A fierce debate has erupted over the popularity of utes and SUVs after a brutal sledge that the once-humble tradie vehicle has become a ‘status symbol for toxic normies’.
On reddit, a user’s post titled ‘The 4WD/ute trend is cringe’, targeting ‘pimped-up utes’ quickly went viral, with most people agreeing the trend has gone too far.
‘The 4wd/ute trend that has crept up in the past 4 years or so is so bloody cringe,’ the aggrieved person wrote.
A fierce debate has erupted over the popularity of utes and SUVs after a brutal sledge that the once-humble tradie vehicle has become a ‘status symbol for toxic normies’
While the reddit post said tradies and campers owning utes and SUVs was understandable, many others drive hotted-up versions for no reason other than being image conscious
The post drew over 900 responses with most people agreeing, but saying the trend goes back 30 years.
The poster claimed many people are driving utes and SUVs with expensive add-ons they don’t need because they ‘lack identity’ and are so image-focused.
‘There’s nothing wrong with owning a 4WD if you’re a tradesperson, a camping guru … But it’s when we have like normies from the suburbs owning brand new 100k ford raptors, with upgrades… they cost so much to maintain.
‘What are you trying to achieve?’
The five most popular vehicles sold in Australia are all utes or SUVs, according to figures released by Canstar in July.
In order they were: Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson.
Utes and SUVs also account for eight of the top 10 most popular cars sold in Australia (Pictured an Isuzu D-Max)
After purchase, many buyers intending to use their vehicles off-road upgrade using custom auto body manufacturers (Pictured, a Mitsubishi Triton)
Utes and SUVs also account for eight of the top 10 most popular cars sold in Australia.
After purchase, many buyers intending to use their vehicles off-road upgrade using custom auto body manufacturers.
The services do everything from fit custom rims and fat tyres to upgrading shock absorbers and suspension systems.
The Toyota Hi-lux was the most popular new car in Australia in July 2022
A debate on reddit questioned why so many people who are not tradies drive utes and 4WDs in Australia’s cities
‘My favourite is seeing them cruise around with their MaxTrax bolted on, so they can access them any time they get bogged on the way to the school drop-off,’ one commenter responded.
MaxTrax is a vehicle recovery and extraction device drivers can use to free their vehicle if they become bogged in mud or stuck in sand.
On the Australia subreddit, the user who started the thread claimed the hotted-up SUVs and utes were a status symbol for ‘image conscious’ people.
Australia’s top 10 best selling cars
Top 10 best-selling cars in Australia – July 2022
1. Toyota HiLux
2. Ford Ranger
3. Toyota RAV4
4. Mazda CX-5
5. Hyundai Tucson
6. Toyota Corolla
7. Isuzu D-Max
8. Mitsubishi Triton
9. Kia Sportage
10. Hyundai i30
Source: Canstar/Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI)
‘It seems the 4WD has evolved into a certain status symbol (particularly for toxic normies) so much that now it seems the whole population is competing against each other, where the fattest, loudest, 4WD, makes the driver the most alpha,’ they said.
‘There could be a complete baboon behind the wheel but people still think he’s hot cuz he owns a ‘Seventy nine series’.
A 79 series is a type of Toyota Landcruiser.
Several commenters in the thread believed the trend really began with the popularity of Range Rovers in the early 1990s.
‘I first heard it being used to refer to a Range Rover Vogue in 1992.’
One said it wasn’t just a bloke thing either.
‘The 4WD was part of the 90s suburban soccer mum image.
‘The term ‘Toorak Tractor’ to refer to a 4WD that never leaves the city has been with us for at least 20 years,’ another said.
‘I think the new part is the importing of American trucks rather than the Australian style of ute,’ one person said.
Many people took it as a chance to talk proudly about their own SUVs.
‘I own a 2002 Hilux that i have for the last 18years and go camping and fishing often and just look at some of those rangers like its a competition on how much crap you can bolt onto a car.’