Difference Between A Ute And A Pickup Truck

At first glance, to an untrained eye, an Ute and a Pickup Truck might be the very same thing. However, it is not just the load capacity that distinguishes these two vehicles.

In this article, we will be looking closely at what sets these two automobiles apart and hopefully assist you in deciding which one better suits your needs.

General Specs

First, a Pickup Truck already provides you with a significant difference from a Ute in its name; it is a truck. Utes aren’t trucks but cars and therefore have a much smaller internal storage and overall loading capacity.

While both vehicles have a truck bed for storage, trucks have more interior storage for placing items behind the seat as their cabins are larger. They consist of two parts, a cab and a bed, which are exchangeable depending on the style you are going for.

Because it was initially created by cutting the rear roof section off, the Ute still comprises of one complete car piece that cannot be taken apart and exchanged. Usually being a passenger vehicle coming primarily in two-wheel drive variations.

This advantage is that you will have no trouble driving it, as utes are driven just like any other car. A pickup requires more experience and is definitely more challenging to drive in terms of size and parking space. But to make up for it, most of them come in 4×4 variations, making them the perfect off-road companion.

Second, there’s the issue of nationality. Utes are the prefered vehicle in Australia, although pickup trucks are prefered in the United States.

The History of the Ute vs the Pickup Truck

The utes were the brainchild of a farmer’s wife, who is reported to have written to Henry Ford personally, requesting a car that would allow her and her husband to transport animals such as sheep or pigs while also transporting the family to church on Sunday.

As a result, Ford produced the Ford Australia Coupe Utility in 1934, the forefather of the Aussies’ beloved utes.

Pickups quickly followed in the United States. The Ford Raptor, Toyota HiLux, and other well-known trucks are perhaps the most prevalent and well-known. Simultaneously, the most popular and well-known utes on the market are the Nissan Navara, Isuzu D-Max, and others.

To give you a better idea of the differences between the two, we took one of these vehicles and compared a real ute to a pickup, and here are the specs.

Nissan Navara (Ute) 

This car brings all the comforts you will need and a surprisingly high loading capacity, even in the cabin. It comes in a single- and a crew cabin option, which provides even more loading space.

On top of this, Navarra is incredibly fuel-efficient without missing out on a powerful engine.

Thanks to its smaller specs, what makes the Nissan Navara even more favourable is how easy it is to handle, specifically to park. Its fuel economy is probably unbeatable, specifically when comparing it to a pickup truck.

Ford Raptor (Pickup)

This powerful truck demonstrates why pickup trucks are designed to carry heavier loads. It rides, thanks to adjustable springs, smoothly and it impresses with its remarkable freight hauling capabilities. With a hauling capability of up to 4,000kg, this is a real heavyweight champion.

As with most pickups, the Raptor offers an infinite number of cab configurations (single, dual, and even super cap), which might benefit over a ute, which typically comes in a single cab configuration with little room for customization.


Both vehicle types are reliable and sturdy road companions, and it all comes down to your lifestyle and what you want in your car.

The significant distinction between a ute and a truck is their respective starting points. Most utes are based on standard passenger sedans, while trucks are often constructed from the ground up to be trucks.

Opt for a truck if you want a more rugged vehicle that you can use off-road and essentially carry all of your goods without worrying about space.

If you are looking for a vehicle similar to a car but has other functions and lots of storage space in the back (and you are an Aussie, of course): choose a ute.

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