As of Junuary 2018 collective new vehicle sales in South Africa came in at 45 888 units or a decline of 8,9% year-on-year, according to Naamsa
South Africa is known for its rocky terrains, scenic trails and potential for great adventure. With that in mind, the demand for a reliable, resilient and multi-functional vehicle is high. A pick-up truck or bakkie (as it is known locally) fits these requirements closely and for this reason is one of SA’s most popular vehicle choices.
The bakkie market is super competitive with a range of high performing and fuel efficient options. Drivers are becoming increasingly drawn to the luxury and sophistication of new generation bakkies and opt for these vehicles to satisfy their varying needs. From being a competent commercial workhorse to adventuring out to tackle the mountainous road, bakkies have much to offer. We looked into the 3 top-selling bakkies so far in 2018 and provided a brief review of each below.
Toyota Hilux in 2018
In January 2018 2695 units were sold sold making the Toyota Hilux the favorite of South Africa by taking 1st place again this year, which is a great start. It has reigned over the bakkie market since its emergence in 1973 and has become a part of SA culture. Its popularity can be attributed mostly to its undeniable toughness. The Hilux is known for its durability, reliability, and quality, with every update remaining true to its original design. It offers a comfortable ride despite its ruggedness, with a few refinements made to the 2017 model. We are looking forward to what they have to offer in 2018
The 3.0l engine has been replaced by a 2.4l diesel engine to boost efficiency. There are higher levels of torque available in the latest engine as well. The Hilux has been tuned further for a better off-road experience and its suspension has been reworked too. Other off-road features include hill descent control, a low-range gearbox, a rear diff lock as well as the choice to switch between the two drive options i.e. two wheels and four wheels.
Ford Ranger in 2018
At 2 269 units sold during January, the Ford Ranger is a definite threat to the Hilux. The Ford Ranger’s spike in popularity has put an end to the Hilux dominating the bakkie market without a worthy opponent. The numbers over the past year indicate the Ranger’s position of strength, with the vehicle exceeding Hilux sales at the very beginning of the year as well as during the months of April, May, June, and October.
The Ford Ranger has a stance like no other. Although its focal point for many lies in its design, the Ranger is no stranger to resilience. It is built to endure. In addition to being a highly capable off-road option, the Ranger is a great lifestyle vehicle. Those who opt for the double-cab option often use their car for family road trips and group escapades. In terms of upgrades, the 2017 model has an updated front end with changes made to the grill, bonnet, and bumper. Interior tweaks include upgrades to the infotainment technology as well as a range of features for high-spec models including adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue alert, lane-keep assist as well as park assist.
The third position has been filled by the likes of the Nissan NP200, Nissan NP300, and the Isuzu KB through the course of 2017.
to January the Isuzu Nissan remains steady in position three (3), the Isuzu KB maintain position from the month before with the sale of 1585 units. Much like the Hilux and Ranger, the Isuzu KB comes in both single and double cab variants. Something to note is that Isuzu specializes in bakkies and as a result enforces reliability throughout its range. Three engines are available, paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. Options are the 2.5-litre low-pressure turbo-diesel, the 2.5-litre D-Teq turbo-diesel, and the most recent 2.4-litre petrol engine. With around 5 variations of the KB range, this no shortage of sophisticated specifications to suit any need.
Whilst the Hilux and Ford Ranger battle it out for the top spot in 2018, position number 3 remains unpredictable with the Isuzu KB and Nissan NP200 likely to be within a few units of each other. With the soaring temperatures, holiday plans and year-end bonus’s just around the bend, it may be time for you to consider test driving that bakkie you’ve been dreaming of.