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New Mahindra Pikup in SA: All the workhorse credentials you need

2017-10-17 08:30

Rouel van Nelson

Image: Wheels24/Rouel van Nelson

Cape Town - Mahindra is a company that prides itself on selling inexpensive utility vehicles.

With Indian-built affordable vehicles, the general consensus would be that you are likely to receive a vehicle with limited specifications and ability.

That however is not the case with the new Mahindra Pikup bakkie.

READ: New Mahindra bakkie: Next-generation Pik Up arrives in SA

A pleasant surprise

I have to admit, driving the 4X4 double-cab Pikup was a pleasant surprise as it's a vehicle that grows on you the more you drive it. It begins with the understated albeit improved interior of the bakkie.

Mahindra has moved away from the light cream tone of the previous variant, opting for plain black upholstery. 

What gives the Mahindra a more upmarket feel is its standard gadgets and kit. The Pikup comes equipped with auto temperature control, stop-start, rain and light sensors. This then also adds on to the 'surprise factor' of the Pikup, getting more out of a perceived "cheap" vehicle than expected. 

Image: Wheels24/Rouel van Nelson

The same can be said for the exterior and overall profile of the vehicle. With sleeker foglights, bonnet vent and chromed accents along the grille, Mahindra decided to make its new bakkie slightly more appealing to the eye.

A comfortable trip, off-roading ability 

One of the standout features as far as driving is concerned is how well the 6-speed manual gearbox works. Shifting between cogs is easy, despite its agricultural roots, making for a pleasant experience when either picking up speed or slowing down. The automaker also revealed that the Pikup came is fitted an improved turbo which impressively provided neglible lag.

Image: Wheels24/Rouel van Nelson

While the 2.2-litre  turbo-diesel engine produces a modest 103kW/320Nm. On a typical journey, overtaking us a breeze and I would imagine carrying a load in its 1 tonne payload capacity shouldn't be a problem either. 

A new cushion suspension and anti-roll technology gives the Pikup suitable traction and a smooth(er) ride. We also managed to complete two off-road courses on our route, with the Pikup proving to be a capable customer in tackling rugged terrain.

Image: Wheels24/Rouel van Nelson


Analysing the car as a whole and understanding what it was built for, there was only one major drawback, the lacklustre streeing. This could have been better as at times it felt as if there was no power steering at all. In fact, making the very first turn caught me off guard as I quickly found out that I needed to turn the wheel with a lot more vigor.


In conclusion, the Pikup ticks all the boxes in terms of what's needed from a bakkie. It's durable, easy to drive, affordable and rugged. If you're looking for the 'cheaper' option when considering a utility vehicle, the Mahindra Pikup could be for you.

Image: Wheels24/Rouel van Nelson


Read more on:    mahindra  |  rouel van nelson  |  cape town  |  4x4  |  double cab  |  bakkies

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