So you want a 4x4 bakkie?

Among more than a dozen bakkie brands on sale in SA, only four have power to sell re­ally well

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ALWYN VILJOEN

SOUTH Africans bought over 7 800 bakkies in De­cem­ber, many of them the top of the range dou­ble cab 4x4 mod­els, and while there is no logic be­hind bakkies in sub­ur­bia, I to­tally get why. It is all about es­cape. Sure, a panel van is al­ways bet­ter for lug­ging loads and an SUV al­ways more com­fort­able for the whole fam­ily, but th­ese fine ve­hi­cles are lim­ited by their roofline.

On the back of a dou­ble cab, the sky is the limit and it does not mat­ter how many bags the teenagers in­sist on tak­ing with them, there is al­ways space to lash on some more lug­gage.

Of those 7 800 sales, Toy­ota and Ford are the two most pop­u­lar bakkies in South Africa right now. Toy­ota deal­ers sold 3 074 bakkies, fol­lowed by Ford at 2 665. Far down in third place were Isuzu, with 912 KB mod­els sold, fol­lowed in fourth place by the Nis­san NP300 Hard­body, with 717 units moved off the show­room floor and in sixth place, the VW Amarok, with 308 mod­els sold.

Fol­low the ar­rows to find your ideal sub­ur­ban es­cape or even work ve­hi­cle from SA’s four best­selling 4x4 dou­ble­cab brands.

PHOTO: ALWYN VILJOEN

With 320 Nm, the Isuzu KB is not the strong­est of SA’s top three-best sell­ing bakkies, but as any­one who ever got stuck in mud knows, this is still too much power in the wet. At

Wheels we con­tend the only rea­son why the KB is SA’s third-top sell­ing bakkie is fash­ion. And that is just how farm­ers in the know like it. For fewer sales also means deal­ers try harder with star­tling dis­counts on that eye­wa­ter­ing high price as well as good trade-ins, the queues are al­ways shorter when it comes to the 15 000 km ser­vices and best of all, the car part theft syn­di­cates see no per­cent­age in your Isuzu. R662 000 (100 kW/320 Nm) War­ranty: five years or 120 000 km. Ser­vice plan: five years or 100 000 km. 3

Wheels rec­om­mends the 2.2 au­to­matic Ranger as the Ford bakkie to buy. It does not gen­er­ate gear­box is­sues like the 470 Nm from the 3,2-litre, sips fuel, needs ser­vic­ing ev­ery 20 000 km, and car part theft syn­di­cates are not putting out or­ders for it — yet. R405 000 (118 kW/385 Nm) War­ranty:: four years or 120 000 km Servi­ice pllan:: fi­ive years of 100 000 km 2

PHOTOS: QUICKPIC

The Toy­ota Hilux and Paris Hil­ton have this in com­mon, both are fa­mous for be­ing fa­mous. But the Hilux won’t blow a seal in the Richtersveld and its 2,4 diesel makes more than enough power at 400 Nm to get you there and back. Fleet own­ers like the high re­sale val­ues of the Hilux the most, but the in­surance rates… not so much. R468 000 (110kW/400Nm) War­ranty:: three years or 100 000 km.. Servi­ice pllan:: fi­ive years or 90 000 km 1

PHOTO: NIS­SAN

The Nis­san NP300 Hard­body is get­ting long in the tooth and the new Navara is sure to take sales from this re­li­able bakkie. What helped to sell over 700 units in De­cem­ber is its ex­cel­lent six-year war­ranty and a range of op­tional ser­vice plans at fair prices on top of its rec­om­mended price tag. Its age means the Hard­body is lan­guish­ing a bit in SA, but there is good rea­son why both MercedesBenz and Re­nault is us­ing the Nis­san’s NP300 Navara bakkie to un­der­pin “their” bakkies. Th­ese rea­sons form the DNA of the NP300, and only Isuzu deal­ers com­pete with Nis­san deal­ers when it comes to trade-ins and dis­counts. R389 000 (105 kW/205 Nm) War­ranty:: siix years or 150 000 km.. Servi­ice pllan:: op­ti­ion­all.. 4

This was the re­sult three times in a row dur­ing an in­for­mal drag race, with the 2,2 Ranger au­to­matic, win­ning three love, loaded with canopy and tow­bar to match the weight of Isuzu 3-litre 4x4.

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