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Bargain double-cab bakkie?

Double-cab bakkies are not quite the agricultural four-wheelers they once were. The leisure double-cab market, deputising as a sedan in the week and getaway pseudo SUV on the weekend, is where the market has matured to.

It’s the reason VW can market a V6 Amarok the ambitious side of R700k and why Mercedes-Benz has finally strategized that a bakkie is necessary for the world’s oldest auto brand. Then there’s Mahindra.

Among the deluge of Asian bakkies which happen in the period between 2007 and 2009, most were Chinese but a few Indian and though many of the Chinese brands have left South Africa, Mahindra remains. It does tell you one a bit about return customers, (relatively) durability and absolute demand.

To celebrate nearly a decade and a half in South Africa, Mahindra now has an updated version of its unambiguously named Pik Up: the S10 double-cab 4×4. Styling is not much altered (new grille and bumper) from what we’ve become accustom to from Mahindra, but there’s a better 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine and all manner of increased refinement.

Equipment levels remain keen with satellite steering wheel controls, infotainment synching for your phone and some of the strangest instrumentation fonts you’ll ever see. That said, it’s good for 103kW, 320Nm and with a six-speed manual transmission – you won’t be required to downshift to third that often. There’s a 4×4 too with a mechanically locking rear differential too, if you’re keen to go exploring with your Pik Up – and considering its ‘robustness’ and mechanical simplicity, Mahindras have quite a dedicated following amongst South African bargain Safari-types. That must count for something, right?

Rated to two 2.5t and carry 995kg, it’s all the capability you’d want at a price of R354 995. Not an awful bakkie. Not an exceptionally great one either. Do you want to buy new or Japanese with 50 000km on the clock? That’s the decision, really.

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