:57
Hi Mike,
Well of course everyone here will have their view as to the "best" dual cab. I am on my second Toyota Hilux & it's about to click over 300,000 km. Travelled all over Australia in Hiluxes they never let me down. Real easy to get parts for too.
Just a general note on dual cabs, if your carrying kids in the back older kids will be a bit light on for leg room on long trips.
I see your not towing but if you do avoid towing in 5th. There are plenty of threads here about why you should not.
Lastly I think that the guy who bent the Triton chassis did Mitsubishi an injustice because at the end of the day he modified the suspension & stressed the chassis in a point that was not designed to carry a load but thats another story.
Hope your happy with your final choice.

AnswerID: 444265

Follow Up By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:37

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:37
Thank you Stu, yes Hilux looks very impressive, but unfortunately for me is too expensive and I can't understand a towing capacity - why so small with 3.0L engine.
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Follow Up By: peteC - Sunday, Feb 06, 2011 at 18:12

Sunday, Feb 06, 2011 at 18:12
I think you will find the Hilux can carry as much as other dual cabs. But Toyota dont want snapped chassies like what has been mentioned. The higher tow ratings are a publicity stunt. After all how many would load up to full specs then go off road and what are the chances of a failure. Their should be an Aust standard used here like Landrovers had done for years for military specs giving on and off road ratings. I have always had dual cab utes from Nissan, Mitso now Toyota. Our work has used thousands of utes in the 26 years I have worked there using Ford, Nissan Toyota, Mitso. I have followed the trends of good and bad and 3 months ago went Hilux as I feel its the better at the moment - but it too has its down sides cost being one but it isnt when going reliability and resale if you look after it.
FollowupID: 716569

Reply By: OREJAP - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:53

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 09:53
Hi Mike K, Nissan are allegedly releasing a V6 diesel in the Pathfinder & Navara soon (It was stated in press release early 2011. I hope I read it correctly) The motor is a Renault V6 diesel with a whopping 550nm of torque. I suppose like most manufacturers nothing will be advertised until they sell the old stock but it's worth enquiring about. The top of the range comes with all the bells & whistles & the vehicle has better grunt,fuel economy & performance than the fantastic V8 Cruiser workmates!!!
AnswerID: 444271

Follow Up By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 10:01

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 10:01
Thanks, sounds impressive, just wondering pricewise - probably will have to wait few years for prices to go down.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 15:00

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 15:00
No WONDER you're WONDERING about the price Mike K it certainly is a WONDERMENT.....starting price I believe is $75000. That is a full $37000 more expensive than my, admittedly much much smaller donk, 2008 D40 Navara when I bought it new in Dec 08.
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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 07:19

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 07:19
The Navara starts at $60K and the Pathfinder starts at $75K which is stilll to much anyway.
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Reply By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 10:45

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 10:45
The choice is getting harder and harder.As Orejap mentioned, new V6 Renault engine coming soon. On the other hand, a new Ford Ranger 2011 looks great, with especially its new hydraulic body mounts (taken from Jaguar) to reduce vibrations and noise - it should be good for Australian corrugation, shouldn't it? But again, pricewise, I'm looking for something around $35 - 40k, so I think it is better to stop dreaming and find someting now as I plan this trip in about 5-6 months.
AnswerID: 444279

Reply By: Member Bushy 04(VIC) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:10

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:10
Mike the Triton has a5yr warranty and is easly as rugged as the others.
I had a 04 T/D single cab and could not fault it.
If the missus had not wanted a dual cab I would still have it, at the time the dollars were scarce and I could not buy a new one.
Good points.
1 Good ride on and off road.
2 real good towing ability.
3 good build.
4 good 4x4 off road

Bad point
Turning circle.

AnswerID: 444282

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:56

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:56
Hi Mike, regardless of which brand you settle on you will benefit from getting a lift and quality suspension. Apart from getting better clearance which they are all lacking in, you will find that they handle and ride so much nicer than with the stock suspension.

I have a Hilux myself and have no regrets, one of the factors that influenced me was that being such a popular vehicle and a Toyota you have a much better support network in the bush for repairs should you need it. As far as towing weight goes, whilst it sounds conservative if you read the fine print on some of the other brands you will find that the tow weight is reduced in accordance with the tow ball weight so it may not be that different. They are pricey though and it is hard to justify the extra $$$$$

Those Dmaxs sound good though and for value for money the Tritons deserve another look.
Have a look on www.newtriton.net if you want a bit more info on them. Nissan has a V6 Navara coming but I heard that they will be even dearer than a Hilux

Good luck with you decision.
AnswerID: 444291

Reply By: Member - edwin (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 12:30

