With South Africa being the most popular country, the bar is constantly being raised in this popular segment.
Bakkies can still be classified by their official name – light commercial vehicles – but they have evolved from screeching trucks. Today, the best double cabs compete with the most comfortable passenger cars, the only difference between which is a trunk instead of a trunk.
But as the technical characteristics of bakery products grew, so did their prices. If you had told shoppers ten years ago that in the first quarter of a century a price of 1 million rand would be the target price for a biscuit, few would have believed you.
That ceiling has already been breached by the discontinued Mercedes-Benz X-Class and the 190kW VW Amarok, while the Ford Ranger Raptor costs just three figures.
Expect to pay between three quarters of a million and 920,000 rand for the best deal at the other stables of the usual suspects. Stickers not available to most buyers.
Mahindra Pik Up offers value for money
But there are more affordable alternatives for those who prefer not to look at the badge, such as the Mahindra Pik Up. Not to be confused with its work-oriented Bolero siblings, the Pik Up range now ranges from workhorse single cabs to attractive lifestyle-oriented dual cabs.
In fact, the Pik Up has become so popular that in the past nine months it has become the fifth best-selling car in South Africa, behind the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max and Nissan NP200.
Citizen Car Recently tested the Mahindra Pik Up S11 Double Cab 4×4 Karoo and felt it was a bit pricey for what appears to be a bargain price of R509,999.
In 2018, Mahindra introduced the Karoo brand to its range to mark the start of local biscuit production at its Durban assembly plant.
Priced at R31,000 over the S11 on which it is based, the Karoo gets a push bar, roll bar, roller shutter, 16-inch black alloy wheels and Karoo decals.
See Mahindra Pik Up up close
For more information visit Citizen.co.za #fyp #foryou #thecitizennews #thecitizenmotoring #Mahindra @jacovanderm
♬ original sound – The Citizen
Old, but not cold
There’s no hiding the fact that the design is old – 16 years old to be exact – and very utilitarian with little sign of any aerodynamic research. But with Karoo touches, this pastry has a unique appeal that’s hard to explain.
The combination of headlights, black grille with chrome detailing, hood air intake and rocker bar give the Mahindra Pik Up Karoo “unmitigated charm”, to quote my poetic colleague Charles Bosch. Old school is cool if you like it.
The massive 245/75 R16 rubber ensures you don’t have to worry about paintwork on the shiny rims when you’re cruising the gravel, and the deep cargo area with outboard tie-down hooks seems ready for any job. It has a rated payload of 995 kg and a braked towing capacity of 2,500 kg.
READ ALSO: Times are tough – here are the cheapest biscuits in South Africa in the form of a double cab
A unique experience
The theme continues to a large extent inside, where the dated cabin design shows its age like a Liz Taylor. It is extremely comfortable, although it lacks the specifications of more expensive top-of-the-line bodies, and at the same time it is ready for battle, as evidenced by the thick rubber floor mats.
The high seating position together with the large vertical windshield provides excellent visibility and almost gives the impression that you are driving a truck.
This truck-like feeling is exacerbated by a strange vibration, or as we call it, “aftershock” in the cabin every time you turn off the ignition.
Essential amenities are limited, but include very comfortable folding front center armrests, a seven-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, a USB port, a rearview camera, steering wheel controls, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic headlights.
Familiar power unit
The S11 Karoo is powered by the proven and reliable Mahindra mHawk 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
While the 103kW of power and 320Nm of torque it produces may be dwarfed by the other numbers on paper, we were quite surprised by its performance.
The Mahindra Pik Up accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in a very believable 14.76 seconds, which means it’s definitely not the slowest dual cab. And that’s why road test editor Mark Jones tests bakkies, because if they’re being bought for leisure, their performance will always matter.
It effortlessly navigates national speed limits with the gearbox working well, and our recorded average fuel consumption over a week’s stay of 8.5 liters per 100km is highly commendable.
The handling reminds me a bit of a Mazda 323 that didn’t have power steering. Maneuvering in narrow places requires a fairly large amount of muscle, which is complemented by a larger than usual turning diameter.
A car built on an outdated platform like the Mahindra Pik Up will always struggle to keep up with the modern specifications of its rivals in terms of safety. It offers ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, front airbags and ISOFIX child seat mounts.
The Pik Up S11 Karoo is an honest baby that doesn’t pretend to be what it’s not. And for all its modesty, it’s really hard not to like it.
It’s tough enough to handle demanding jobs, yet comfortable and attractive enough to qualify as a recreational bakery. And the best part is that it offers great value for money. In fact, it’s easy to see why the Mahindra Pik Up is on Mzansi’s top table.
Technical passport Mahindra Pik Up