These are the best bakkies in South Africa right now

Car magazine Leisure Wheels have announced the finalists of its 2020 bakkie of the year competition.

The competition aims to find out which pick-up is the best in the country using a comprehensive evaluation and scoring system. The new format is squarely aimed at the average bakkie consumer, and focuses on real-world, real-consumer needs and requirements, the competition organisers said.

Instead of measuring factors such as 0-100km/h acceleration time with a bakkie carrying no weight, the focus was rather on the in-gear acceleration performance of a bakkie carrying 500kg, as owners would typically encounter on the road when they have to overtake slower traffic.

Other factors considered include:

  • A braking test from 100-0km/h with a 500kg load on the bakkie;
  • A towing test, where each bakkie had to tow a loaded Bush Lapa off-road trailer weighing just under 1,300kg over the same route;
  • An ISO 3888-1 emergency lane-change test;
  • Fuel consumption tests.

Buying a new vehicle is not only about data and numbers, it’s also an emotive choice.

So a small panel of judges, including some of South Africa’s top driving instructors, 4×4 driving experts and a leading motoring journalist, evaluated all 10 vehicles over exactly the same 45km route. They then completed a 4×4 track in all 10 bakkies, and scored the vehicles accordingly.

All the vehicles made a pit-stop at the Dastek headquarters in Tshwane, where they had a run on the company’s dynamometers.

“We measured actual drivetrain loss in this test and it made for very interesting numbers,” said Leisure Wheels magazine’s Danie Botha. “A manufacturer may claim its engine produces X amount of power but the actual power delivered to the driven wheels may vary quite a bit.”

The winners will be announced in early 2020.

The bakkies (in alphabetical order) are:

Ford Ranger 2.0 Bi-Turbo AT 4×4 Wildtrak

Ford Ranger Raptor

Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD 4×4 LX (manual)

Mahindra Pik Up S10 2.2CRDe Karoo edition

Mercedes-Benz X350d 4Matic Power

Mitsubishi Triton 2.4Di-D 4×4 AT

Nissan Navara 2.3D 4×4 AT Stealth

Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 4×4 Legend 50 (manual)

Toyota Land Cruiser 79 4.5D4-D V8 Namib

VW Amarok 3.0TDI V6 4Motion Canyon


Read: These are the 14 finalists for South African Car of the Year

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These are the best bakkies in South Africa right now