South Africa’s 5 cheapest vehicles with low-range

  • Image gallery
  • Video
Suzuki Jimny
The Suzuki Jimny squeezes onto the list in fifth.

If you’re serious about off-roading, you’ll want a vehicle equipped with low-range. That, though, tends to come at a cost.

But what if you are determined to purchase a new vehicle with low-range but cannot spare much more than R250 000? Well, we’ve had a dig around South Africa’s new vehicle market and identified the five cheapest vehicles with low-range.

Sure, they may not be the most glamorous, but they’re undoubtedly the cheapest – well, this side of turning to the second-hand market for something a little more mainstream, that is. For the record, three are from India, one from China and one from Japan…

1. Mahindra Bolero 2,5TD 4×4: R204 995

mahindra-bolero
The Mahindra Bolero takes the crown of SA’s cheapest vehicle boasting low-range gearing. This workhorse is powered by a 2,5-litre turbo-diesel mill worth 74 kW and 238 N.m, connected to all four corners via a five-speed manual transmission. Ground clearance comes in at 185 mm, the lowest number on this list. Take note, though, that for a little more cash, you can pick up the double-cab version.

2. Mahindra Thar 2,5CRDe: R209 995

mahindra-thar
The Thar – an SUV (with a removable soft-top) that draws more than mere inspiration from early Jeeps – takes second place on this list, and uses the same powerplant as its Bolero sibling above. In this application, though, the four-cylinder oil-burner makes 79 kW and 247 N.m. Ground clearance is rated at 200 mm.

3. JMC Boarding 2,8TD double-cab 4×4 Lux: R222 880

jmc-boarding
This Chinese double-cab employs a 2,8-litre turbo-diesel heart churning out 84 kW and 235 N.m. Ground clearance comes in at 220 mm, while a five-speed manual transmission is standard. The Boarding features an interesting specification list that includes the likes of leather upholstery and rear parking sensors, but excludes airbags.

4. Mahindra Scorpio Pik-up 2,5TCI 4×4: R246 995

mahindra-scorpio-pik-up
Yes, the Scorpio Pik-up is the third Mahindra to make the list, and like its brethren, its urge comes from a 2,5-litre turbo-diesel. While peak power is the same as the Bolero (at 74 kW), maximum torque sits at a slightly loftier 258 N.m. Ground clearance, meanwhile, is a respectable 210 mm.

5. Suzuki Jimny 1,3: R251 900

suzuki-jimny
Just on the wrong side of R250 000, the diminutive Suzuki Jimny is more capable off the beaten track than many may at first assume. It’s the only petrol-powered vehicle to make this list – using a 1,3-litre four-pot worth a meagre 63 kW and 110 N.m, linked to a five-speed manual gearbox – but it has the ability to go where larger vehicles simply can’t. Ground clearance is a claimed 190 mm.

Also read: