The Mahindra Genio is one of the more underrated “other bakkies” in SA.
Bakkies now come with infotainment systems and soft suspension, but some still carry a load
THERE are only two types of bakkie drivers in South Africa — those in a Hilux, and those in “other bakkies”.
The Hilux remains not just SA’s best selling bakkie, but best-selling vehicle.,
Increasingly, the other bakkie is a Ford Ranger, but South African bakkie buyers will soon have even more luxury double cabs to choose from, including a Renault and a Mercedes-Benz.
To find the bakkie that will best meet your business, family or transport needs, answer the questions below.
Q What is more important, the:
• resale value, • running costs, • or the initial outlay?
Q How much does the badge matter?
Lots, in this town, people judge you on your wheels, you know. Badges don’t matter, but I do want to stand out from the crowd...
The Ford Ranger has been Car magazine’s “Best Buy” for seven consecutive years. Granted, the fine fellows at Car have never washed cow poo from a bakkie, but they do understand good engineering. The catch? Its very easy to abuse the clutch with 470 Nm. With 400 creamy Newtons on tap, the relatively new Fiat Fullback 2,5 DiD 4x4 LX surprises everyone with its brisk drive. The catch? It is a real bakkie with a bumpy ride, courtesy of some stiff suspension at the back.
Not so long ago, SA had three more “half-tonners” on sale, the Fiat Strada, Ford Bantam and Chevrolet/Opel Ute. Now the Nissan NP200 “ranges” supreme, with Toyota and VW not interested in selling these loss-leaders.
The catch? We prefer the van-version, the NV200, as the lower floor makes for easier loading, but the bakkie is cheaper for tight budgets.
Isuzu only makes trucks and bakkies and as you’d expect, its KB-range sells all this commercial vehicle expertise with either a proven 2,5-litre and 3,0-litre turbo diesel. The fact that the LX models also include all the little luxuries considered normal in passenger cars is a bonus.
The catch? They are not the cheapest, but it’s a buyer’s market. Demand a discount.
If the price you will get for the bakkie four years down the line matters, fleet managers say the Hilux keeps its value best. The Kinsey parts basket survey also puts the typical cost of wear and tear parts for the Hilux at 13% of the new price, which is the lowest among double cabs.
The catch? Most sold also means most stolen.
Metro Cars wants less than R142 000 (before a current R10 000 cash back special) for a new Changan Star 1.3, which is a very well-put together little workhorse for in-town deliveries.
The catch? Bigger blokes don’t so much drive the Changan as wear it.
If running costs are the main concern, look no further than GWM Steed. The sub-total for brake pads, oil filters and wipers, is the lowest on 2017 Kinsey Parts Basket The catch? Big things like cam belts and rear disk drums cost more than what Nissan or Isuzu charges.
JMC makes a tried and tested 2,8-litre turbo diesel bakkie for small businesses that competes head on with the cabover-engines from Kia and Huyndai. The catch? Fewer dealers than the Koreans have, also a shorter warranty.
Nothing says you are a successful farmer quite as subtly as the Toyota Land Cruiser does. Original Toyota parts are available under every tree where a backyard mechanic operates, as several pan-African travellers told Wheels.
The catch? A hard ride and old tech that comes with a serious fuel thirst.
Due to launch next month in South Africa, the Mercedes-Benz Xclass will for the first time offer the styleaware bakkie fan in SA (they do exist, actually) a premium brand with a load bed. The catch: The Sprinter chassis cab and/or Unimog already does this job, and for less than the X-Class.
The Mazda BT-50 tells people who know this is basically the Ford Ranger for less money. The catch? Mazda’s future focus is on cars..