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 12:30
hi mike ,the colorados and dmax have exactly the same specs,same engine and gearbox,(4jj engine)same departure angles etc pop into a holden dealer and get a brochure its got all the info,i did a lot of research into both these vehicles ,but unfortunately,money issues stopped me from getting a newie, dont believe everthing you here from the isuzu salesman,they told me colorados have a different engine to a dmax,check the specs ,,everything is the same ,,dmax may have better resale value in a few years but other than that, go for the best deal of the 2,,,as a diesel mechanic you will know of the reliability of the izuzu 4JJ engine,
im a mechanic as well, i ended up buying a 11/2007 dual cab rodeo with the same engine, i now have 190,000kms on the clock and still drives like new, the only thing i recommend that if your going to tow heavy trailers,that you invest in an auto as 1st gear is quite high and the clutch gets a good work out,but saying that i still have the original..you will need a 50mm lift and a good set of shocks as originals are very soft,reasonably cheap to do ,keep the same torsion bar just a new set of rear springs ,,the only thing that will bend the dmax chassis is if you fit air bags to the rear, get the right springs and you wont need them..i used wilkinson springs in atherton tablelands,good price service and they ship anywhere and are custom made to your needs. i have no affiliation with these guys im just a happy customer,,ask for dean,,,,they make a lot of springs for commercial vehicles that operate up to the cape and back so really know there stuff,
hope this helps
AnswerID: 444293

Follow Up By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 13:42

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 13:42
Thanks Edwin, but that's really confusing, there are so many people up there, i.e. on the other websites saying Colorado and Dmax have different engines. yes, the best is to check it out physically,in person I guess. I forgot to mention I'm looking for an Auto - better for towing and 4wd-ing. In regards to lifting, do you buy a kit, sort of like for live axles (for example Patrol) or just do the back and only wind up the front torsion bars? Another question, comfort and queitness I know it is subjective. But just to compare - I used to drive single cab Hilux 2001 diesel Melbourne-Brisbane pretty often. It was a long drive, and Hilux was noisy and stiff. Would it be much difference in driving even 2007 Colorado the noise and comfort wise?
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Follow Up By: Member - edwin (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 06, 2011 at 11:56

Sunday, Feb 06, 2011 at 11:56
mike --like ton bon i spent a few months researching theses vehicles,they have the same running gear/chassis etc etc, my wife backed into a pole smashing the rear tub,,i went to the local body builder who fits custom trays to mine vehicles,and got a brand new tub off a dmax,all i had to do was take the stickers off and swap the tail lights,different style but same hole,,and i have a 2007 model rodeo,,,
dont listen to the dealers,, grab brochures from both dealers,youll find exactly same figures,,kw, gear ratios etc take them for a spin and youll see what i mean,,
in regards to lifting, simply wind the torsion bars up,dont go more than 50 mm or you lose suspension droop,fit a new set of rear springs,i used wilkinsons standard set which come with built in lift,dont go for heavy duty unless you need it,give them a call for a chat,,really helpful people and good price too,,original shocks are too soft ,a very soft bouncy ride,get quality set like rancho/OME etc it makes a big difference,,,,,,in regards to noise and ride quality,,i used to drive a troopy, so these vehicles are like a rolls royce in comparison, very car like,,,,,,,dont forget to get a wheel alignment after lifting or youll scrub your new tyres out in no time[fronts],,
both dmax and holden have excellent deals at the moment
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Reply By: Mike K - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 14:05

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 14:05
And another important question - which of them if any has the room under the bonnet for a second battery? I saw a Triton PETROL with a 2nd battery, just wondering about DIESEL? Thanks.
AnswerID: 444298

Reply By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 15:06

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 15:06
IMHO, and I am a D40 Navara owner, all of the current crop of dual cabs are on par with each other. The only reason I chose the D40 over the others was that at the time (Dec 2008) the fitout was much better and it still has the largest cab area of all. The bigger cabin is what sold me on the D40 as I just didn't feel comfortable behind the wheel of the others. Drive them all and go with what feels best for you.
The broken chassis things is, AFAIK, entirely related to the fitment of air bags and having these pumped too high. Air bags are OK but are not as good as a full aftermarket suspension fitout.
AnswerID: 444307

Reply By: Member - Daryl N (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 16:24

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 16:24
Hi Mike
We brought a Navara D40 back in 2007. Looked at all the the others but went for the Nissan because the 2 teenage kids reckoned it had more leg room in the back. On it maiden trip we zig-zaged our way up the middle of Australia travelled d the savannah way and went to Cape York on the OTL and back towing a camper trailer. Had no issues at all. but there were a couple of places where we suffered because we hadn't put a suspension up grade on which would have made all the difference. Last year we up graded the suspension and crossed the Simpson desert with no issues at all
Happy travelling
AnswerID: 444318

Reply By: marcus - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 21:05

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 21:05
Hi Mike K,
Was looking at the new VW Amarok tonight and am surprised by its size.It is a big dual cab ute with big opening doors especially the back doors.It has good width too making a good ute space.The write ups suggest that many of the Jap dual cabs will be concerned with this offering from VW.Plenty of standard equipment and a choice of turbo diesel and a 120kw-400nm twin turbo diesel.If i was in the market i would not rule this one out.
Cheers Mark
AnswerID: 444347

Reply By: The Landy - Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 23:33

Saturday, Feb 05, 2011 at 23:33
If you want a good 'out of the box' dual cab for the work you are suggesting why not take a look at a Defender 130........

