BEST FOR TRAIL­ERS

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

SOUTH Africa has a bil­lion-rand but hid­den ru­ral econ­omy of sac­ri­fi­cial goats and cat­tle, which an­i­mals are trans­ported to mar­ket ev­ery week­end.

For these trans­porters, the best and strong­est trailer-pulling deal right now comes from Ford, which brand of­fers the first sin­gle cab with an au­to­matic gear­box in South Africa. (See page 7 for more de­tails on this bakkie.)

While twice as pricey as the Bolero at R311 900, Ford does sell each of the 385 New­ton me­tres of torque from the Ranger 2,2 au­to­matic for a very rea­son­able R810, en­sur­ing a lot of bang to move the buck on the back. To boot, Ford also of­fers a re­as­sur­ing num­ber of deal­ers to sup­port the buy in deep ru­ral SA.

In sec­ond place is the badge-en­gi­neered Mazda BT-50, which of­fers 376 Nm at R317 000 from its 2,2 en­gine.

These two Ford-en­gined bakkies are closely fol­lowed by the Toy­ota Land Cruiser and Land Rover De­fender, both mak­ing 360 Nm.

But the Cruiser re­tails for a whop­ping R218 300 more than the Ranger while the Landy costs R231 500 more — this is in­ci­den­tally, the price of a whole new Hilux 2,0.

The Nis­san Pa­trol 3,0 makes 356 Nm, giv­ing it the fifth strong­est spot, but note, at a R376 900 price tag Wheels still has strong reser­va­tions about the lack of plan­ning that went into the Pa­trol’s de­sign.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

For R311 900, Ford will sell you the Ranger 2,2 auto box, cur­rently the only sin­gle cab bakkie with a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion in SA. Two mod­els are avail­able, com­pris­ing the 2.2 TDCi 4x2 XL, along with the higher spec­i­fi­ca­tion XLS model equipped with a 4x4 driv­e­train.

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