Mahin­dra Pik Up S11 AT 4x4

Au­to­matic dou­ble cabs are big busi­ness in South Africa. Keen to join the ac­tion, Mahin­dra re­cently launched an au­to­matic vari­ant of the Pik Up

Car (South Africa) - - CREDITS - By: Jarryd Neves Jar­ryd­n_­car­mag

Price: R414 999 En­gine: 2,2-litre, 4-cylin­der, tur­bod­iesel Trans­mis­sion: 6-speed au­to­matic Power: 103 kw @ 3 750 r/min Torque: 320 N.m @ 1 500-2 800 r/min 0-100 km/h: n/a Top speed: n/a Fuel con­sump­tion: 7,9 L/100 km* CO2: 173 g/km Ri­vals: Ford Ranger 2,2 TDCI 4x4 XLS AT; Toy­ota Hilux 2,4 GD-6 4x4 SRX AT + value for money; ap­peal­ing en­gine trans­mis­sion hes­i­tancy M ahin­dra has in­tro­duced an au­to­matic vari­ant of its pop­u­lar work­horse, the Pik Up. Badged as the S11, it shares the same rugged pow­er­train and ba­sic styling with its six-speed man­ual sib­ling, the S10. In­ter­est­ingly, South Africa is the first coun­try in the world where the S11 is of­fered, a smart move when you con­sider most dou­ble-cab buy­ers pre­fer the two-pedal al­ter­na­tive.

Apart from the gearbox, there have been a few sub­tle styling and spec up­dates. In­di­ca­tors in­te­grated into the side mir­rors re­place those pre­vi­ously found on the fend­ers, while an up­dated grille, head­lamp clus­ters and foglamps give the car a fresher ap­pear­ance. Fi­nally, a seven-inch in­fo­tain­ment touch­screen is now in­cluded, fea­tur­ing satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion,

Blue­tooth com­pat­i­bil­ity and a re­vers­ing cam­era.

For those want­ing their S11 with some added vis­ual pres­ence, Mahin­dra has launched the Ka­roo edi­tion (pic­tured above). Fea­tur­ing unique side de­cals, a cus­tom lock­able roller deck, as well as model-spe­cific nudge bars and al­loy wheels, the special edi­tion also re­tains all the fea­tures of the stan­dard S11 model.

In­side, the seat­ing of­fers a com­mand­ing driv­ing po­si­tion. While the cloth-cov­ered chairs are comfy, lower back pain can be ex­pected on ex­tended journeys due to a lack of lum­bar sup­port. The front seats do of­fer in­di­vid­ual arm­rests, though. Out­ward vis­i­bil­ity is im­pres­sive, with not much ob­scur­ing your vi­sion of the road through the near-ver­ti­cal wind­screen.

Gen­er­ously equipped, the Pik Up

S11 comes stan­dard with elec­tric win­dows, cli­mate con­trol and a raft of nu­mer­ous nice to haves. Dual front airbags and ABS with EBD take care of things on the safety front.

The six-speed au­to­matic works well with the flex­i­ble mhawk 2,2-litre tur­bod­iesel. The four-cylin­der pow­er­train pro­duces 103 kw of power and a ro­bust 320 N.m of torque. When mated to the sixspeed man­ual, the Pik Up makes re­spectable progress. It’s the same story with the self-shift­ing S11. While per­for­mance cer­tainly isn’t sprightly, the au­to­matic can hold its own on a coun­try road and the high­way. The smooth-shift­ing six-speed unit gets the slab-sided dou­ble cab up to 120 km/h with few signs of heavy breath­ing.

Sourced from Aisin, the trans­mis­sion fea­tures a man­ual over­ride in the form of se­quen­tial shift­ing. While progress is smooth and changes are quick, the Pik Up is some­times hes­i­tant to down­shift. Even with the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal fully de­pressed, the au­to­matic won’t kick down un­til you take your foot off the pedal and ap­ply it again quickly. I found the man­ual over­ride handy in these in­stances, es­pe­cially when trav­el­ling up­hill.

The ride is nicely judged, of­fer­ing a sat­is­fac­to­rily cush­ioned qual­ity both­ered by only the sharpest of ridges, pot­holes and bumps. De­spite the slow steer­ing and tall di­men­sions, the Pik Up never feels un­wieldy or un­sta­ble. It rounds corners with ease, pro­vid­ing you’re sen­si­ble and ad­just your speed ac­cord­ingly.

The lethar­gic steer­ing comes into its own once the Mahin­dra turns off the high­way to tackle rougher ter­rain, such as Breedt­snek Pass ne­go­ti­ated dur­ing the launch. The Mahin­dra didn’t break a sweat over rocks and up in­clines that would labour some SUVS. Thanks to an im­pres­sive ap­proach an­gle of 34 de­grees, it made light work of scal­ing mas­sive rocks. More im­pres­sively, the au­to­matic gearbox didn’t put a foot wrong and made the task of climb­ing the pass sim­ple.

Once the S11 had reached the sum­mit, down­hill had to be ne­go­ti­ated with great care. Deep ridges and pot­holes meant slow and steady driv­ing. Thanks to a new hill-de­scent con­trol sys­tem mated to the 4x4 S11 which uses en­gine and ve­hi­cle brak­ing, it was a breeze.

The Pik Up doesn’t have the aes­thetic ap­peal of more ex­pen­sive bakkies like the Ford Ranger or the Volk­swa­gen Amarok, yet it coun­ters this with un­beat­able value for money and old-fash­ioned me­chan­i­cal sim­plic­ity. It feels more at home scal­ing a moun­tain pass than it does on the road and, for many keen off-road en­thu­si­asts, that’s no bad thing. 51

01 New in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem lends moder­nity to the dated cabin. 02 Short front over­hangs en­able the Mahin­dra to tackle steep de­clines with ease. 03 The six-speed auto al­lows the Pik Up to scale in­clines with­out fuss. 04 Ka­roo model (left) has added vis­ual ap­peal thanks to a range of ac­ces­sories.

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