Cheers, The Landy
AnswerID: 444361

Follow Up By: Mike K - Sunday, Feb 06, 2011 at 11:10

Sunday, Feb 06, 2011 at 11:10
Thanks Landy, I would love to have a fully off-road capable 4x4, like Patrol, Cruiser or Land Rover, but I've got to compromise - having a dualcab ute, which is still pretty capable 4x4, allows me to use it in everyday situation. On the other hand, all those big 4x4 are bit "bulky" and not very economical for everyday usage, especially with today's fuel prices. I think, that's the reason so many people swap their big 4x4 for dual cab utes.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 08:24

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 08:24
Hi Mike, understand.

Although from a fuel perpective you might be pleasantly surprised at how economical the Defender 130 is.....

Good luck with your choice,

Cheers, The Landy
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Follow Up By: Mike K - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 10:42

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 10:42
Thanks Landy, I was really considering Land Rover Discovery2- because of the Live Axles (v. good off-road), comfort and especially the fuel consumption. But my big concern is its reliability. Being a Diesel mechanic, there is no problem for me to fix it at home. But as a photographer enthusiast, I go very often alone in remote areas, “on location” for some shots. I don’t want to be stuck somewhere in the middle of the bush. In regards to Defender, I agree it’s very economical and is always (at least for me) “head-turning”, especially when I see one on the road with all the off-road equipment. But that’s the outside impression, what puts me off is its archaic, “primitive” look and features inside. Why they don’t install at least ONE driver’s air bag?! Also, I’ve read that driving experience is more like “agriculture” one?... Sorry, I don’t want to offend any owners, I’ve never driven one but that’s what I’ve read. I would love to have one but only just for off-road, not for every day usage. I drive semi-trailer trucks, so the size of the Defender doesn’t worry me, just looking for more comfort, car-like driving experience, I suppose.
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Reply By: Busy Bee - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 00:34

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 00:34
The posts so far have given you enough to think about. As for using as stock for a trip round Australia, at least upgrade the shock absorbers to good after market units.
i would personally add a bullbar (while you are still allowed) and lights. Whether you want to extend to lifts, dual batteries, snorkels etc depends on your budget and intended use.
In the end it is all a compromise, balancing the wish list between projected usage and budget.
AnswerID: 444474

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 23:08

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 at 23:08

The Holden Colorado and the D-Max are virtually the same car, with only minor cosmetic differences.
The D-Max is basically a rebadged Colorado manufactured under a contract with GM's Rayong Plant in Thailand. This is a reverse of the previous arrangement between GM and Isuzu, whereby the Holden Rodeo was manufactured by Isuzu for GM-Holden.

Below is clarification I recently received from the Director of Manufacturing at GM's Rayong Plant.

“Both the domestic and export versions of the Chevrolet Colorado are manufactured in General Motors Thailand’s facility at Rayong, Thailand. Additionally, GM Thailand also has a manufacturing contract with Isuzu, under which GM manufactures Isuzu’s trucks for the export market.”


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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 07:40

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 07:40

You need to read this Bill
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Follow Up By: Mike K - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 12:25

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 12:25
Thanks both; it's getting really crazy with all those manufacturers. What's the point of having different (original) names if everything is built in one place? Before you had a chance to buy either a cheap product from Asia or dearer, better quality equivalent from America or Europe. Now you’ll go for a good, well known brand, just to find out it's been made in China, Thailand, Korea....Bloody globalisation....We(customers) shouldn’t be researching who makes what. It should be straightforward: Isuzu-made in Japan, Colorado-made in America, Hyundai- made in Korea....Otherwise, if it’s the same product, same manufacture process – what’s the point of having different names ?....
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 23:00

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011 at 23:00

I read the link you provided.

Irrespective of future directions and future models of either Isuzu or GM Holden,
I will choose to believe the reply I received from a GM Director as to the current contractural arrangement between GM and Isuzu, over that of some dubious journalisic authoring.
The comments regarding the current situation is innacurate based on my information source, from a person at the very top of the manufacturing process at the GM Rayong Plant.

You may choose to believe whatever you read.
It is obvious that I cannot convince you othewise.


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