5 bakkies we think South Africa would go crazy for

  • Image gallery
  • Video
Volkswagen Saveiro
The Volkswagen Saveiro would make a massive impact on the SA market.

South Africans love their bakkies. And there are quite a number of models available locally, from the established, big-selling Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger all the way through to newcomers such as the Fiat Fullback.

And the pool of competitors is growing all the time, with vehicles such as the Nissan Navara, Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz GLT (all of which will incidentally run on the same platform) looming large on the local horizon.

But there are also a few rather interesting bakkies currently not available in South Africa. And it’s these pieces of forbidden fruit that we’re going to look at now (if you’re keen on something a little bigger, read our article about behemoth bakkies that are also sadly not available locally)…

Also read:

Holden Colorado

Holden Colorado
Yes, we know it’s essentially an Isuzu KB underneath, but the latest version of the Holden Colorado – which has only just launched in Australia – is a pretty mean-looking thing, if you ask us. Built in Thailand, the Colorado employs a 2,8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel mill worth 147 kW and 500 N.m. Would you have this over a KB?

Toyota Hilux Revo TRD Sportivo

Toyota Hilux Revo TRD Sportivo
With the Toyota Hilux sitting at the very summit of the local light commercial vehicle sales charts, we’re certain there’d be a healthy appetite for a TRD-badged bakkie, as offered in Thailand. Take note, of course, that this is no more than a styling package, featuring TRD front and rear bumpers, a black grille, and 17-inch TRD alloys. Other bits and bobs available include a front skirt, LED daytime running lights, a sport bar and, of course, plenty of TRD decals.

Volkswagen Saveiro

Volkswagen Saveiro
There’s one section of the bakkie market in SA that isn’t exactly bristling with options. Yes, we’re talking about the half-ton segment, where the Nissan NP200 and Chevrolet Utility trade sales blows each and every month, virtually without competition. And that’s why we think Brazil’s Volkswagen Saveiro – seen here in Cross form – would make a massive impact were it available in right-hand-drive.

Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35

Isuzu D-Max AT35
Sure, the Isuzu KB – which is known as the D-Max in many other markets – is available here in South Africa. But the official Arctic Trucks conversion sadly isn’t. The upgrade includes re-engineered suspension (with a whopping 125 mm increase in ride-height), all-terrain tyres and dramatically widened wheel-arches. The AT35 is powered by a 2,5-litre turbo-diesel engine worth 120 kW and 400 N.m.

Holden Ute

Holden Ute
Remember the Chevrolet Lumina Ute? Well, when it was discontinued from the local market a few years ago, a bit of a gap opened up in the market (not a huge one, admittedly, but still one we’d be keen to see filled). Since the Ford Falcon Ute is no longer in production, the Holden Ute – particularly the model with the 304 kW/570 N.m 6,2-litre V8 fitted – would do nicely for us, thanks.

  • Jean Pierre Coetzee

    1. Colorado: As much as I do like it, I doubt that it would be a success here in SA especially if it is to be badged as a Chevy.
    2. Just no……..
    3. I’ve contacted VW on numerous occasions and the response is that it will not be released for the right hand drive market.
    4. Just no……..
    5. I personally own and drive a Lumina daily so I’m a bit biased on this one. Bring it here asap! Just kidding. Their production will cease in 2017-2018 so I’d love to get hold of one but it’s probably not worthwhile.

  • Bert

    Isuzu kb looks even more badass in that arctic guise. I’ll take that thanks 🙂

    • Jean Pierre Coetzee

      As a toy, yes. For any other reason you’ve got to be joking.

      • Bert

        Jean.. that’s rich coming from a guy who owns a pickup with the clearance of a well hung sausage dog! Completely pointless vehicle, why not just buy a coupe?

        • Jean Pierre Coetzee

          I don’t own the Ute. I own the sedan. It’s perfectly suited to my lifestyle and is brilliant value for the price I paid. + The Ute isn’t at all pointless. It’s targeted at the leisure market i.e quad bike etc and fulfills it’s intended role rather well.

          Look you have to think about this one sensibly. With the ride height of the KB AT35 you’ll have difficulty loading/unloading anything. With that size of tire the road noise will be unbearable. The 2.5 is already stone dead as is, so I doubt you’ll be going anywhere quickly……..overall this vehicle just makes no sense for our market unless it is as I say, a toy. If you want to do some mild rock crawling etc it might be alright. The standard KB already doesn’t articulate very well & doesn’t have hill decent control so I’m having difficulty trying to fathom what one would do with it here.

          • Bert

            The last time I checked the point of a ute/pickup is good offroad ability and payload capacity. None of which a lumia offers. And you’re correct, Utes are indeed not designed for drag racing. The KB doesn’t articulate well? Show me some evidence. And hill descent control is for yuppies who don’t know how to use 4L. The arctic conversion is not ‘just for looks’, it is a true warranted offroad conversion for those who need serious capability and reliability. So it seems the lumia is a nice toy, no?

          • Jean Pierre Coetzee

            It would appear that we’re at an impasse. I kindly advise you have a closer look at each vehicles market and their place of origin. It’ll help you get a better understanding of the target market, design influences and intended uses of the respective vehicles. Once you’ve done so, perhaps we can have a more learned conversation.

          • Bert

            Haha I’ll agree on the impass.. But I’ll stick to the kb being a better all rounder than the proposed alternative. Each to their own 😉

  • OdysseyTag

    I’m taunted by the fact that the Saveiro is still not offered in SA. I think if say VW’s main rivals (Toyota, Ford, Hyundai etc.) were represented in that class of bakkie (like if there was a new Bantam) – they’d reconsider it.

    • Jean Pierre Coetzee

      South Africa is a very small market in terms of vehicles sales. However, light pick-ups are becoming more popular worldwide if GM’s investigation into the introduction of the Chev Ute/Chev Montana into the American market is anything to go by. Having said that, I believe we may see one someday in the not too distant future.

  • Surprise surprise, VW on the main pic despite not being one on the list.

    Where’s the Renault Duster Oroch?

    • Nkanyamba

      VW not on the list? Then what is at No. 3….?

  • Thinking out Loud

    That Holden Colorado is a thing of beauty…