8 Of Our Favourite Bakkies Right Now

by | Mar 27, 2024 | Motoring

There are at least three things that unite South Africans – bakkies, a lekker braai and our love for sport! For the purpose of this article, we’ll be putting a spotlight on the former. And it could be because of the robust and versatile nature of bakkies – they can take on any terrain, rough or smooth – and transporting both passengers and goods as well as making the perfect companion on those off-road trips.

Some quick stats

The Ford Ranger sold 20 662 vehicles in 2023, clinching the coveted title of South Africa’s best-selling double-cab bakkie. The Toyota Hilux came second ending 2023 off with 18 227 sold units. The Isuzu D-Max, which sold a total of 8 524 units, came in third. Whatever your preference, what we know for sure is that bakkies are super stable, durable and sexy AF to drive.

Ahead, a round-up of some bakkies that mean business on South African roads.

READ MORE: 5 Fuel-Efficient Cars For Your Next Road Trip

The OGs

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

1. Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Priced from R 1 329 900

It has to be considered the coolest double-cab bakkie in South Africa and one that will certainly turn heads. This all-American ‘truck’ is currently the most expensive of its kind on our shores. It’s also the most in-your-face – and if a bakkie could be considered arrogant, this would be it!

Why you should own one? Because there is nothing else quite like it. Not only does boast a a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine under its bonnet, albeit with less-than-desirable outputs of just 209 kW and 347 Nm, it can transform itself like a, well, a transformer. The windscreen can be folded down, the doors taken off and the roof removed. Just picture it: cruising along the coast, surfboards (and your girlfriends) in the back, blasting Amapiano. Picture perfect, right?

Peugeot Landtrek 4Action

2. Peugeot Landtrek 4Action

Priced from R705 900

We bet you think that this is Peugeot’s first attempt at a bakkie, right? Wrong! Would you believe that Peugeot’s bakkie-building days date back to 1938? Granted they were more of the workhorse kind, but what bakkie wasn’t back then? This Landtrek is not even French, but rather Chinese-built as a collaboration between Peugeot and Changan Automobile.

Why you should own one? Because it offers the competitive edge Chinese-built vehicles are currently exuding, as well as a French flair for good measure. It’s bold and brash in design and stands out among a sea of similar broad-shouldered contenders. The 1.9-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel, with its outputs of 110 kW and 350 Nm, might not excite you but it does fare better on the road than what it says on paper.

READ MORE: These Are The Coolest Petrol-Saving Cars In 2023 Worth Your Money

Toyota Hilux GR-Sport

3. Toyota Hilux GR-Sport

Priced from R999 000

Some would call it the original gangsta (OG). Giving it even more street cred is this GR-Sport (GR-S) derivative. If you’re not familiar with Toyota’s naming convention, this model sits just under the Legend RS models, and features some added styling elements, refined handling and a power boost.

Why you should own one? Because, as a nation, we are image-conscious when it comes to what we drive and the GR-S definitely makes a statement. The model-specific GR-S grille in high-gloss black, 17-inch alloys, GR logos and decals, as well as the Raider-designed bumpers, black side mirror caps, door handles and side steps, make for a bold and powerful look. The standard 2.8-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine has had a sneaky upgrade and instead of producing 150 kW and 500 Nm, the GR-S spits out 165 kW and 550 Nm. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which translates to a smooth drive whether on- or off-road.

Ford Ranger Wildtrack 3.9 V6

4. Ford Ranger Wildtrack 3.9 V6

Priced from R522 400 to R1,224,700 for the Ranger 3.0L V6 Twin-Turbo EcoBoost Double Cab Raptor 4WD HR 10AT

What is it? This right here, is the Toyota Hilux’s Achilles’ Heel. The other half of this bakkie-loving nation. The Wildtrak, more specifically, is currently the most expensive Ranger in the line-up… before the arrival of the Raptor (which landed on our shores in late February).

Why you should own one? Because not only is the new Ranger something to behold, but the Wildtrak is stellar in terms of both looks and performance. For the first time, it’s available with a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel coursing through its underpinnings. That’s 185 kW and 600 Nm on tap. The perfectly mated 10-speed automatic ‘box means that the entire driving experience is sublime. For those wanting to tow trailers or boats, this should be your potent playmate.

The Safest Bets

GWM P-Series LT 4X4 Auto

5. GWM P-Series LT 4X4 Auto

Priced from R653 740

This Chinese-built double cab was a bit of a cat among the pigeons when it arrived back in 2020. The same goes for many Chinese-built cars these days. About five years ago, things started to take a turn and brands that had been disregarded before, were now bringing products to our shores that could no longer be ignored. The P-Series being one of them.

Why you should own one? It offers the best value for money out of any double cab on the market. As much as its performance could be considered as only average, its practicality and features list is where it shines. A 360-degree camera, 22cm infotainment system and host of safety features such as lane-departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert are just a few of the many standard features. It has everything its far more expansive rivals offer, but at a much more attractive price.

READ MORE: Embracing The Elements With Land Rover

Nissan Navara Pro-4X

6. Nissan Navara Pro-4X

Priced from R822 500

The Nissan Navara is in its third generation. However, halfway through its lifespan, Nissan decided that it needed a complete overhaul. The result is thankfully far more positive than when this generation originally launched. It’s also, now, built locally.

Why you should own one? Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but regardless of that, the Navara has to be one of the best-looking bakkies on our roads. It also adds appeal with a comprehensive warranty and service plan, which is 6 years/150 km and 6 years/90 000 km respectively. And it could be considered to be one of the best rides when it comes to bakkies, on a myriad of surfaces.

Volkswagen Amarok  

7. Volkswagen Amarok

From R581 900 for the SC Amarok to R 1 184 200 for the DC Aventura  

It’s the highly anticipated new Ford Rang…flip, we mean Volkswagen Amarok. In case you weren’t aware, the new Amarok is built on the Ford Ranger platform, has the same engines as the Ranger and is locally produced at the Ford plant in Silverton, Pretoria. In other words, the new Amarok is technically, for all intents and purposes, a Ranger.

Why you should own one? It still looks like an Amarok. Designwise, the only thing the Amarok shares with the Ranger is the roof rails, side mirrors and door handles. The interior, while like the Ranger, also has its own VW identity and this makes for a great place to be. And like the Ranger, you will also be able to opt for the 3.0 V6 turbodiesel engine.

Mahindra Pik-Up Karoo Dusk

8. Mahindra Pik-Up Karoo Dusk

Priced from R624 999

It might be the most utilitarian of the double cabs on offer, but Mahindra has done well to up its game with a trio of special edition models for its Pik Up bakkie. It will be easy to see where the inspiration came from with them aptly being named the Karoo Dusk, Dawn and Storm models.

Why you should own one? The Pik Up is one of the most affordable double cabs on the market and it’s a no mess, no fuss kind of vehicle. Yet it still offers an SUV feel inside, which is on trend.

Juliet McGuire

Juliet McGuire is South Africa’s leading female motoring journalist. She’s been a motoring journalist for the past 14 years and she is here to help you make an informed decision when buying a car.

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