X-Rider, Land Cruiser: Five festive bakkies definitely worth the splurge
Need a pick-up this Christmas ? Read on …
There’s no limit to South African consumers’ fascination with the bakkie genre. For reasons both practical and philosophical, the simple recipe of a tough, ladder-frame chassis and rear loading bay will never go out of fashion. It was an especially good news week for the category earlier this month, with a number of new releases clamouring for attention.
Let’s start with a sturdy Indian contender whose workhorse credentials are well-proven; the Mahindra Pik Up. Bizarre spelling aside, it’s no mystery why the brand enjoys popularity in the agricultural strongholds of the country. Take a drive just over the Gauteng border into North West, for instance, and you can enjoy a merry game of Mahindra-spotting.
The manufacturer recently added an additional derivative to the Pik Up range — a basic, two-pedal version in 4x2 format. Costing R378,999, they claim it’s the most affordable automatic double-cab in SA at present.
Power comes from the familiar 2.2-litre, turbocharged-diesel motor with four cylinders, producing 103kW and 320Nm. The six-speed, self-shifting transmission was developed with global gearbox giant Aisin. It has an 80l fuel tank, 210mm ground clearance and towing capacity of 2,500kg.
Over to Isuzu, where the current D-Max is due for replacement in 2022. Inevitably, this means the advent of final-run models to mark the end of the line for the outgoing product. The Japanese firm has released 210 units of a special X-Rider Limited Edition version. It boasts blacked out 18-inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, a bespoke rear sports hoop, tailgate branding, a branded carpet set, and a standard load box roller-shutter.
The model can be had with one of two existing turbocharged-diesel engine choices, both four-cylinder. First up is the 2.5 (100kW/320Nm), with a five-speed manual or automatic, or the 3.0 (130kW/380Nm) with a six-speed automatic. Prices start at R552,400.
In November Ford revealed its all-new Ranger, which we reported on in detail. The model will share its underpinnings with the forthcoming Volkswagen Amarok. And last week, the German automaker revealed a little more information about their imminent pick-up.
Just like the American counterpart, it will be built locally, in Silverton, Tshwane. Volkswagen stated in their release that the newcomer will be unmistakably Amarok in execution, with a distinct visual identity and “innovations that have not been seen before” in the category. Of course, we’ll only be able to verify that when the model lands. For now, its debut is scheduled to be made in 2022.
On to Toyota, where a specialised catalogue has been developed for the venerable Hilux. Dakar Rally star Giniel de Villiers partnered with 4x4 Mega World to produce a variety of custom packages for the model, bearing the GDV Racing insignia.
The offering ranges from a basic decal kit, all the way to a top-tier package that comprises 17-inch Dirty Life alloy wheels shod with 265/70R17 S/T Cooper Max Tyres and an adjustable Old Man Emu BP51 suspension system, which lifts the vehicle by 50mm and gives it dune-summiting abilities. Buyers will also receive a GDV Racing cap, signed by De Villiers, as well as a pair of GDV Racing-branded Oakley sunglasses.
Staying with Toyota, the Land Cruiser 70-series is celebrating its 70th birthday, prompting the release of an anniversary edition. The rugged Land Cruiser needs no introduction — lauded as a continent-conquering brute, it remains a must-have companion for various heavy-duty applications.
The special edition model is based on the 79-series range, comprising the single-cab and double-cab variants, powered by the mighty 4.5-litre V8 diesel. For your money (upwards of R889,700), you get a decent list of special exterior and interior trimmings.
The anniversary model is set apart by its mesh front grille, model-specific logos, tubular-step rear bumper with detachable towbar and front steel bumper with integrated winch. Inside, the seats sport unique embroidered covers and a touchscreen interface with navigation is included. Only two colours are available: Ivory White and Sand Beige.