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The bakkie is not what it used to be. These days, this once-humble workhorse is called upon to fulfil numerous roles, from load-lugger to off-roader to family hauler.
South Africans, of course, have developed a particular affinity for the double-cab body-style, squeezing their kids into the back and enjoying the sort of in-cabin features once reserved for wafty family sedans. All the while still enjoying the toughness and go-anywhere-ability of a proper light commercial vehicle.
This rise of the so-called “leisure buyer” has led to the emergence of a number of dual-use double-cab offerings, some of which are eyewateringly expensive.
Of course, this list of the country’s most expensive bakkies will change, relatively soon and likely relatively fast. Indeed, with a new V6-powered version of the Volkswagen Amarok on the horizon, as well as a Navara-based Mercedes-Benz bakkie in the pipeline (and upcoming offerings from new players such as Renault), we imagine the top five could look rather different in just a couple of years. And that’s not even taking into account the obligatory price hikes…
So, let’s have a look at the current five most expensive double-cab bakkies available on South Africa’s new vehicle market. Each one, it must be noted, comes in at more than R600k, which means there’s no space for even the poshest Ford Ranger Wildtrak model. And that’s saying something.
1. Toyota Land Cruiser 79 4.5D-4D LX V8: R706 200
The most expensive double-cab bakkie in South Africa is also one of the most capable. Yes, the mammoth Land Cruiser 79 – which features a handful of niceties, including navigation, Bluetooth and a pair of airbags – is incredibly adept off the beaten track, making it particularly popular with farmers. Peak outputs of 151 kW and 430 N.m come from a rather thirsty 4,5-litre V8 turbodiesel.
2. Nissan Navara 3.0dCi V6 4×4 LE: R686 900
South Africans are keenly awaiting the arrival of the all-new, third-generation Navara (and Nissan SA is keeping it cards frustratingly close to its chest). But the current range-topper – as old as it may be – still costs close to R700k. Yes, the most expensive Navara employs a 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel, which sends 170 kW and 550 N.m to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.
3. Land Rover Defender 110 TD-S: R665 052
We’ll bet you didn’t expect to find a Land Rover on this list. Yes, although production of the Defender has ended in the United Kingdom, there are still a few available new locally, including the double-cab variant. Urge comes from a 2,2-litre turbodiesel four-pot (worth 90 kW and 360 N.m), delivered to all four corners via a six-speed manual gearbox. Standard specification is decidedly modest, and the Defender double-cab doesn’t even feature any airbags.
4. Volkswagen Amarok 2.0BiTDI Highline Ultimate auto: R628 700
The Amarok isn’t quite as popular locally as Volkswagen would probably like. But that hasn’t stopped the German automaker from introducing the special edition “Ultimate”, which tops its range at a price of nearly R630k. The double-cab features bi-Xenon headlights, a smattering of exterior styling updates, and a lengthy standard specification list. Power, though, still comes from a 2,0-litre turbodiesel (although a V6 is on its way with the upcoming facelift), fed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
5. Toyota Hilux 4.0 V6 4×4 Raider: R606 400
The variant sitting right at the summit of the new eighth-generation Toyota Hilux range makes use of an ageing engine carried over from the previous line-up. Yes, the 4,0-litre V6 petrol mill – which churns out 175 kW and 376 N.m – powers this double-cab, and is married to a six-speed self-shifter. But it’s rather well equipped, and features as many as seven airbags as standard.