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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)…
- 5 of the most blatant copycat cars out of China
- 5 big bakkies South Africa might want but can’t have
- 5 most expensive double-cab bakkies in South Africa
- South Africa’s 5 cheapest vehicles with low-range
- 5 biggest gas-guzzlers on SA’s new vehicle market
- 5 most fuel-efficient cars we’ve recently tested
- 7 most fuel-efficient non-hybrid petrol cars in SA
- 5 most fuel-efficient non-hybrid diesel cars in SA
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
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.
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
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.
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.