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X-Class, Unimog, Amarok - these are some of South Africa's most expensive bakkies

2019-02-27 05:30

Lance Branquinho

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Image: Wheels24

There might be fear concerning your motoring expenses after Tito Mboweni's Budget Speech, but one thing is certain: No matter what the economic scenario is that evolves in South Africa, the most popular vehicle class will always be one with a loadbin. 

If you are in the happy position of anticipating a massive SARS refund this year, what are the most expensive bakkies you have an option on?

SEE: These are 5 the most powerful double-cab bakkies in SA

We've done the pricing investigation on your behalf and despite Toyota being the inarguable kingmaker brand among volume double-cabs, it is the Germans who dominate our list of most expensive bakkies. 

Mercedes-Benz Unimog U529 - R4m

Think we are being cheeky? Not really. Look at the accompanying image: that is a single-cab on a massive ladder-frame chassis, with a loadbin.

READ: Mercedes' new Unimog strikes the perfect balance between versatility and speed

It even has a bonnet – of sorts. Technically this might be considered a truck but we'd wager you that it can be classed as an oversized bakkie too.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

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This latest iteration of the Unimog is powered by a 7.7-litre turbodiesel engine good for 1 150Nm and with unparalleled portal-axle ground clearance and suspension travel it is the definition of an unstoppable off-road vehicle. 

Clever too, with the convenience of being convertible to either left or right-hand drive in mere minutes, thanks to a sliding steering column and pedal box. Not fast but lasts forever and can carry a lot more braai wood than any "normal" sized bakkie.

Mercedes-Benz X350d - R904 188

Another Mercedes bakkie? Obviously. X-Class set a new price ceiling for double-cabs when it was launched in South Africa last year.

X- Class V6

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Mercedes-Benz has leveraged heavily on its premium brand heritage to defend the X-Class pricing position and although the Nissan Navara convergence is problematic, X350d is perhaps the most justifiable regarding its premium pricing. 

Powered by a proper Mercedes-Benz engine and gearbox, this is the "least" Japanese of Mercedes-Benz's double-cab bakkies. 

VW Amarok  V6 Extreme - R818 200

This V6 powered VW double-cab is X350's most credible direct rival and finished in the Extreme equipment grade, with its 20" wheels, this is a German bakkie with attitude.

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An 8-speed automatic transmission effortlessly find the correct gear each time you make any demand to summon the 550Nm of available torque and with an extremely short first ratio, it remains entirely capable off-road too. 

The only double-cab 4x4 to do without a conventional transfer case and reduction ratio gearing, Amarok V6 is the thinking driver's off-road bakkie - combining contemporary drivetrain technologies to exceed the expectations of traditional bakkie buyers. 

Land Cruiser 79 4.5 V8 double-cab - R765 600

It is unimaginable to create a local bakkie buying list without at least one Toyota product and this one also happens to be the most expensive Japanese bakkie on sale in South Africa. 

Ironically, it is also the oldest - with the Land Cruiser 79's fundamental design (and some interior components) tracing back to the 1980s.

Land cruiser 79

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Not fast and horrible to drive in any urban environment. Featuring solid axles front and rear it is also brutally uncomfortable rolling along everywhere and anywhere. 

Why do they remain so popular and in demand? True Cape to Cairo ability. 

Over-engineered for the sole purpose of being off-road capable and extremely durable, often at the expense of passenger comfort, the Land Cruiser 79 will last you a lifetime of adventuring. 

Novel too, due to its 4.5-litre turbodiesel engine, which makes it the only remaining V8 bakkie you can buy new in South Africa.  

Mercedes-Benz X250d - R723 811

The most expensive four-cylinder bakkie on sale in South African and the double-cab which initially spearheaded Mercedes-Benz's local loadbin marketing ambitions.

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Effectively a Nissan Navara with superior sound insulation and slightly better ride characteristics, it is also heavier and slower than most Japanese four-cylinder double-cab rivals. 

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